A weekend of celebrations, remembrance and thanks
This year’s special Isle of Wight Day weekend (September 10 th -12 th ) will be an opportunity for all Islanders to celebrate a return to some sort of normality after months of lockdown and disruption caused by the pandemic, whilst we offer a huge thank you to the thousands of Islanders who have volunteered their services to the community, as we remember those that we have tragically lost.
The special weekend of remembrance, thanks and celebration is the idea of the Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon, who will preside over a Community Service of Reflection and Remembrance at the Minster in Newport on Friday, September 10th conducted by the Archdeacon, The Venerable Peter Leonard. The service will specially remember the 300 Islanders that we have sadly lost through Covid over the past 16 months. The Lord Lieutenant said, “It is particularly appropriate this year that we should all get together for Isle of Wight Day. The last year and a half has been very tough but we have much to celebrate. The Island community has shown how it can pull together and Isle of Wight Day this year is especially highlighting and thanking our many volunteers. I hope to attend as many events taking place over the weekend of September 10th-12th as I possibly can. The whole ethos of Isle of Wight Day, and indeed Walk the Wight, is that of celebrating what we can do so well as a united community on the Island. I am delighted to be part of it”.
The following day, Saturday, September 11 th , will see the return of the annual Isle of Wight Day celebrations, when all Island residents are encouraged to come together to celebrate our wonderful Island, with this year’s focus on thanking the thousands of volunteers who have supported us through the pandemic. Island communities are encouraged to stage their
own local events, with special events already being planned in Ryde. The centre of the celebrations will take place once more at Carisbrooke Castle. Island residents will only need to pay £1 for entry to the Castle grounds for this Family Fun Day, with coronavirus volunteers having FREE entry. More details of the Fun Day activities will be announced in the coming weeks. Robin Courage, the founder of Isle of Wight Day said “Isle of Wight Day was always designed as a day of celebration for our wonderful Island and this year’s special day will also provide an opportunity for all our communities to come together to say a huge thank you to the thousands of incredible volunteers, who have done so much to help us to get through this very difficult time. Massive thanks also to David Bailey and his team at English Heritage for once again so generously making entry to the wonders of Carisbrooke Castle affordable to all Islanders on this special day”.
The Isle of Wight Day activities across the island are being coordinated by Community Action IW, the organisation that exists to support the 1,500 or more voluntary and community organisations that work so hard for the benefit of the Island and its residents.
The weekend’s celebrations will continue on Sunday, 12 th September with the staging of the iconic Mountbatten Walk the Wight, one of the largest walks of its kind.
The event was rescheduled from its regular date in May because of Covid restrictions and this year Mountbatten is hoping for a record-breaking turnout for this annual fundraiser. Nigel Hartley CEO of Mountbatten said “When we were forced to reschedule this year’s Walk the Wight we did not expect it to coincide with the Isle of Wight Day celebrations, so we are hugely grateful to the Lord Lieutenant for arranging for this fitting weekend of remembrance and celebrations”.
To conclude this wonderful weekend of remembrance and thanks the annual Songs of Praise concert, with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra and choirs will take place at Cowes Enterprise College on the afternoon of Sunday, September 12th.
We can all look forward to a spectacular weekend of family activities, so please shout out your own thank yous by once again hanging out your bunting!