MSP highlights Scots-Jamaican links on centenary

Friday, 21 November 2014

Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, has lodged a motion in Parliament to celebrate the centenary of Shettleston native Reverend William McGhie.

Born on November 23rd 1914, Reverend McGhie made an enthusiastic contribution to the establishment of an independent Jamaica and played a part in the design of its famous “Black, Green and Gold” Saltire flag. William, who served in the First World War as an army chaplain, moved to Jamaica with his wife Ailsa McGhie and
four children in 1957. He grew to have a great affection for his new home and made many positive contributions to the young country’s development, including the foundation of the co-educational Meadowbank High School in Kingston. Meadowbank High now bears the badge and motto of Reverend William and Ailsa’s own school, Shettleston’s Eastbank Academy.

Flag Up Scotland Jamaica is an organisation dedicated to enhancing business, social and cultural links between the two countries. It has used the opportunity of Reverend McGhie’s anniversary to emphasize an international relationship which dates back to the 17th century.

David Pott, founder and project leader of Flag Up, said: “Reverend William McGhie has been a major inspiration to me in setting up Flag Up Scotland Jamaica. It was Jamaicans who determined the colours of their flag and then McGhie contributed the saltire which made it such a distinctive flag. McGhie again partnered with Jamaicans to establish Meadowbrook High School which from small beginnings has become a large and flourishing school. These are great examples of fruitful partnership and we are hoping for many more examples through Flag Up in the years to come.” Commenting, John Mason MSP said: “I am pleased to have this opportunity to celebrate the life of Reverend McGhie and the positive contribution he has made to modern Jamaica. His story is an inspiring one of a man from Shettleston who travelled far and sought to make life better for those around him.

“Reverend McGhie’s enduring legacy is of friendship and cooperation regardless of where a person was born. I welcome the efforts of Flag Up Scotland Jamaica to build upon the historic ties between our two countries and I believe that Reverend McGhie would as well.”


The Motion:

Motion Number: S4M-11652

Date Lodged: 21/11/2014

Title: The Centenary of William McGhie

Motion Text: That the Parliament notes the centenary of the birth of the Reverend William McGhie from Shettleston in Glasgow, who was born on 23 November 1914; celebrates what it considers the Reverend McGhie’s enthusiastic contribution to the establishment of an independent Jamaica, including his unique role in introducing the Saltire in the design of Jamaica’s iconic flag, and welcomes the efforts of Flag Up Scotland Jamaica to raise awareness of the historic links between the two nations and to develop what it believes is the positive relationship between the nations.

1 Comment

  1. is a really good project, and I send it every good wish. May it succeed, to the mutual benefit of people in both Scotland and Jamaica!


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