Another historic venue with very personal significance to me

Almost exactly two years ago, I conducted a memorial service for my father. This was before I started working professionally as a celebrant – before I even trained.

But dad had donated his body to medical research. That means no funeral. (Even now, two years later, the university is still using his body for research – something that he would have been very proud of.)

HMS Unicorn, Dundee

That’s difficult for the family though. We all need rituals, closure. And so we organized a memorial service in place of a funeral. Dad had been a seafarer all his working life and had worked briefly for Dundee Harbour. So a “naval” venue seemed appropriate. Since we’d already held a 70th birthday party for him onboard HMS Unicorn, that was the obvious place to celebrate and honour his life.

The frigate Unicorn was launched in 1824, making it one of the oldest ships still afloat anywhere in the world. Today it is both a fascinating museum and an incredibly atmospheric venue for all sorts of events.

Of course, being such a historic ship does mean that some things are a little more tricky…. access can be a problem. But at dad’s memorial, even with a large contingent of elderly sailors, we experienced no problems at all.

If you would like to know how we organized and conducted the service, don’t hesitate to contact me. Or speak to the Unicorn directly:

Lucy Richardson, Events Officer, HMS Unicorn 01382 200900 lucy@hmsunicorn.org.uk.

HMS Unicorn
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