A number of events and projects have been scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summerland fire.

Deputy Chief Minister Jane Poole-Wilson made a statement on this in Tynwald this week.

She said that in August this year, 50 years will have passed since the fire.

‘Half a century since what was then the worst peace-time loss of life since the Second World War,’ Mrs Poole-Wilson said.

‘The disaster is a profoundly sad chapter in the island’s history for those who remember it and those who have learned about it since.

‘It is right that the landmark 50th anniversary of the tragedy is properly commemorated.

She added: ‘The world has changed immeasurably in the last 50 years. More than half of our current population were not born at the time of the tragedy.

‘Yet events continue to resonate in the lives of many.

‘The ripples spread wide. Each of us will have a unique human response to the tragedy and to this year’s anniversary.’

The minister explained that commemoration plans are focused ‘on people and on coming together to pay respects to all who have been affected’.

And providing younger generations with a meaningful perspective, creating valuable connections with the past.’

There will be a national service of remembrance at St George’s Church in Douglas on Sunday, July 30 with the opportunity for the community to pay tribute to those who died, survived or responded to the fire.

Representatives of the emergency and health services, local authorities and other organisations with connections to Summerland will be invited. Members of the public are also welcome to attend.

Mrs Poole-Wilson said: ‘I hope it will symbolise a nation’s enduring regret.’

Presentations will recognise the contribution and suffering in the line of duty of those who served ‘contentiously and selflessly in an unprecedented, difficult and dangerous situation’.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan will lead a formal presentation to representatives from emergency services and Noble’s Hospital on the eve of the anniversary.

A new oral history will present people’s memories of the incident as Culture Vannin records interviews with those involved.

This will be the first time some will have spoken publicly about it.

It will be available online.

There will also be an online exhibition by Manx National Heritage entitled ‘Remembering Summerland’, which will focus on photo and film archive material. This will be launched in the week of the anniversary.

A service will be hosted by Douglas Council and held at the Kaye Memorial Garden on the day and there will be a private event at the Summerland site itself.

The anniversary is on August 2 of this year.

More information will be available on the government’s website closer to the time, said Mrs Poole-Wilson.