Diss reflects on those affected by Covid pandemic as Beacon of Hope is lit
The community in Diss reflected on the devastating impact of the past 15 months this week, as a beacon of hope was lit to commemorate those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, members of Diss Town Council lit the 5.2-metre beacon of hope, light and remembrance in Diss Park, recognising the victims of the crisis, while also looking forward to a brighter tomorrow.
Onlookers observed a minute’s silence after former town mayor Sonia Browne lit the beacon, which had been arranged through a group effort between volunteers and council members.
Charlotte Valori, a member of the beacon committee, said: “Observing the minute’s silence made me reflect on the huge impact of the last 18 months on all our families.
“Now, with the vaccine, we can all look forward with confidence, and lighting the beacon of hope symbolises a positive future ahead for all of us, in Diss and beyond.”
Council leader Simon Olander added: “At a time of great concern with regard to an emerging pandemic, Diss Town Council considered what could be done to acknowledge the impact of Covid-19 on our community.
“We considered a party to celebrate the eventual lifting of restrictions and also a more permanent reminder of the extraordinary time we were about to live through.
“Fifteen months later, some normality has been resumed and, to mark that occasion, a group of volunteers from the community and council put together the idea of a beacon of hope for the days to come.
“It is hoped that this lighting will bring both joy and comfort to those who attended on the day and who will visit in the future.”
On an otherwise sombre evening, two new walking routes were officially opened, which will both start and finish at the beacon.
Ms Valori added: “It has been a delight to put the beacon trails together: I have learnt so many things about Diss. I hope people enjoy exploring them. We are so lucky to live in such a fascinating, beautiful part of Norfolk.”