community leaders’ praise for religious convention
Travellers’ gathering seen as a success
By calum ross
Published: 23/07/2010 Press and Journal.
A religious convention for travelling people in Aberdeen has been hailed a success by community leaders and the event’s organisers.
About 150 travellers are expected to start leaving Calder Park today as a week-long Christian gathering comes to an end.
Grampian Police, which has had a mobile unit stationed at the site since the weekend, said no incidents had been reported by last night.
Nigg Community Council chairman Alan Strachan had been outraged when details of the event emerged last week, but said yesterday he was “delighted” with the way it had been managed.
The convention was organised by the evangelical Light and Life Missions church.
Asked if there had been any problems, senior pastor Jackie Boyd said: “A bit with the weather but that’s about it, and that is our boss’s fault.
“It has been a really, really good time.
“I didn’t know there had been a bad relationship up here but what can be better than people seeing that not everyone is going to steal your daughters and children.
“The locals have been very good. If you invite them down and people are open enough to come to our meetings then you will see you can’t judge everyone.”
Mr Boyd did not rule out a return to the city, but said they would not be back next year.
“We don’t have them in the same place every year. We try to move them around,” he said.
Aberdeen City Council heard that an unofficial gathering was being planned for Nigg Bay earlier this month and asked its organisers to move the event to Calder Park.
Local authority environmental health officers have visited the site this week and found no problems.
Mr Strachan praised the handling of the event.
“As far as I am led to believe there have been no problems whatsoever,” he said.