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50th Anniversary Reunion

 

2014 sees Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team celebrate fifty years of search and rescue operations in the Cairngorms and the hills of Deeside and Donside. To mark the occasion a number of events have been planned for the year and one of the most eagerly looked forward to was the reunion weekend. The idea was simple - try and get as many former and current Team members together over the course of a weekend starting with a meal on the Friday evening and a day on the hill on the Saturday.

 

Although in principle this was a simple idea, perhaps not unsurprisingly it turned out to be quite difficult to organise. Five decades of Team activity during which several hundred Team members have passed through the ranks of the organisation made tracking down former members something of a challenge. Nevertheless we were successful in managing to contact Team members spanning all five decades of the Teams existence. So on the evening of Friday 26th of September we gathered in Braemar at the "Bothy", which is the new restaurant behind Braemar Mountain Sports. Despite the decades that separated Team members there was a great atmosphere and many stories and reminiscences  from the past were told and retold. It was fantastic to have so many former Team members in attendance and Bill Marshall, who was the first Team Leader back in 1964, gave some interesting insights into the origins of the Team and some of the struggles and obstacles, mostly financial, which had to be overcome to get the Team up and running.The Bothy provided a splendid meal and the evening was filled with conversations, stories and much laughter which went on well into the evening.

 

On the Saturday several former Team members joined current members of the Team at Derry for a day on the hill. The weather was kind and a great day out was had by all. The weekend was a great success and it gave many of the current Team an opportunity to hear first hand about the early days of the Team and some of the exploits of former Team members.

 

There is no doubt that in the fifty years that the Team has been in existence there have been many changes, but the spirit of former Team members lives on and is embodies in the new generation of rescuers who make up the ranks of the current Team.

 

We parted company at the end of the weekend vowing to meet again to celebrate the Team's sixtieth anniversary!

 

Words: Mario Di Maio

Photo: Linda Di Maio