IT will be the most emotional of journeys close to the roof of the world.
Rocker Fish is sending his dad’s treasured Masonic ring to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, to pay tribute to his father Bert who died following a cancer battle last year.
Bert, who ran the family garage Dick Bros in Dalkeith, served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and was attached to the Kings Rifles in Tanzania during his national service in the 1950s.
He was stationed close to Mount Kilimanjaro and once made an attempt on the slopes. He made it half way up before he and his friends were turned back by bad weather.
It was a lifelong ambition of Bert’s to one day return and scale the 19,341 foot-high peak but it was a dream that was never realised. He passed away in May last year, aged 87.
In his memory former Marillion frontman Fish – real name Derek Dick – has given his niece Ellie Gibbs her grandfather’s beloved ring to take to the top of Kilimanjaro this week. It will be left in a secret hiding place on the summit.
“Dad loved Africa, and the people, and he would have stayed there for good if he hadn’t had to come home and run the family business,” Fish said. “He often talked about returning to climb Kilimanjaro but sadly that never happened.
“When Ellie gets to the summit and places his ring there, it will hopefully complete the journey for him.”
Ellie, 21, begins the adventure this week. She hit on the idea to scale the mountain a few days after Bert’s passing and is using the tip to raise money for Cancer Research UK.