Moving tribute to the people who died in the Summerland disaster 40 years ago

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The names of all 50 people who died in the Summerland fire disaster were read out in a moving ceremony on Friday night.

A large crowd gathered at the Kaye Memorial Garden, Queen’s Promenade, Douglas, 40 years to the hour after the tragedy began to pay tribute to the victims of the blaze.

The Summerland service

The Summerland service

The event, organised by Douglas Council, dedicated a memorial to the dead.

The memorial takes the form of three granite columns set into a circle of paving. It bears the names of the 50 people – including nine children – who died.

The Archdeacon of Man, the Ven Andrew Brown, began the service and read the victims’ names and their ages at the time of the tragedy in 1973.

Some of the people at the service were visibly moved. Among those present were some who lost relatives and friends in the disaster.

There followed a two-minute silence, which began at 8.01pm, 40 years exactly after the first alarm call to the emergency services.

The people who attended the event then sang the first hymn, We trust in you.

The mayor of Douglas, Cllr Carol Malarkey, followed with an address and the memorial was dedicated by the archdeacon.

The second hymn was O God beyond all praising.

Prayers were then led by the Revd Fr Canon Phillip Gillespie, the Roman Catholic dean of the island.

The Bishop gave a blessing in English and Manx and the event ended with the national anthem.

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