“A time to pay tribute to the many lives tragically lost” - Calderdale prepares to commemorate those who have died in the borough from Covid-19

Calderdale will commemorate the 325 people in the borough who have lost their lives due to coronavirus by paying tribute to those who have died.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:57 pm
Revd Hilary Barber, Halifax Minster

On Tuesday, to mark the one-year anniversary of the first local cases of the virus and the first national lockdown, Calderdale Council will fly the Union flag at half-mast at Halifax Town Hall, and there will be a one-minute silence throughout the borough at 11am.

A commemorative film will also be broadcast on the day on the council’s Twitter and Facebook pages and their YouTube channel.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Dot Foster, said: “The last 12 months have been incredibly difficult. We have all felt the impact of the pandemic in some way, and many have faced the added heartbreak of losing family members, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

“Although it’s still not possible for communities to gather to pay our respects, I will be leading the lighting of special candles at the Minster on behalf of the entire borough, passing on our deepest condolences and thoughts to everyone affected and remembering all those who have sadly lost their lives.”

Coun Tim Swift, Leader of the Council, said: “The anniversary of the first local cases of COVID-19 and the first national lockdown is a time to pay tribute to the many lives tragically lost. A time to reflect on the widespread devastation and sacrifice, but also on the kindness and resilience that make Calderdale so special. A time to say thank you to all the residents who continue to look out for each other; our amazing health and care workers who always go above and beyond; the volunteers, key workers, businesses and community groups who put themselves at risk to help others; the schools that keep our children and young people educated; and countless others who are all playing a part in Calderdale’s remarkable fight against this terrible virus.

“The vaccine programme and the cautiously optimistic roadmap out of lockdown bring hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Whilst cases remain high in Calderdale, we must all keep up the great joint work to protect each other as we look ahead to brighter days.”

Vicar of Halifax Hilary Barber said: “I’ve been doing some work with Calderdale Council and Calderdale Interfaith to produce a short film.

“In the middle of the film I do a short reflection recognising those people whose lives have been turned upside down over the past 12 months: those who became ill and have died; NHS workers left exhausted; those now left mourning their loss; families separated by isolation, shielding and lockdowns; peoples business who have collapsed; those people who have literally cared for their neighbours in ways never imagined before; and now many people suffering from anxiety and mental health issues as they fear what the future might hold.

“Climbing the Minster walls with the BBC last week was interesting, when I could literally hold onto pieces of stone high up, which have stood the test of time: the Civil war, two world wars, and now a world wide pandemic.

“Whilst things we used to rely on and maybe took for granted have now collapsed, what are the things we think of as being solid, eternal, unshakable?

“We need to start thinking about what lies a head and what kind of new world we’d like to recreate, building back better?”