The statue of John Rae, unveiled at the Stromness pierhead on Saturday evening.

The statue of John Rae, unveiled at the Stromness pierhead on Saturday evening.

As part of a weekend of events to mark the 200th anniversary of Dr John Rae’s birth, a statue of the Arctic explorer was unveiled at the Stromness pierhead this evening.

The donor of the statue – who had wished to remain anonymous until the ceremony –  was revealed as being Alan Twatt, a Stromness-born businessman who now lives south.

Addressing a large crowd at the pierhead, Mr Twatt watched as the statue was unveiled by May Stockan, before handing it over to the people of Orkney.

The statue is the work of North Ronaldsay sculptor, Ian Scott, and stands on a plinth of local granite, looking out across Hamnavoe towards Rae’s childhood home, Orphir.

Orkney Islands Council vice-convener, Councillor Jim Foubister, also spoke at the ceremony.

He said:  “To many Orcadians, John Rae has not had the recognition he deserves for too long now.

“I hope the statue will capture the imagination of people both in Orkney and further afield and help to strengthen his place in history.”

 

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