Symbolic relic from the time of Peter I to grace the capital
By Andrey Sevostianov
Recently, Minsk hosted a holiday — Maritime Brotherhood is Everlasting! — initiated by the St. Petersburg Submariners’ and Naval Veterans’ Union, the Typhoon all-Russia public organisation of marines and the Belarusian Union of Military Sailors.
An anchor, created three centuries ago and discovered recently by divers at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, has been delivered from St. Petersburg to the Belarusian capital. The relic from the time of Peter I will be used to create a future monument to honour the hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who have faithfully and courageously served in the domestic fleet over the years. It is expected to bear the inscription ‘To Sailors of Belarusian Lands from Grateful Russia’ and will grace Minsk’s Sevastopolsky Park in 2012. At present, the anchor, weighing around a tonne, is installed at 7 Ignatenko Street, on the steps of the well-known DOSAAF Training Centre (in Soviet times, the DOSAAF Marine School operated here) under a threefold ‘Hurrah!’ of seamen from various generations: Minskers and guests from Russian maritime towns. The Maritime Brotherhood is Everlasting! project aims to train young sailors and ship builders, creating midshipmen, and adapting sailing techniques to suit Belarusian conditions — for the needs of the Union State fleet.
Alongside the ‘anchor’ ceremony in Minsk, a cultural and historical complex near Zaslavl hosted celebrations dedicated to Marine Corps Day; a military battle was recreated, involving ‘black pilot coats’ from the time of the Great Patriotic War.