Wednesday 20 March 2013
More than 800 primary school children danced their trainers off today at Kelvin Hall Sports Arena. To the music of the John Renton Scottish Dance Band, they enjoyed a ceilidh at Flying Scotsman pace.
For the eighth year, the Festival of Dance has given them ‘skills for life’ said the Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, when she officially welcomed everyone. ‘Once you’ve learned these dances you’ll use them and enjoy them for the rest of your life.’
The collaboration between the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) and Glasgow City Council’s Education Department encourages the young folk to keep fit, keep healthy and socialise through dancing. It also allows a thread of Scottish culture to be woven, naturally, into their education.
Wheelchair dancing was demonstrated and schools, including Barmulloch Primary, successfully integrated children with special needs in the activity.
Since January, more than 26 schools have been practising The Dashing White Sergeant, Antarctica Bound, and the Round Reel of Eight among other dances. Teachers and other school staff alongside trainers from the RSCDS have been doing the coaching, often as after-school activities. Their efforts were praised by Andrea Crawford who is responsible for the City’s Primary School, Physical Education strategies. She said: ‘It is absolutely phenomenal the amount of work that’s gone into today.’ Alan Munro, Chairman of the Glasgow Branch of RSCDS, who was Master of Ceremonies, said: ‘It is really enjoyable seeing so many children having fun. We are really looking forward to having the continued support of Glasgow City Council for this dance Festival. ‘
As Moira Sweeney of Avenue End Primary in Ruchazie, said: ‘The children meet new people. It boosts their self-esteem and they just love to dance. It is a real privilege to be a part of this.’
Commented one 10-year-old: ‘This is hard work but it’s great fun.’
The countdown to Christmas has officially started in Glasgow as Olympic Bronze medallist, gymnast, Beth Tweddle, joined the Lord Provost to switch on the city’s Christmas lights.
Lucky Clyde 1 competition winners Liam (4) and Beth (8) Lindsay helped flick the switch that turned George Square into a sparkling, twinkling wonderland in front of 15,000 delighted spectators. The grand finale was a spectacular 10-minute firework display from the roof of the City Chambers beautifully captured in Ian Watson’s photographs.
The crowd was entertained by Clyde 1’s George Bowie and Suzie McGuire, an acrobatic display by some of the country’s up and coming gymnastic stars from the Glasgow School of Sport, Michelle McManus, Stephen Purdon, Dean Park and others from the cast of the Pavilion’s ‘The Wizard Of Never Woz’, together with the RSNO Choir. Glasgow 2014 mascot, Clyde, also kept the crowd moving with a special appearance supported by some funky dancers from Destination Dance.
The Lord Provost, Councillor Sadie Docherty, said: “What a wonderful night!. The crowd loved it and so did I. This was my first year switching on the lights and it was magical. This really was the perfect way to start the festive season.”
The switching on of the city’s Christmas Lights is part of the ‘Glasgow Loves Christmas’ campaign. It incorporates Glasgow’s unrivalled shopping and celebrated Style Mile as well as a programme of festive events throughout the city. Full details of the ‘Glasgow Loves Christmas’ programme are available from www.glasgowloveschristmas.com. And more wonderful photographs can be seen there too.
Families enjoyed an exciting Flame Celebration at Glasgow’s Tramway on Sunday as part of the nationwide Torch relay to mark the Paralympic Games which start in London on Wednesday 29 August 2012 till Sunday 9 September.
Glasgow’s two Ambassadors, Jodie Taylor and Maggie McEleny, collected the flame from the lighting ceremony in Edinburgh and brought it, safely, to Glasgow where it was officially welcomed by the Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty.
Visual artists helped waiting families at the Tramway and its Hidden Gardens, create torches and flower garlands to line the route of the torch procession. They also made a collage inspired by The Flame and The Games. Sporting events included boccia, basketball and other sports.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost said: ‘We have provided an amazing welcome for the flame. Sport and activity is for all. Now we will be cheering on our Team GB athletes.’
Locog chair Lord Coe said: ‘Created at the summit of Ben Nevis, the Scottish Flame represents an achievement of human endeavour, which is something that every Paralympian represents.’
Four scouts and climber Kevin Shields lit the flame on Ben Nevis. It was then placed in a lantern, brought down the mountain and taken to Edinburgh. It will continue around the UK – including visiting the home of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville – before being carried in a 24-hour relay into the opening ceremony.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: ‘The talents, dedication and hard work of Scotland’s torch bearers and Paralympians GB is, quite simply, inspirational. I’d especially like to send my best wishes to the 26 Scottish Paralympians. I know the whole country will be cheering them on throughout the Games.’
Scottish sport minister Shona Robison added her welcome: ‘I have no doubt the Paralympics will encourage disabled people’s participation in sport and significantly transform disabled people’s lives, leading to a more inclusive society for everyone.’
Performances at the Tramway included the Limelight Band and Maggie Riley. Visitors also heard Joseph Delaney, the first disabled musician to graduate from a University music course in Scotland.
Indepen-dance brought all weathers to the Hidden Gardens with their beautiful performance of Forecast and Solar Bear’s Deaf Youth Theatre signing choir performed a brilliant rendition of Sunscreen.
by Alastair Brian
Sadie Docherty, is Glasgow’s new Lord Provost. A Labour Councillor in Linn ward since 2007, she is only the 4th woman to hold the post.
She said: ‘I am thrilled to be elected as Lord Provost. It’s a great honour – especially at a time when Glasgow is flourishing. In two years’ time, the city will host the Commonwealth Games. They represent a huge opportunity for Glasgow, especially in terms of the social and economic benefits and lasting legacy they will leave for the people of this city. This is the biggest event the city is ever likely to stage and I’m really looking forward to my role of showcasing Glasgow to the world.’
She also underlined her commitment to open debate and stressed she was looking forward to working with all her fellow councillors to tackle the welfare issues prevalent in Glasgow. ‘Let Glasgow Flourish,’ she said in closing, voicing the city’s motto. Her deputy is Gerry Leonard, Councillor in North East Ward since 1999.
Gordon Mathieson, representing Anderston/City, was re-elected Leader of the Council, a position he has held since 2010 when Stephen Purcell demitted office. Breaking with tradition, the opposition did not nominate a candidate for Lord Provost or Leader of the Council. SNP group leader Graeme Hendry said: ‘ We recognise the Labour majority, and as such their authority to appoint these posts.’
In response, Councillor Mathieson thanked the SNP for their position and promised that Labour would respect the mandate of the opposition and carry their majority fairly. He said: ‘Labour will deliver on every one of the promises in our manifesto.’
He also paid generous tribute to former opposition leader Allison Hunter, noting that in opposition: ‘she was never an enemy and was someone we all had great respect for.’ Councillor Archie Graham, who has represented Langside since 1995, was elected Deputy Leader.
The following Bailies were appointed: Labour Party – Philip Braat, Elizabeth Cameron, Aileen Colleran, Jonathan Findlay, Elaine McDougall, Hanif Raja, Mohammed Razaq, Anne Simpson, Sohan Singh, Allan Stewart, Fariha Thomas. SNP – Josephine Docherty, Martin Docherty, Iris Gibson, Phil Green, John McLaughlin. Green Party – Nina Baker. Liberal Democrats – Margot Clark.
Pastor John Harper drowned with 1500 others when the RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of 15 April 1912. He had founded the Baptist Church in the Plantation district of Glasgow where he ministered for 13 years. During that time, his wife Annie died and was buried in Craigton Cemetery where a monument was erected to her. John left Glasgow to lead a church in London. A renowned preacher, he was on his way with his six year old daughter Nana to the Moody Church in Chicago for a second visit as a guest speaker when the tragedy happened. The state-of-the-art ship was holed by an iceberg and sank within hours. Pastor John gave his life jacket to another man who was one of the few rescued from the icy waters. His name and his sacrifice were recorded on his wife’s headstone.
When the Plantation church was rebuilt many years later, it was named the Harper Memorial Baptist Church and was opened by Nana Harper. Quietly attending the memorial service in Craigton and laying their own flowers at the monument which tells the tragic story, were John Harper’s grand-daughter, Dr Mary Gurling, her sons Stephen and Paul and her nephew, Andrew Pont. Said Stephen: ‘We are standing on the shoulders of giants through this inspiring legacy.’
The memorial and re-dedication service was organised by the Harper Memorial Baptist Church as one of several events during their Titanic commemorative weekend, 100 years after the terrible disaster.
The service was conducted by preacher Craig Dyer who introduced Dr Erwin W. Lutzer who has been pastor for 32 years at the Moody Church in Chicago where John Harper was going. In his epilogue Dr Lutzer said: “When I became a Pastor there, you walked down the hall to the John Harper meeting room.” In his passionate witness he explained that there was compelling evidence that Jesus Christ rose from the death. “Jesus was the forerunner. But you can’t get into Heaven with your physical body. The spirit can be released through faith, alone, in Jesus Christ. John Harper believed that and was able to say as the ship sank – ‘I’m not going down; I’m going up (to Heaven)’ ”
Among the guests of honour were Bailie Iris Gibson who brought greetings from the Lord Provost and said the City had been pleased to refurbish the lettering on the memorial stone in Craigton. ‘Pastor John Harper’s story deserves to be better known,’ she said. Also speaking was Councillor Alistair Watson who told how he’d grown up in the district, played in the cemetery and knew John Harper’s story. ‘It is humbling to know of his remarkable self-sacrifice,’ said Councillor Watson. ‘He will feature in a booklet detailing the heritage trail through Craigton Cemetery. That is due to be printed soon and will tell the story to an even bigger audience.’ Also present were Councillor Stephen Dornan and Rebecca Lutzer, Dr Lutzer’s wife. MSP John Mason, who is an active member of the Baptist Church in Easterhouse, attended as a practising Christian and supportive church member and preferred to stand in the crowd.
Hymns and prayers were offered in thanks and tribute to John Harper and his sacrifice.
In the crowd were two particularly dedicated students of the Titanic. Andrew Learmonth, dressed in respectful white shirt and black tie, said he has been ‘obsessed’ by the disaster and all the attendant details since childhood. ‘My flat in Glasgow is like a Titanic Museum,’ he admitted. He is a member of the Titanic Historic Society, the British Titanic Society and the Ulster Historic Society – the ship was built in Belfast where a new museum has been opened to promote the fact. He recently visited Southampton to see the vessel which left to make the commemorative voyage of the fated Titanic.
Giving out sheets telling the story of John Harper and showing a dramatic image drawn at the time, was Brian Brodie, a fire officer at Govan fire station. He pointed out that the Titanic was correctly referred to as RMS Titanic. ‘That stands for Royal Mail Ship, Titanic,’ explained the former marine engineer. ‘It shouldn’t be SS – sailing ship – Titanic as engraved on the memorial stone.’ Enthusiastically, he walks visitors through Craigton Cemetery to tell them John Harper’s story, show them the monument and visit other interesting grave stones with their own fascinating stories.
The Harper Memorial Church’s programme continues through Sunday 15 April 2012 with a morning service conducted by Jim Wylie, soloist Gillian Strang and guest speaker Dr Lutzer of Moody Church, Chicago. In the evening, Walter Whitelaw offers the welcome for the celebration with Dr Lutzer preaching and the Govan Salvation Army Band playing.
On Friday 13 April, the Glasgow congregation held a holiday club for schoolchildren and a rock concert in the evening for young people. Both events were well attended and have strengthened the Church’s outreach, especially in the local communities around Kinning Park and Plantation off Paisley Road West.
One of the last duties of any Lord Provost is to present their own awards and the city’s Loving Cup at a grand civic dinner. Bob Winter who has been Lord Provost for the past five years took great delight in hosting the chosen individuals who have brought honour to the city in many categories.
It is precisely that positive outlook that gives new energy to Glasgow and to its citizens. The place needs people who are DOING good things – often unknown outside their own circle of expertise or interest.
So it will be interesting to see what new energy the councillors who succeed in being elected in May, bring to the job and to the Council Chambers. They are, after all, the elected representatives who steer the Dear Green Place through good times and bad.
Let’s hope that the LOVING CUP is one they can all drink from together.
Revellers hoping to attend Glasgow’s open-air Hogmanay ceilidh in George Square will be able to snap up the last remaining tickets on the day – Friday 31 December.
Around 5,000 people are expected to pack into the Square for the spectacular show in association with Diageo. This year’s event will be a traditional affair with party-goers dancing through the bells to some of the best known ceilidh bands around.
Tickets priced at £19 for adults, £9 for children with a family ticket of 2 adults and 2 children costing £50 are available at www.glasgowloveschristmas.com or can be booked in person at the Ticketsoup box office at the SECC or by phoning 0141 564 4220.
They can also be purchases from midday on the 31st December at the box office at the Premier Inn Hotel, 187 George Street, Glasgow.
Headline acts include Capercaillie, Skerryvore, Salsa Celtica, The Black Rose Ceilidh band and the Williamwood Pipe Band. The spectacular “midnight moment” will see thousands of fireworks set off from the roof of the City Chambers.
As well as the ceilidh music and dancing, revellers at this year’s event will also be able to take part in a number of family-friendly activities. Organisers Glasgow Life, have teamed up with the Royal Caledonian Curling Club to give party goers the chance to try out one of Scotland’s national sports on the ice in George Square. There will also be a kids zone with Scottish themed arts and crafts, face painting, storytelling and games consoles and gadgets for teenagers.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost Bob Winter said: ‘Our Hogmanay celebrations in George Square are always one of the hottest tickets in town. It promises to be a sensational way to welcome in the New Year.’
Entry to George Square will be from 7.00pm on Friday 31 December.
It’s that time of year again. Glasgow City Chambers Lord Provost Bob Winter personally welcomed baby Lucy Lambert in to his office in anticipation of her first Christmas and the up and coming Babies First Christmas event ran by the council.
The event has ran since 2005 and has proved a delight for parents and babys alike. On Saturday December 4, the Lord Provost will personally welcome 250 new born babies into the City Chambers banqueting hall. There they will register for the Babies First Christmas event and receive from the Lord Provost a certificate and a silver coloured Christmas tree trinket.
All in all 1000 newborn babies will register for their first Christmas. Those babies not invited will be asked to register at the St Enoch Centre- the shopping centre are the proud sponsor of this heart stirring event.
The Lord Provost was delighted to meet little Lucy Lambert and mum Laura on Wednesday 27 October, in anticipation of the big day. Said Lord Provost: A particular highlight for new mums and dads is the celebrations of the baby’s first Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of year for us all and I’m delighted to be able to offer this exclusive event for all families introducing their baby to their first Christmas.’
Is your baby about to have it’s first wonderful Christmas? Call 0141 287 5064 to register or visit www.glasgow.gov.uk/parks
by Lynsay Keough photos Stuart Maxwell
As the Commonwealth Games flag was passed over this week to Glasgow’s Lord Provost Bob Winter, in Delhi – making Glasgow the official host city for the Games in 2014 – it sparked wild celebrations in Glasgow.
The countdown to the opening ceremony at Celtic Park in July 2014 has begun! The closing ceremony in Delhi heralded the end of the 2010 games and Glasgow came to life as it looked towards 2014.
In a display of dance in George Square, the pupils of Blackfriars and Oakgrove Primary Schools were among those who gave a stunning performance at lunchtime to kick off the festivities.
The closing ceremony in India was beamed live to the Fruitmarket, where Councillor Archie Graham, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, summed up the excited anticipation in front of 700 local people. ‘It hardly seems like three years since we were awarded the Games. This is an invitation for the world to visit us, our world class facilities will be showcased to a global audience. We look forward to our time in the spotlight.’
In Glasgow, Robbie Rennick was on hand with his 200m freestyle swimming gold medal at the lighting of a ceremonial lamp – a Hindu symbol for a new beginning.
Scottish Clan Wallace drummers with Kay Affleck gave a vibrant performance as the fusion of Scottish and Indian music heralded the dawn of the run-up to the Glasgow Games.
A showbiz styled centenary Oscars at Govan High School had it all – posh frocks and dinner suits, VIPs, excitement, red carpet and music all the way. Guest speakers were none other than First Minister Alex Salmond and songwriter Bill Martin who coached students to devise a new school song. Written by Tiree McDonald, Jennifer Baird, Jamie Lee Mckenzie and Shannon Foley, it was sung with gusto, by the Govan High Vocal Group. The theme echoed the school motto: ‘nothing without work’ and says: ‘we believe in working hard.’
In the school’s 100th year, ‘Headie’ Iain White was ushered in to the tune ‘I did it my way’ which was reflected in his comprehensive report. He said it had been a great year with centenary highlights including former pupil Sir Alex Ferguson coming to give a motivational talk to the school; a civic dinner hosted by the Lord Provost in Glasgow City Chambers; the Enterprise through Music first commercial CD being parachuted into the sports ground; double the anticipated number of 1949-1950 pupils turning up for a reunio; a ‘fantastic’ sports day now firmly re-established on the school calendar; Bill Martin, a former pupil who is renowned in the music world for songwriting which has won him three Ivor Novello awards, helping devise the new school song; a former pupils’ night held last month attracting 270 people and a major finale event scheduled for December.
A full account of the night will be put onto the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW website asap.
Head Teacher Iain White pictured with guest speaker, Alex Salmond, First Minister and school Dux and Dysart Trophy and Whitelaw Prize recipient: Leigh Probert.