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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Parliamentary Motions 2019

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 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.