Share memories, asks Teresa
Daughter of victim trying to put together book of families’ reminiscences
As Teresa Connor says quietly, it is a terrible memory which never goes away.
The Aberdeen woman was only 21, with a six-month-old son, Rikki, when her dad, Stanley Sangster, died – one of 167 victims of the Piper Alpha disaster on July 6, 1988.
Yet while her life was transformed forever, she has done her best to commemorate the qualities of Mr Sangster, a foreman scaffolder on the ill-fated North Sea platform.
She has spoken to the Press and Journal about her determination to produce a 30th anniversary volume of poems, stories, memories and reminiscences with the help of other families who lost loved ones.
Mrs Connor wrote a poem about her father in 1992. She has penned others in the interim. And the book on which she is working will be in aid of the Pound for Piper charity.
She said: “I first came up with this idea after my dad died, but it’s nearly 30 years later and I still haven’t brought it to fruition.
“So I’ve bitten the bullet and I have put the word out on Facebook.
“I have also contacted other family members and asked them what they think. I know people react in different ways but I want this to be a fitting tribute to those who perished.
“I have been in touch with publishers but I will make sure this is handled as sensitively as possible.
“It isn’t as if time has stood still. Things move on, things have to move on. But I have made sure my son Rikki knows all about his grandfather and what he was like before Piper Alpha took him away. That is very important to me.”
At her home in Aberdeen Mrs Connor is preparing for a busy few months as she strives to bring the book together.
Her message is simple: “There are a number of events planned for 2018 but this will be something more permanent.
“I am asking the families of the victims – not only the wives and girlfriends but sons, daughters and other relatives – to provide a memory of those who died.
“I hope they understand this is not to relive the past. But to bring life and colour to all those names in Hazlehead Park.”
STANDING TALL: The Piper Alpha Memorial at Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen.
Teresa Connor: memories