Remembering can be done in so many ways…. with ceremony and music and flags and flowers or in silence with no one else there.
Simply telling the stories of the people who are being remembered is salutary.
One of the most moving stories of sacrifice in war is of John Young, a 24 year old from 7 Jedburgh Gardens in Glasgow’s West End. He was a captain serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1944 in Kohima in the North East of India. This was a crucial ridge selected by the Japanese as their way into India.
Captain Young’s order was to hold the position ‘until the last man and the last round.’ Knowing the impossibility of the situation, he finally ordered his men to retreat and he elected to hold the position with the injured, so that he would be the last man and he would fire the last round. His fight so impressed the Japanese that they buried him with full military honours.
John Young is remembered today by veterans of the Burma Campaign, who set up the Kohima Educational Trust which gives educational support to the children of the area where they fought.
He is remembered by a granite plaque at the door of his Glasgow home. This was unveiled in 2011 by the then Lord Provost of Glasgow, Robert Winter, after sterling research work by Roy McCallum and Gordon Graham of the Kohima Trust.
He is remembered by the congregation of Wellington Church where he and his family worshipped. There, his name is one of many inscribed on the wall of remembrance. A special collection on Sunday 11 November 2012, was inspired by John Young’s sacrifice and has been given to the Kohima Educational Trust.
And, following a worldwide competition organised by the College of Piping in Glasgow, John Young will be remembered by a pipe tune named after him. This will be played in public for the first time on Thursday 15 November at 11am in Jedburgh Gardens where John grew up.
Remembering will continue for a long time to come.
Actor, funny man and stage presence for 60 years, Johnny Beattie was given Glasgow’s Loving Cup at a civic dinner on Thursday 5 April. ‘I was totally surprised,’ said Johnny who has starred in River City TV soap for ten years.
The fresh looking 85-year-old recollects with total clarity his first day treading the boards. ‘It was May 19th 1952 at the Tivoli in Aberdeen. I was with Robert Wilson who was the biggest name around in Scotland at that time. I was the comic – you could tell that by the pillerbox red suit I was wearing!’ Johnny who was honoured by the Queen some years ago with an MBE, added: ‘I’ll keep on working till I’m found out.’
The Loving Cup is Glasgow’s highest honour and is presented to a person who has brought distinction and honour to the Dear Green Place.
Lord Provost Bob Winter presided over the annual awards ceremony when a roll of honour of key people is thanked publicly by the city for their contribution to its wellbeing.
In what was almost his last public event as Lord Provost, Councillor Winter said: ‘This event is truly one of the most rewarding for me as the city’s Lord Provost. It is such a great occasion when we can honour people from diverse walks of life who all have one thing in common – a commitment to Glasgow and its people. I can think of no better way to express our gratitude to these outstanding men and women by celebrating their achievements this way and presenting them with the Lord Provost’s award and one of them with the Loving Cup.’
The gold awards are in the form of a medal and were given to:
Prominent Accident & Emergency consultant Mr Ian Anderson for improving the health of the people of Glasgow and in keeping the city at the forefront of postgraduate medical education. Based at the Victoria Infirmary, his views are frequently sought at national and international level. He is one of the founding Fellows of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Surgeons and one of its longest serving Council Members. He was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 2009. He has also played a key role in establishing collaborations with Medical Schools and hospitals in the South of India.
BAE Systems Maritime received the Lord Provost’s award for business. It was accepted by Mr Angus Holt on behalf of the company which is on track to deliver six Type 45 Destroyers for the Royal Navy by the end of 2013. Four have already been handed over. It also produces Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship among other complex engineering programmes and services. The yards at Scotstoun and Govan employ 3000 people which includes 140 apprentices and 30 graduates in training.
Professor Jane Duckett was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for founding the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. Since its establishment in 2008 it has developed distinctive new MSc programmes in Chinese Studies. A leading international scholar in contemporary Chinese politics, Professor Duckett was instrumental in setting up the Confucius Institute at the University in 2011. It is testament to her dedication to enhancing the understanding and knowledge of China in the communities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and her pledge to support the business communities as they reach out to work with Chinese industry.
Dame Elish Angiolini received the Lord Provost’s Award for her services to Law and Justice. Like Johnny Beattie, Dame Elish was born in Govan. She was Solicitor General from 2001 to 2006 and Lord Advocate of Scotland, and was the first woman, the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor to hold either post. Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the administration of justice, Dame Elish holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian and Aberdeen universities. In September she will replace Andrew Dilnot as Principal of St Hugh’s College in Oxford.
Donald Shaw, founder of Capercaillie was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for the Performing and Visual Arts. Through his work with the band he built up an international network of contacts and musical partnerships which he has grown in his work with Celtic Connections. A performer, composer, arranger and musical entrepreneur, Donald was acknowledged for his unique contribution to music in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular. His direction of the Celtic Connections festival makes it the city’s largest, most nationally and internationally significant festival.
Robert Booth, who retired in 2011 after 33 years’ service – latterly as Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services at Glasgow City Council – received the Lord Provost’s award for his public service. He joined Glasgow District Council in 1978 and fulfilled senior management roles in both Housing and Building Services before being appointed Director of Land Services in March 2003. In 2007 he became Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services, with responsibility for managing the city’s road network; parks and open spaces; parking; refuse services; enforcement; trading standards; and the design and project management resources of the council. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Sport Award went to Walter Smith, one of the most successful Scottish football managers in history. He managed Rangers (twice) and the Scottish national team as well as Everton, and was awarded the OBE for services to football in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1997. Previous winners from the world of football in this category include Sir Alex Ferguson (1993) and Ally McCoist (1996).
Bailie Jean McFadden received her award for services to local government. The city’s longest standing councillor, she was first elected to Glasgow Corporation in 1971.
She held key positions in various areas of the council most notably as Leader of the Council (1979-1986) and 1992-94) and also including Opposition Leader (1977-1979), and Vice Lord-Lieutenant City of Glasgow from 1981 to 1992. She was also President of COSLA 1990-92 and City Treasurer 1986-92, and was awarded the CBE in 1992 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Special Award for an Inspiring Individual was presented to Julie McElroy. Despite cerebral palsy, mobility problems and profound deafness, Julie has trekked in the Himalayas, canoed Loch Shiel.
She has used her expertise in assistive technology to make outdoor sports accessible to disadvantaged disabled young people in India. She is an ambassador for Bobath and has received the prestigious John Muir award after completing four adventure challenges and inspiring other disabled people to enjoy the great outdoors.
Both Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, have clocked in their 1 millionth visitor.
Less than four months after re-opening, following a three-year, £47 million transformation,
the National Museum of Scotland welcomed its millionth visitor. That person was among the party from Stockbridge Primary School
The landmark figure has been achieved eight months ahead of predictions, and outstrips the previous record figure for a full year. The Museum’s highest attendance then was 833,324 visits in 2007/08, the year before it partially closed for redevelopment.
Visitors from across the world have poured through the Museum’s impressive new street-level entrance and into the spectacular Grand Gallery, from where they have been able to enjoy 16 new galleries. The beautifully-restored Victorian building only last week won the Andrew Doolan Award for the Best Building in Scotland for 2011.
Over 8,000 treasures are on show, 80% of them for the first time. The Natural World Galleries with their life-sized T.rex, and the Museum’s re-positioned Millennium Clock, are among the objects proving the biggest hit with visitors. Another firm favourite is the Window on the World, the UK’s biggest single museum installation, which features an array of nearly 900 objects representing the diversity of the Museum’s collections.
A spectacular opening ceremony on Chambers Street in July saw nearly 6,000 people pass through the doors in the first hour. Now the entire first year target has been reached in under four months.
National Museums Scotland is building on this success with a programme of blockbuster exhibitions in its new, larger, purpose-built space for special exhibitions. The first major new shows will feature Ancient Egypt and a Russian Empress when ‘Fascinating Mummies’ and ‘Catherine the Great’ open in 2012.
Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland said: ‘To reach this monumental visitor figure so far ahead of our predictions is an incredible achievement. Years of planning, fund raising and hard work have gone into realising our vision of creating a world-class museum that sits firmly at the heart of Scotland’s cultural landscape. To receive such a positive response from the public is truly amazing. People really are voting with their feet and giving a massive endorsement to all of the dedication, knowledge and creativity of our staff and supporters. We are delighted.’
Equal enthusiasm was shown at Glasgow’s £74 million Riverside museum which is now become the city’s most popular attraction since it opened on June 21. On June 25 more than 15,000 people streamed through its doors.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council was on hand this week to welcome the 1millionth visitor – 7 -year-old Sam Irving and his family from Dumfries. Said Councillor Matheson:’ The public response to the Riverside Museum has been phenomenal and the museum has coped brilliantly. The place has comprehensively beaten the visitor number projections and is now a ‘must see’ attraction in Glasgow and Scotland. I’m delighted for Sam that he is our 1millionth visitor and we look forward to many millions more in years to come.’
The Riverside Museum houses more than 3000 exhibits in over 150 interactive displays demonstrating the quality of ’Clyde Built’. From massive steam locomotives to recreation city streets of the 1900s, the cathedral-like structure provides a stunning backdrop to showcase the innovation and ambition of Glasgow which was ‘Second City of the Empire.’
Sam said it was ‘cool’ to be the VIP 1 millionth visitor. The family were on their second visit and Sam’s favourite display was the bikes: ‘Because I like to go out on my bike at home.’ His mum Susan, added: ‘It’s a fantastic place and great for kids with all the interactive displays. It’s also good for Sam’s dad who was a mechanic and acts just like a big kid himself when he’s here. It’s a great day out for all the family.’
The Museum has played host to big events such as a seafood festival and a spellbinding performance by Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill whose bike is one of the exhibits. Highlights at the Riverside include the Wall of Cars, the hanging Bicycle Velodrome, the South African Locomotive, No 9 Tank Engine, Motorbike Deck. For more information see: www.glasgowmuseums.com/riverside
Doors Open Day will soon be here. The festival which enables a multitude of organisations to open their premises to the public on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September now has its 2011 brochure being distributed. Find your free copy in libraries and other public spots. Highlights include storytelling at Partick Curling Clubhouse and Castlemilk Stables; a Children’s Passport Competition; Red Road Flats before they are demolished, 22 Heritage Trail walks by Land and Environmental Services; and dozens of other exciting talks, events and places to enjoy. See their website: www.glasgowdoorsopenday.com for up-to-date information.
An intrepid band of about 200 students continued their protest at Glasgow University cuts as the University’s Court met to decide on proposals on Wednesday 22 June 2011.
With drums and megaphone, the crowd made their concerns loud and clear outside the Senate room where the Court was meeting.
A range of speakers outlined the issues. Dr Jan Culik, Senior Lecturer in Czech Studies, who has been on the University staff since 1995, said: ’This University will become the laughing stock of the world if the broad based cultural education we provide is not continued. ‘ He said later: The School of Slovak Studies has been here 60 years and is unique in Scotland.’
Liam Kane, a lecturer in the Adult and Continuing Education department (DACE) said: ‘There is a contradiction between the consultation process commending the good work being done and the taking away of all teaching grants to make the department self sufficient within the next three years. We don’t know the details yet, but if we are really to become self-sufficient, this would appear to be privatisation by the backdoor’
Louisa McMinn, a mature student in the crowd commented: ”I’ve already experienced the cuts. We were limited to fortnightly oral classes – in large groups – in first year French. It is very hard to build oral language skills on that basis. She added: ‘ How can you expect people to accept austerity that’s dished out by people earning six figure salaries? There needs to be reform in university structures with academically elected bodies rather than overpaid management groups, making the decisions.’ At the aged of 55, Louisa has just graduated with an M.A. in French and Music following part-time studies. She said: ‘My children won’t be able to do what I’ve done, if the cuts go ahead.’
One of the privileges of being Lord Provost is that, as First Citizen, I have the opportunity of meeting and greeting people from all corners of the world on behalf of the people of Glasgow. And I have to say that the overwhelming reaction I receive is that they love Glasgow and its people. I also regularly meet and work on behalf of my constituents as one of their council representatives. The people of Glasgow are unique and, as a proud Glaswegian myself, I have witnessed our city change and reinvent itself from a place of heavy industry to a modern and thriving metropolitan centre. Indeed George Galster, Professor of Urban Affairs at Detroit’s Wayne State University, this month, comparing the fortunes of Detroit and Glasgow, praised local government, the social welfare system and regional planning arrangements for allowing our city to prosper. New Year is traditionally a time to gather friends and family together and reflect on the year that has passed. It will be a year to remember. We as proud hosts of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and have been working hard with our partners including the Scottish Government to ensure that this event leaves Glaswegians with a lasting, positive, legacy. We are consulting widely with them to achieve this. Despite the global economic downturn, we have committed ourselves to projects that will deliver a sensational Games: the M74 extension which will be completed in June next year and the development of the Athletes’ Village and the National Indoor Sports Arena. We’ve also just reclaimed the title of UK Curry Capital and are working hard to promote our city as a UNESCO City of Music and a City of Science.We also have a Royal Wedding to look forward to. The credit crunch is the bad news that all of us will remember this year. We are all having to spend less and make our money go further – including the Council. We, like you, want to make sure that businesses and jobs stay in Glasgow for the benefit of the people of the city and the wider economy. Let us hope that the New Year brings better news on the economic front. In the mean time, I wish you all a Happy New Year.