Within the hour of Nelson Mandela’s death being made known, Glasgow’s Lord Provost Sadie Docherty paid tribute to South Africa’s father of democracy.
She said: “The world has lost a true political and moral icon. Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to bringing freedom, justice and equality to the people of South Africa.
“His beliefs cost him years of his own freedom but his vision for peace and democracy prevailed. His legacy will live on and inspire generations to come.
“Glasgow was proud to be the first city in the world to honour him with a Freedom of the City award and he will be sadly missed by a city which had the greatest of respect for him.”
A book of condolence, with the Lord Provost as the first to sign, will be available in the city chambers foyer, situated beneath a plaque commemorating the 30th anniversary of Glasgow awarding Mandela the Freedom of the City. It was unveiled in 2011 by Denis Goldberg, a fellow defendant at the now infamous Rivonia trial.
The plaque is engraved with words Mandela spoke from the dock during that trial on 20 April 1964. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
The City Chambers flag will fly at half mast in respect of Mandela’s passing and will remain at half mast until his funeral.
The three people aboard the crashed Police helicopter have now been formally identifed. They were Constable Tony Collins, 43, Constable Kirsty Nelis, 36, and pilot Captain Dave Traill, 51. As Air Support Unit crew, they died when their helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow on Friday night.
Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said: ‘Kirsty and Tony were members of Police Scotland’s Operational Support Division. Captain Dave Traill worked for Bond Air Services and was very much part of the Police Scotland team. I would like to pay tribute to all three and recognise the important contribution they made to our public service and to the communities they have served.’
The Chief Constable added: ‘Since the tragic incident on Friday night it has been an extremely difficult time for all those affected. Our thoughts and condolences remain with the families and friends of the people who have died.
‘I would like to repeat my thanks to all the emergency services and partners who continue to work at the scene in what is a complex and difficult operation. I would also like to thank the many people who have expressed their sympathies and support for us. Everyone has taken great comfort from these words at such a difficult time.’
He explained that the priority of the continuing recovery operation is to expedite the identification of victims and inform families as quickly as possible. The formal identification process has to be followed in every case and involves very close liaison with the next of kin.
First, a doctor has to make a formal pronouncement of death. Then the deceased must be identified through personal effects, followed by advising the victim’s family. Finally confirmation of the identification of the victim must be obtained more widely. Sir Stephen said: ‘ To depart from this recognised process runs the risk of misidentification of the victims and additional distress to families.’
Even the traffic seemed quieter as a crowd marked a respectful silence at Bridgeton Cross today.
Around 200 people gathered to watch colours being marched to the Cross where memorials to three local Victoria Cross recipients are embedded in the pavement.
A brief service of remembrance was led by Rev Howard Hudson of St Francis in the East and Monsignor Paul Conroy of Sacred Heart Church. Then poppy wreaths were laid by representatives of The Royal Highland Fusiliers Veterans’ Association, the Highland Light Infantry Veterans’ Association, the Glasgow Highlanders, the Cameronians and local councillors. Bugler John Kewley signalled the Last Post and Reveille the crowd sang a hymn before proceedings were brought to a close by William Penrice with a vote of thanks.
He, along with local residents Henry Fordyce and Jim Thomson campaigned to have a permanent memorial created to pay tribute to the three VCs. ‘The first time we did this was in 2010 and it has grown since then,’ said William Penrice whose daughter Jade also assists the group. ‘We now have schoolchildren from Sacred Heart and Dalmarnock Primary Schools, attending. That’s a good thing for they are learning about the wars the men we are remembering, fought and died in.’
While it is a far cry from the time when 1000 men of the 1/7th (Blythswood) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry marched off from their Battalion Headquarters in nearby Main Street – 400 of them to their death in Gallipoli, France and Flanders in World War One – it is still an emotional moment for those today who remember and pay their respects to all those lost in that conflict and others since then.
Clyde Gateway, which supported the original campaign for permanent memorials for the VC holders, was represented by its Chief Executive Ian Manson and Senior Manager Jim Clark.
Veterans of conflicts today are being looked after by the Shettleston Old Parish Church Veterans’ Club which meets on a Wednesday from 10am till 2pm in the church building at 85 Killin Street, G32 9AH. ‘This Coming Home Centre provides a relaxed and warm place to meet friends, find advice on employment, housing and health matters and have some soup and sandwiches,’ said Tommy Addison, one of the organisers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE Victoria Cross holders see www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk ‘Lest we Forget’ November 11, 2010
Govan has a new Labour Councillor.
John Andrew Kane was elected to Ward 5 of Glasgow City Council having won 2055 votes on the first preference. But it took to count 13 in the transferable vote system to finalise his position by reaching the quota of 2369 votes.
A total of 4736 valid votes were cast and 120 papers were rejected. Only 20.06% of voters cast their vote.
Said a jubilant Councillor Kane: ‘This is the first time in four years that SNP has not won a Govan by-election. It is a good warning of what’s to come in the Referendum.’ His other message of the night was that as a carer for the past 16 years, he has shown he can also have a career. ‘This will mean a big change in my life. I hope it shows the way for others.’
SNP candidate Helen Walker and her team didn’t wait to offer the usual courtesy congratulations to their rival. Helen was second on first preference with 1424 votes. It was the death of SNP Councillor and former SNP Group Leader Allison Hunter which brought about the by-election. Earlier in the evening, Helen said: ‘People in the Ward were incredibly supportive. This was a fight we didn’t want.’ Current SNP Group Leader Councillor Graeme Hendry said: ‘We’re very proud of Helen. She’s worked tirelessly.’
Third was former local Labour Councillor John Flanagan – who stood on the ‘No Bedroom Tax: No Welfare Cuts’ platform. He said: ‘We are now forming a party with a strong emphasis on moral and social issues such as the welfare cuts, the bedroom tax and anti ATOS, the Commonwealth Games sponsor. We’re looking for members. The ordinary working class people of Govan have been ignored for too long.’
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party candidate, Richard Sullivan was, effectively fourth. He said: ‘We targeted Dumbreck, Craigton and Shieldhall and our first preference votes showed that tactic was upheld. What did surprise us was the number of Green Party voters who put us as their second preference. That was unexpected and shows our party is even broader based than we thought.’
Other candidates from the slate of 14, were: Charles Baillie, Britannica; Ryan Boyle, Communist Party of Britain; John Cormack, Scottish Christian Party – ‘Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship’; Moira Crawford, Scottish Green Party; Joyce Drummond, Solidarity; Ewan Hoyle, Scottish Liberal Democrats; George Laird, Independent; Janice MacKay, UKIP; Thomas Rannachan, Independent; James Trolland, Scottish Democratic Alliance;
The other Councillors in Govan Ward 5 are: Councillor James Adams and Bailie Fariha Thomas – both Scottish Labour Party and Councillor Stephen Dornan – Glasgow First.
According to Glasgow City Council’s Labour Party Leader, Councillor Gordon Matheson: ‘Govan has had tens of millions of pounds of regeneration money invested into it.’
The Govan by-election is underway. Each candidate has been invited by this website to send a brief statement saying what they’d do first, if elected. One of them has to be the new councillor to replace the much respected Allison Hunter who had been a local Councillor on Glasgow City Council before her death in July.
Apart from Facebook entries and a pretty modern video presentation for one candidate, there is nothing much on-line.
Hustings of the old fashioned kind don’t seem to work today. On-line is where the action is supposed to be. Just let us know at www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk if you actually come face to face with any of the 14 wannabe Councillors for Govan Ward 5. We’re looking for them all to give each a chance to speak out.
Canvassing takes time. But it takes a bit of effort to beat one seasoned campaigner who was found delivering his own campaign leaflets on a Saturday morning – dressed in his best suit, collar and tie. He went on to be a Lord Provost – and a good one too. Times have changed. Now candidates are all but invisible even via social media.
Sometimes the old techniques are the best. Big marches of protesters with banners flying and rehearsed chants get an issue noticed. A good parade will even attract media attention and be seen for a few seconds on tv screeens at prime time.
That’s what the people deploring the ‘bedroom tax’ are aiming to do when they stage their march on Saturday 14 September. By long term combatants such as the STUC being involved and less demonstrative groups like the Forum of Housing Associations taking this action, it gives it a serious resonance.
Newly fleged protesters such as the ‘Say NO to the Bedroom Tax’ are clearly one-issue campaigns. But often they are led by well-practised campaigners.
By this wide variety of people banding together to make their voices heard, maybe their arguments will be given some attention.
But whether that will be enough to change the tax which is biting deep into people’s lives, has still to be seen.
Given that Citizens Advice Bureaux have been swamped with people in distress over the issue and how it affects their lives, their homes and their wellbeing; there is certainly need for more to be done to turn around this insidious robbing of the poor.
No one seems to have considered that even to move house – should a smaller one be available – costs money that people on benefit simply don’t have. But there is also the major trauma that goes with moving house.
Along with death and divorce, moving home is one of the top life traumas facing folk. To be forced to move house smacks of evil historic attempts to ’round up’ people into particular groups and move them out of the way.
This is supposed to save the Westminster Government money. Someone who can count not only in pounds and pence but in emotional costs, should be speaking out.
Following the death of John McGinnity, (61) in Shawholm Crescent, Pollokshaws on Thursday 9 December 2010, Strathclyde Police report that a 35 year old man has been arrested and is detained in police custody in connection with the death.
A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and a court appearance is likely before the end of the year.
A man has died and two other adults were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a fifth-floor maisonette flat in the Gorbals.
More than 40 people were rescued or escorted from their homes at 83 Waddell Court after fire crews were called to the block at around 3am on Wednesday morning.
Firefighters had to force their way into the property where the 61-year-old was found.
At the height of the blaze, 20 fire appliances were at the scene and 20 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were in action inside the building.
The fire was brought under control at around 7am and the eastbound lane of nearby Ballater Street was closed until mid-morning.
Tenants who were moved from their homes were fed and accommodated at Gorbals Leisure Centre.
Area Commander Garry Milne, one of the officers in charge during the incident, said: ‘In my 20-plus years in the fire service I have never seen such a fierce fire in a property such as this.’
On Wednesday afternoon, Strathclyde Police, Fire & Rescue and council officials were planning contingency measures for the tenants at Waddell Court.
Glasgow Housing Association said the entire building, 77 flats, had been evacuated. The landlord hopes to have returned as many tenants to their homes as possible by Wednesday evening. Others will be moved to hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation or housed temporarily in furnished flats.
GHA’s Acting Director of Housing and Customer Services, Alex McGuire, said: ‘We are doing everything possible to help the families who are affected by the fire.
‘Investigations by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and Strathclyde Police are continuing. Some of the homes have suffered fire and smoke damage and others have been affected by water damage.
‘Until inquiries are complete and properties are habitable a number of tenants will be unable to return to their homes.
‘We will put these families up in alternative accommodation and do everything we can to ensure their comfort and well-being.
‘GHA and other agencies are co-operating fully with the investigation.’