The History of Leith

December 11, 2007

First Minister’s Christmas card

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First Minister Alex Salmond today unveiled his official Christmas card, and sent his thanks to all who have worked with the Scottish Government to drive forward his vision for Scotland.

At a reception hosted at the First Minister’s official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh, he congratulated noted artist John Lowrie Morrison (JoLoMo) on his Christmas painting of Linlithgow Palace, specially commissioned for the card.

Linlithgow Palace was the birth place of Mary Queen of Scots and is situated in the First Minister’s hometown of Linlithgow in West Lothian. The picture also shows the adjacent 15th century parish church of St Michael.

The original painting, which has been donated by JoLoMo, will be auctioned at a gala concert in the new year by the charity, “Who Cares? Scotland”. The aim of the organisation is to speak out for young people in care, by providing advocacy services, information and support. Proceeds will help fund their continued work.

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First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“This has been a great year for the Scottish Government and for the people of Scotland. At this time of year I am pleased to have the chance to thank everyone who has helped us make such rapid progress. That is why I am sending out this card, not only as a mark of John Lowrie Morrison’s artistic success but also as a tribute to all those who have worked for Scotland’s success.

“I want everyone in Scotland to share our strength of ambition and to have equal opportunities to achieve their goals. The voluntary organisation “Who Cares? Scotland” takes us a step closer to giving everyone that chance, by working to improve the standard of life for young people in care. I am delighted to support their efforts by auctioning this Christmas painting of Linlithgow Palace reflected in the Loch, with proceeds helping to fund their work.

“Linlithgow Palace is a location that is steeped in Scottish history and dear to my heart. Mary Queen of Scots was born within its walls as Royal Palace of the Stuart dynasty. Whoever owns this painting will own a slice of Scotland’s past, as well as a contemporary vision of Linlithgow, and I hope that every card will echo with the pleasure this painting brings.”

Attendees at the Bute House reception included John Lowrie Morrison, Heather Gray, Director of Who Cares? Scotland, singer Anne Lorne Gilles, pupils from St Margaret’s Primary as well as pupils from Low Port Primary School and Anne Cook, acting head teacher of Low Port Primary School. The First Minister made a presentation to Anne Cook, who is retiring after 18 years service.

John Lowrie Morrison (JoLoMo) has painted the west coast of Scotland since the early 1960s. he paints the light in the West, particularly the light that bathes the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

The inside of the card carries an extract from the traditional Scottish song the Four Marys which is set in Linlithgow:

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Details of how to bid for the Christmas painting of Linlithgow Palace can be obtained by contacting “Who Cares? Scotland” on 0141 226 4441 or enquiries@whocaresscotland.org

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