Finally after many years of absence the Saltire was raised once again above the memorial stone to Robert The Bruce in Castledykes Park, Dumfries. The ceremony was arranged by Siol nan Gaidheal on Saturday the 10th of October. The Provost of Dumfries, Mr Jack Groom performed the flag raising ceremony in front of a small gathering of members of The Bruce Trust, Siol nan Gaidheal, Members from Crann Tara and some local members of the Dumfries Public.
The memorial stone was first placed at this spot in 1906 on the 600th anniversary of the taking of the Castledykes from the English by Bruce following his killing of John Comyn at Greyfriars Monastery in the town on the 10th of February 1306. Bruce raised the Royal Standard of Scotland from the heights of the Castle Mound and this stone was placed there in memory of that event. The flag pole over the years was lost and never replaced due to lack of funding or interest on the part of the authority that look after the park.
Patriots who discovered the fact that the pole was missing from the Stone contacted The Bruce Trust for support in an application to Dumfries and Galloway Council for permission to resurrect the flag and pole at their own expense. Looking at a possible cost of £2,500 pounds Patriots decided to ensure with permission from the Council that the works could be done by themselves. Permission was granted and financial donations were collected with Crann Tara being just one of the groups that contributed to this. With just over £300 raised by donations the group were able to purchase both pole and flag and install them without the need of specialist help.
Dumfries is an excellent Town with a rich history. Anyone paying it a visit is urged to take part in The Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trust must be commended for their work in this and hopefully their aim at achieving a Robert The Bruce Centre in the town will be achieved and all Scottish Patriots should support this. Castledykes as part of the Bruce trail is an inspirational setting and to stand where Bruce and Wallace once stood is a privilege in itself. Hopefully in the not too distant future their efforts will once again be recognised from within a Free Scotland.
By Stewart Connor