Orkney Islands Council
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Rae Freedom of Orkney ceremony this weekend

Rae Freedom of Orkney ceremony this weekend
29 September 2017

A ceremony in Stromness this weekend will bestow the Freedom of Orkney upon explorer Dr John Rae.

The posthumous award will be accepted by his great-great-great niece, Ruth Matches.

Council Convener Harvey Johnston and the Council’s Leader James Stockan will confer the honour at a short ceremony at the John Rae statue at Stromness Pierhead at 09:30 on Saturday morning.

As part of the proceedings local musician Jennifer Wrigley will play a specially composed piece on John Rae’s fiddle.

Orkney Islands Council agreed at a meeting of the Full Council in July to posthumously confer the Freedom of Orkney upon the late Dr John Rae in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a world renowned explorer including discovery of the final portion of the Northwest Passage, Canada, also known as the Rae Strait.

Ten such awards have been presented in Orkney since 1948. The nomination for Dr.John Rae was made by Councillor James Stockan, supported by six other elected members.

Council Convener Harvey Johnston said: “ It is commonly viewed that Dr Rae was never awarded the public recognition that was due. Our granting of the Freedom of Orkney will further recognise the outstanding achievements of the late Dr. John Rae as a world renowned explorer and I, and my fellow elected members, are honoured to bestow this recognition on him on behalf of the people of Orkney.