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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Parliamentary Motions 2019

Motion ref. S5M-19690 Submitted by: Clare Adamson, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish National Party. Date lodged: Friday, November 1, 2019

Billy Kay Recognised by the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York

Supported by: Tom Arthur, Annabelle Ewing, Kenneth Gibson, Jenny Gilruth, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Fulton MacGregor, Ruth Maguire, Gillian Martin, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Stewart Stevenson, David Torrance, Maureen Watt, Sandra White

That the Parliament congratulates the writer, broadcaster and Scots language expert, Billy Kay, on receiving a prestigious Scottish-American culture award; notes that the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York will present Billy with the Mark Twain Award at its 263rd anniversary banquet on 22 November 2019; understands that the award is given to individuals who help the Scottish community envision the future, identify paths to success and carry out such a vision; recognises that recipients of this award are seen as leaders in their respective fields and are recognised by their peers for their contribution to the relationship between Scotland and the United States, and wishes Billy well in all future endeavours.

Motion ref. S5M-19204: Emma Harper, South Scotland, Scottish National Party. Date lodged: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

First Scots Leid Awards

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Alasdair Allan, Tom Arthur, Bob Doris, John Finnie, Jenny Gilruth, Christine Grahame, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Joan McAlpine, Mark McDonald, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Shona Robison, Stewart Stevenson, David Torrance, Sandra White

That the Parliament welcomes the very first Scots Language awards, which were held on 27 September 2019 at the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow; notes that it was an exciting celebration of one of Scotland’s national languages, giving recognition and rewarding excellence in schools, communities and the arts; notes that there were 10 categories, including children’s book of the year, speaker of the year and performer of the year, as well as a lifetime achievement award; congratulates all who participated, the entrants and winners; recognises that the awards highlighted the language and brought it forward for the public and media to see in all its many forms; looks forward to many more events, and wishes anybody who writes and shares the Scots language well as they take the language forward.

The Member has provided the following translation in Scots:

That the Pairlament walcomes the verra first Scots Leid awards, which were helon 27th September 2019 at the Mitchell Theatre in Glesga; notes that it was an upsteerin celebration o ane o Scotland’s national leids, takkin tent o an rewardin excellence in schuils, communities and the airts; notes that there were 10 categories, includin bairns’ book o the year, speaker o the year and performer o the year, forby ae lifetime achievement award; congratulates all who took pairt, the entrants and the winners; recognises that the awards highlichted the leid and brocht it forrit intae the een o the public an media in aa its monie forms; luiks furrit tae monie mair sic events, and wishes aabody whae, scrieves and shares the Scots leid weel as they tak the leid forrit.

Motion ref. S5M-18960 Submitted by: Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, Scottish National Party. Date lodged: Thursday, September 19, 2019

UN Year of Indigenous Languages and European Day of Languages

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Alasdair Allan, Tom Arthur, Peter Chapman, John Finnie, Kenneth Gibson, Jenny Gilruth, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Fulton MacGregor, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, Edward Mountain, Gil Paterson, Gail Ross, Stewart Stevenson, David Torrance, Maureen Watt, Sandra White
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

That the Parliament recognises that 2019 is the UN Year of Indigenous Languages, and that the European Day of Languages will take place on 26 September; acknowledges the strong contribution that indigenous languages bring to Scotland’s rich and varied culture; notes that it is through language that we communicate with the world, define identity, express history and culture, learn, defend human rights and participate in all aspects of society; believes that, through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression; notes that language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation and sustainable development; praises the work of Bòrd na Gàidhlig for its efforts to promote, encourage and grow indigenous Gaelic language and culture through supporting local learning groups and events, as well as supporting the national Gaelic Language Plan and providing support for Gaelic-medium education; highlights the work of the Scots Language Centre in promoting and encouraging Scots and the regional dialects of the language throughout Scotland and, in doing so, raising the understanding of Scots, Doric and Lallans and how Scotland's language came to be; notes the work of the Scots Language Society in its efforts to promote and encourage the Scots leid, best known for its “Lallans” journal and annual “Sangschaw”, which is a competition of singing and writing in Scots equivalent to the Scottish Gaelic Mod or Welsh Eisteddfod; understands that the Council of Europe declared 26 September the annual Day of Languages after the success of the European Year of Languages in 2001, and is marked across all 47 member states of the Council of Europe; recognises that the aims of the European Day of Languages are to alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding, promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered, and encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, professional needs, purposes of mobility or pleasure and exchanges; considers that Scotland’s colourful, multicultural society is only enhanced by the languages that bridge its diverse communities together, from Polish, Indian, Chinese, Italian and many more to the languages of Scotland's culture in Scots and Gaelic; believes that, by celebrating the European Day of Languages, people are promoting the objectives of raising awareness of Europe’s rich linguistic diversity, the need to diversify the range of languages people learn and the need for people to develop some degree of proficiency in two languages or more to be able to play their full part in democratic citizenship in Europe, while fully understanding that language skills are a necessity and a right for everyone; notes the calls for people to celebrate both the 2019 UN Year of Indigenous Languages and the European Day of Languages across all communities in Scotland, and looks forward to celebrating Scotland’s indigenous languages and what it considers Scotland's diversity and acceptance of other cultures in the future.

Motion S5M-16439: Gordon MacDonald, Edinburgh Pentlands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2019

Paul Henderson Scott 

That the Parliament celebrates the life of Paul Henderson Scott and mourns his passing on 15 March 2019 at the age of 98; recognises what it sees as his extraordinary contribution to political and artistic life in Scotland as President and Convener of the Saltire Society, President of the Scottish Centre for International PEN, vice-president of the SNP and spokesperson for Culture and International Affairs, and as Rector of the University of Dundee ; considers that he was a leading voice in a number of successful campaigns in support of the cultural life of Scotland and Scots literature, including through the Scottish Claim of Right and the campaign for a Scottish Parliament; appreciates his many written works on politics, literature and history and the two volumes of his autobiography, A Twentieth Century Life; further appreciates his diplomatic work throughout the world and, in particular, recognises what it sees as his significant diplomatic contribution in averting the Cuban missile crisis, and extends its sincere sympathy to his family, his friends and all who celebrate his significant contribution to public life in 20th century Scotland.


Motion S5M-16031: Tom Mason, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/02/2019

University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute 

That the Parliament congratulates the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute on its achievement in producing a short documentary exploring the past, present and future of the Mither Tongue; understands that the film shares the experiences of the Doric poets, Jo Gilbert and Sheena Blackhall, and the everyday difficulties of Doric speakers who work in the language at both local and national level; recognises the hard work and collaboration of Professor Jennifer Smith of the University of Glasgow, University of Aberdeen Professor of Linguistics, Robert McColl Millar, and Simon Gall, a public engagement officer at the Elphinstone Institute, in narrating and offering their expertise to the project, and celebrates the continued recognition of Doric Scots as one of modern Scotland’s main languages, alongside English, Gaelic and British Sign Language.


Motion S5M-16000: Joan McAlpine, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/02/2019

Celebrating Hamish Henderson 

That the Parliament notes that 2019 marks the centenary of the birth of Hamish Henderson, who it considers was one of the most brilliant Scots of his age; acknowledges that he was a poet, scholar, songwriter, folklorist, a co-founder of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish studies and the catalyst of Scotland’s post-war folk revival; notes that Hamish was born to a single mother in Blairgowrie on 11 November 1919, and went on to win a scholarship to study modern languages at Cambridge; understands that he helped smuggle Jews to safety from Nazi Germany while a visiting student in the 1930s; praises his distinguished service as an intelligence officer in the Second World War, when he oversaw the drafting of the Italian surrender order of Marshal Graziani; notes that Hamish translated the prison diaries of Antonio Gramsci; praises his poetry collection, Elegies For The Dead in Cyrenaica, which received the Somerset Maugham Award; notes that, after the war, Hamish taught with the Workers Educational Association, founded the Edinburgh People's Festival and began collecting and recording folk songs and stories from across the country, including South Scotland, which form part of the 9,000 field recordings at the School of Scottish Studies, where Hamish taught from 1951 to 1987; understands that he brought bearers of Scotland’s oral tradition, including travelling people such as Belle Stewart and Jeannie Robertson, to international attention; considers that Hamish wrote many beloved folk songs, including Freedom Come All YeJohn MacLean March and The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell to Sicily; remembers Hamish as an internationalist who campaigned for Scottish home rule, an end to apartheid in South Africa and nuclear disarmament; notes that he died in 2002 and is survived by his widow, Kätzel, and his daughters, Janet and Christine; understands that events are planned to mark his centenary, including in November at the Hamish Matters Festival in Blairgowrie and the Carrying Stream Festival at Edinburgh Folk Club, as well as in publications such as The Darg, a new anthology in tribute to Hamish by The Poets Republic Press; anticipates more events commemorating Hamish’s legacy throughout 2019, and believes that these are a fitting tribute to what it considers a visionary talent whose contribution to Scottish culture remains immense.

Motion ref. S5M-15631 Submitted by: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party. Date lodged: Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ally Bally Bee

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Tom Arthur, Alexander Burnett, Angela Constance, Kenneth Gibson, Jenny Gilruth, Bill Kidd, Gordon Lindhurst, Richard Lyle, Gillian Martin, Stuart McMillan, Colin Smyth, Stewart Stevenson, David Torrance, Maureen Watt, Sandra White
Current status: Achieved cross-party support

That the Parliament welcomes the commissioning of a statue of the Galashiels weaver and sweetmaker, Robert Coltart, to be made by the Innerleithen-based sculptor, Angela Hunter, and placed in the town’s Market Square; notes that Coltart, who was predominantly a weaver, made Coulter’s Candy to supplement his income; further notes that he penned the song, Ally Bally Bee, in the mid-19th century to boost its sales, and sang it to attract customers as he visited Borders' fairs and markets; understands that, while the recipe for the sweets unfortunately died with Coltart in 1880, the song has continued to be popular as a nursery rhyme with children, receiving a boost when it was published in a newspaper in the 1950s; considers that such local rhymes and songs represent an important part of Scotland’s history and culture, and that many children sing these Scottish songs unaware of their pedigree, and believes that it is important that such folk memory, often using the Scots language, is recognised and preserved for future generations.

Motion S5M-15284: Jamie Halcro Johnston, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/01/2019

Andrew McCormack Awarded BEM 

That the Parliament congratulates the Speyside fiddler, Andy McCormack, on being awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List for services to music in the north east of Scotland; recognises Andy's dedication to traditional Scots music and his contribution to promoting fiddle music locally and further afield, and sends Andy its very best wishes for the future.