A minute's silence will be held at Scotland’s Covid Memorial to mark the third anniversary since the first national lockdown and the first Scottish deaths to coronavirus.

It comes as the last few wooden supports, which make up the memorial, have been installed at the national memorial in the grounds of Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park.

Work has continued in the South Side park for the past few months since the official opening of the first phase of the memorial at the Riverside Grove, close to Pollok House, last May.

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The event on Thursday, March 23, is an open invite welcoming anyone affected by the pandemic whether it be the loss of a loved one from Covid or other illnesses, those with maybe living with Long Covid or those who seeking healing, to attend.

The Herald initiated and led the campaign to create Scotland’s Covid memorial and Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer of Pollok Country Park as a location.

Following the setting up of a steering group, artist and poet Alec Finlay was invited to create the memorial and his vision was I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial which is a series of wooden tree supports formed from physical poses of people affected by the pandemic.

HeraldScotland: Artist Alec Finlay will read I remembers on March 23Artist Alec Finlay will read I remembers on March 23 (Image: Newsquest)

He also reached out to people to submit an I remember, a single sentence prompt which allowed people to think about how the impact the pandemic had on them and he received hundreds in response.

Scotland’s Makar will be joining our artist on the day to read out some of the poignant I remember passages following the minute’s silence. A memorial walk will also be led from Riverside Grove which is connected by supports on the Ash Road, to a second focal point at Birch Grove.

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Makar Kathleen Jamie, who was appointed as the national poet in August 2021, said: “I was pleased to be asked to attend and to read some of the I remember passages. Poetry is part of my life so I didn’t turn to it in lockdown, for me it was no different. I live with it all the time.

“For those people who wrote the I remembers, they might not have thought of them as poems, but they are poetic impulse, when we stop and think about language and hold off for a minute.

“When they think about the phrase and they are satisfied by the phrasing of it, that is the way poetry works. So they are like minuscule poems.”

HeraldScotland: Work to install supports at the national covid memorial in Pollok Country Park is now completeWork to install supports at the national covid memorial in Pollok Country Park is now complete (Image: Newsquest)

As the final supports were being installed, Mr Finlay took a step back and was visibly moved as he remembered the people who had helped to create the memorial.

A total of 40 supports will form a memorial walk throughout the park and are linked to audio of I Remember passages that were recorded by actor Robert Carlyle and which are accessible from QR codes on supports.

Mr Finlay said: “We were blessed with the weather while we installed the final 25 ’support’ artworks – some beautiful cold days, but no snow and only a little rain. It was a pleasure to meet passers-by in the park and see how many already felt the 'I remember' project was an integral part of the public landscape. I was acutely aware that, while high heid ones try to push away the reality that the pandemic is ongoing, our memorial is a reminder that the virus continues to take lives and change lives. That isn't a comfortable fact, but one purpose of 'I remember' is to ensure that we use our communal memories to understand this new reality is and continue to offer care and support to those everyone affected."

The Herald initiated and led the campaign to create Scotland’s Covid memorial. A public fund was set up following an initial £5,000 donation from a company in memory of Jim Russell, from Glasgow, who died from Covid in May 2020.

Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer of a home for the memorial in Pollok Country Park and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backed the campaign, saying it would ensure a “fitting and lasting tributes to every life lost to Covod-19 and other illnesses during the pandemic”.

Working with our partners greenspace Scotland, a charity and social enterprise that promotes green networks and spaces, an advisory panel was set up that recommended the appointment of artist and poet Mr Finlay.

In May last year, we opened the first phase of the memorial, a series of tree supports that form a memorial walk.

It was attended by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who reflected in his remarks at the opening of the National Covid Memorial, saying the concept of the memorial “will help us through the recovery.”

The Herald campaign received generous donations from the Scottish Government, The Hunter Foundation, City Charitable Trust, The Watson Foundation, and the Freemasons of Glasgow.


Anyone wishing to attend the minute’s silence on Thursday, March 23 should arrive for 11.45am for 12noon. Some parking is available at the Riverside car park, close to Pollok House, by accessing the park from the Lochinch Road entrance.

For more information on how to access Pollok Country Park go to https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/pollokcountrypark