Jim’s vigil for tragic milestone

DISASTER: The reactor at Chernobyl days after the explosion.
DISASTER: The reactor at Chernobyl days after the explosion.

A CUMBERNAULD man has been talking about the vigil he has staged in Glasgow to commemorate the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.

Jim Gillies of Abronhill was doubly determined to stage his one-man event in George Square as last Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the catastrophic meltdown at the former Soviet satellite of Ukraine.

Ukrainians and residents of neighbouring Belarus have a horrific legacy of thyroid cancer and leukaemia as a consequence – but retired engineer Jim helps by bringing over medical aid and donations to a hospital which treats many of the victims.

And the people of Glasgow responded warmly and with interest to his presence in the landmark square.

Jim said: ‘‘I talked to a lot of people especially about the fact that it was the 25th anniversary and a lot of them couldn’t believe that this amount of time had passed.

“A lot of people mentioned the situation in Japan as well.

“Although you are not allowed to collect money some people just gave me donations when they heard what I was doing.”

A reporter from Scotland Today interviewed Jim for its evening bulletin and the Deputy Provost of Glasgow City Council also popped out from the adjacent City Chambers to wish Jim well.

The grandfather also told passers-by about his new book From Chernobyl With Love which he has written with journalist Murray Scougall - and this too aroused interest especially as ALL proceeds go to Jim’s fund. It is available from www.jimschernobyl.com and amazon.