‘Beacon of hope’ to remember lives lost during coronavirus crisis
- Credit: Archant
A beacon recognising the lasting impact of coronavirus is to be installed in a town’s park.
Work is under way to create the ‘beacon of hope’ in Diss Park, providing a place for people to reflect on the lives lost during the pandemic.
The project was approved in September by Diss Town Council, whose members highlighted the need for a “symbol of light and remembrance” and a legacy for generations to come.
Up to £2,000 from the council’s events and park reserves has been allocated to turn the idea into reality.
Simon Olander, leader of DTC, said the suggestion of a permanent beacon came about after plans for a more extravagant celebration were hindered by the virus’ continued prevalence.
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“It is a project which, initially, we thought would be a big affair,” said Mr Olander. “To begin with we were thinking of hosting a party in the summer when Covid was ‘over’.
“Because things have started to go down another route, we have had to scale back. But we thought, rather than do nothing, let’s mark the year with some form of commemoration.”
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Once installed, the beacon will be lit on New Year’s Eve, although Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings mean residents will not be able to attend the ceremony.
Instead, it will likely be streamed online, with local people encouraged to participate by lighting candles in their homes.
“Lighting the beacon on New Year’s Eve will hopefully bring in the new year with a bit of hope,” added Mr Olander. “It won’t be a public event, but we want to stream it live for people to watch.
“Unfortunately we can’t encourage gatherings at the beacon. The last thing we want is for suddenly lots of people in Diss to get infected when we have done so well to keep things under control.
“We are doing this so that, after the ceremony, people have got somewhere to go and reflect. The beacon will look towards the church, a place where people’s thoughts will be regarding the lives lost due to Covid.
“Hopefully next year we can have some form of bigger celebration.”