Showing 69 results

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Person

Climie, Robert |1868-1929 |socialist, trade unionist and Labour MP

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  • Person
  • 1868-1929

Robert (Bob) Climie was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland on 4th January 1868. He was the son of Robert Climie (who is recorded as working as a coalminer, hammerman, bolt maker and a colliery fireman) and a bonnet knitter (Mary McGarvie). Educated at the local School Board, Robert served his apprenticeship at the Britannia Works continuing with them as a journeyman. Early in his career he became involved in trade union activity and joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP).

As part of his political activity he spoke at the ILP’s outdoor meetings against the Boer War and was first elected as a local ILP councillor in 1905, developing a particularl interest in public health and housing.

Nominated by Ayrshire Trades Council, Robert Climie was a member of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Parliamentary Committee from 1910 to 1918 and 1920 to 1923. He was the eighteenth STUC President in 1914 and was presented with a commemorative gong in honour of this position.

In the 1923 General Election Robert was returned as Labour MP for Kilmarnock, having unsuccessfully contested the seat in 1922. He was narrowly defeated in the 1924 General Election but won the seat back again in May 1929.

Robert was married to Jane [or Jeannie] McIldowie Meikle, also a Labour Party activist, and had a family of six sons and one daughter. He died on 3 October 1929 at the age of 61.

“…a small man of medium build, with dark hair and moustache, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. He was moderate in all things, always hard-working in the labour cause and a lifelong supporter of Ramsay MacDonald.” (Kilmarnock Standard, October 1929)

Biko, Stephen Bantu | 1946-1977 | anti-apartheid activist | Black Consciousness Movement

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  • Person
  • 1946-1977

Born in South Africa in 1946, Steve Biko co-founded the South African Students' Organization in 1968, subsequently spearheading the nation's Black Consciousness Movement, and co-founded the Black People's Convention in 1972. Biko was arrested many times for his anti-apartheid work and, on September 12, 1977, died from injuries that he'd sustained while in police custody.

Mandela, Winnie | b. 1936 | South African activist and politician

  • P0063
  • Person
  • b. 1936

Born Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela on September 26, 1936, in Bizana, a rural village in the Transkei district of South Africa, Winnie Mandela eventually moved to Johannesburg in 1953 to study at the Jan Hofmeyr School of Social Work. South Africa was under the system known as apartheid, where citizens of indigenous African descent were subjected to a harsh caste system in which European descendants enjoyed much higher levels of wealth, health and social freedom.

Winnie completed her studies and, though receiving a scholarship to study in America, decided instead to work as the first black medical social worker at Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. A dedicated professional, she came to learn via her field work of the deplorable state that many of her patients lived in.

In the mid-1950s, Winnie met attorney Nelson Mandela, who, at the time, was leader of the African National Congress, an organization with the goal of ending South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation. The two married in June 1958, despite concerns from Winnie's father over the couple's age difference and Mandela's steadfast political involvements. After the wedding, Winnie moved into Mandela's home in Soweto. She became legally known thereafter as Winnie Madikizela-Mandel.
Nelson Mandela was routinely arrested for his activities and targeted by the government during his early days of marriage. He was eventually sentenced in 1964 to life imprisonment, leaving Winnie Mandela to raise their two small daughters, Zenani and Zindzi, single-handedly. Nonetheless, Winnie vowed to continue working to end apartheid; she was involved surreptitiously with the ANC and sent her children to boarding school in Swaziland to offer them a more peaceful upbringing.

Monitored by the government, Winnie Mandela was arrested under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and spent more than a year in solitary confinement, where she was tortured. Upon her release, she continued her activism and was jailed several more times. Then after the Soweto 1976 uprisings where hundreds of students were killed, she was forced by the government to relocate to the border town of Brandfort in 1977 and placed under house arrest. She described the experience as alienating and heart-wrenching, yet she continued to speak out, as in a 1981 statement to the BBC on black South African economic might and its ability to overturn the system.

In 1985, after her home was firebombed, Winnie returned to Soweto and continued to agitate against the regime even during government media bans. Her actions continued to cement the title bestowed upon her, "Mother of the Nation." But Winnie also became known for endorsing deadly retaliation against black citizens who collaborated with the apartheid regime. Additionally, her group of bodyguards, the Mandela United Football Club, garnered a reputation for brutality. In 1989, a 14-year-old boy named Stompie Moeketsi was abducted by the club and later killed.

Through a complex mix of domestic political maneuvering and international outrage, Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990, after 27 years of imprisonment. The years of separation and tremendous social turmoil had irrevocably damaged the Mandela marriage, however, and the two separated in 1992. Before that, Winnie Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and assaulting Moeketsi; after an appeal, her six-year sentence was ultimately reduced to a fine.

Even with her conviction, Winnie Mandela was elected president of the ANC's Women's League. Then, in 1994, Nelson Mandela won the presidential election, becoming South Africa's first black president; Winnie was subsequently named deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology. However, due to affiliations and rhetoric seen as highly radical, she was ousted from her cabinet post by her husband in 1995. The couple divorced in 1996, having spent few years together out of almost four decades of marriage.

Winnie Mandela appeared before the nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997, and was found responsible for "gross violations of human rights" in connection to the killings and tortures implemented by her bodyguards. While ANC leaders kept their political distance, Winnie still retained a grassroots following. She was re-elected to Parliament in 1999, only to be convicted of economic fraud in 2003. She quickly resigned from her post, though her conviction was later overturned.

Winnie Mandela continues to be a controversial media figure. In a 2010 Evening Standard newspaper interview, she sharply criticized Archbishop Desmond Tutu and her ex-husband, disparaging Nelson Mandela's decision to accept the Nobel Peace Prize with former South African President F.W. de Klerk. Winnie later denied making the statements. In 2012, the British press published an email that Winnie Mandela had composed, in which she criticized the ANC for its general treatment of the Mandela clan.

After her husband, Nelson Mandela, was released from prison in 1990, Winnie Mandela shared in his political activities, despite her scandalous reputation. In 1993, Winnie became president of the African National Congress Women's League, and in 1994, she was elected to Parliament. She was re-elected to Parliament in 1999, but resigned in 2003, under a new financial scandal.

Tambo, Oliver | 1917-1993 | politician

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  • Person
  • 1917-1993

Tambo was President of the ANC. He visited Glasgow to greet marchers from the Glasgow City Chambers balcony during the march from Glasgow to London held as part of the Freedom at 70 campaign in 1988.

Edwards, Fred | 1931 - 2008 | social worker

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  • Person
  • 1931-2008

Fred Edwards was born on April 9th 1931, the only child of Reginald and Jessie Edwards. Raised in Norris Green Council Estate in Liverpool, he was educated at St Edwards College. After spending 10 years with the Royal and merchant navies, he became a probation officer in Liverpool in 1960. Taking unpaid leave in this time he gained a post graduate diploma in Social Studies at Glasgow University.
Edwards played a significant role in Scottish social work in the 1970s. In 1974 he was appointed Head of Social of Social work in Grampian, before moving to the same role in the Strathclyde region two years later. Viewing his department as a potential instrument in social justice, he was scathing on matters such a Strathclyde Children’s’ Homes, characterising them as ‘an industrial process.’
During the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike, Edwards authorised loans of £191,000 to unmarried miners. This was subsequently deemed to be illegal and Edwards was held personally accountable for the sum until the Government relented in the face of a public outcry.
In 1986, he was appointed visiting Professor of Social Policy at Glasgow University, and in 1992 was named a lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order. He retired in 1993, embarking on a ‘portfolio career’ by becoming a full time voluntary worker - focussing in the main on matters relating to the environment, social justice and religion. In 2002, along with his 2nd wife Mary, he established a water purification and female literacy project in Cambodia.
A devout Christian and active member of the Church of Scotland, he depicted his faith as one of ‘public orthodoxy, private heresy,’ noting that as he aged, his belief became more minimalist, yet more profound. After developing myeloma in 2005, he died three years later on October 18th 2008 at the age of 77.

Hobbs, Alexander | b 1937 | political activist

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  • Person
  • b. 1937

Alexander Hobbs, or Sandy as he is known, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1937. From 1954 to 1958 he studied psychology at the University of Aberdeen. Although not an actively political student he was a member of a small informal circle who saw socialism, humanism and science as intimately linked and around this time became a member of the Aberdeen Humanist Group.

After graduating in 1958 he continued at the University as a postgraduate although he never completed his PhD. As a postgraduate he became heavily involved in political and cultural activities, becoming the first secretary of Aberdeen Left Club. The Chair of the Club was Ken Alexander. Through his activity in the New Left, Sandy became friendly with a number of ex-communists, including Norman and Janey Buchan. In the run-up to the 1959 General Election Sandy worked nearly full-time for the South Aberdeen Labour candidate and joined the party, remaining a member for 12 years. He was also an “outside” member of the Fife Socialist League. Around this time the Labour Party founded the Young Socialists and Sandy’s political activities focused on this part of the Labour Party until he left Aberdeen in 1961.

In 1961 Sandy married a fellow student, Lois Kemp, a leading member of the student CND and daughter of Labour Party activist William Kemp. Through his association with the Young Socialists, Sandy came into contact with various Trotskyist groups who were working within the Labour Party at the time. As a result he became close to the Labour Worker group but was not a member. He joined the Dundee Left Club but became more active in the CND, especially in publicising Scottish CND. In CND he worked closely with the cartoonist Leo Baxendale, which led to his also scriptwriting for Leo's comic, Wham!"

In 1965 Sandy moved to Glasgow becoming more involved in the Labour Party, chairing his local branch and acting as Janey Buchan's campaign manager for a local government election. He was again involved in the election campaigns for the 1970 General Election after which time he resigned from the Labour Party, having become disillusioned by Harold Wilson’s government. At this time a number of single-issue campaigns were gaining in prominence and Sandy became involved with the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) and the Glasgow Committee Against Racism.

In 1968 Sandy started as a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Commerce where he chaired the Staff Association. In 1969 he moved to Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow, where he was involved in the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland (ALCES). A further move to Paisley College, Renfrewshire, Scotland, (now University of the West of Scotland) in 1975 resulted in his membership of the Association of Lecturers in Scottish Central Institutions (ALSCI).

Upon leaving the Labour Party, Sandy became attached to the International Socialists, who later became the Socialist Workers Party. He was never comfortable with the group and left a few years later in part because he found it much more congenial working on the less sectarian radical paper, Glasgow News. He also became involved with the Chilean
Committee for Human Rights supporting refugees from the regime of Pinochet. For a time, he re-joined the Labour Party again as a way of forwarding the work of this Committee.
From the mid-1970s onwards Sandy dropped out of active politics while his wife, Lois, continued to play an active part in the Women’s Movement and Glasgow Women’s Aid. Instead, he concentrated on research, writing and publishing as a lecturer within the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Paisley and qualifying as a Chartered Psychologist which he achieved in 1990. In 1997, he became a Reader at the University of Paisley (University of the West of Scotland) and in 2002 became an Honorary Research Fellow concentrating on child labour and contemporary legends. In 2011, in collaboration with Willie Thompson, Sandy published the book, Out of the Burning House, which contains accounts of their political activities in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Melvin, Dorothy Humphreys | 1881-1963 | OBE JP, Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

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  • Person
  • 1881-1963

Dorothy Humphreys Melvin was born in Glasgow in 1881. She trained at the Glasgow School of Cookery and was a member of its staff at the time of its amalgamation with The West End School of Cookery. On the 25th of July 1909 she tendered her resignation to take up a position at the National Society’s Training College, West Hampstead, London. She returned to Glasgow a year later and on the 25th of October 1910 took up the post of Superintendent and Office Secretary of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. This title was changed to Principal in April 1919.

Her job as Principal was mainly one of organisation. Initially there were about 6 subjects taught at the College, however by the end of Miss Melvin’s career this had increased to around 16 subjects.

Her role was central to the development and realisation of the new College premises at Park Drive, Glasgow, overseeing all areas of the planning, building and premises move.

Her work through two wars, showed not only that she was willing to support her country through the discipline of the College (especially in the areas of poor food supplies and economical cooking), but also that she managed to maintain the educational value of the College. She went on to offer training to the female casualties of the war years and the College trained many women for employment through difficult periods. She made the College an Institution that was aware of the needs of the community of Glasgow and the wider area of the West of Scotland.

Her educational and professional development again was exceptional. She was a member of the leading bodies in Domestic Science and she represented her subject with much public speaking and writing and was not afraid to fight for her beliefs. For her work in the College and for the general teaching of domestic subjects and the education of women in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, Dorothy Melvin was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Coronation honours list of 1937. She was also a Justice of the Peace.

The Melvin Prize for Children’s Teaching was started in Session 1944/45. It was a prize for the Diploma student with the best children’s teaching mark. Prior to this there was a Dorothy H Melvin Scholarship. This was established under the will of Miss May J F Tolmie and the terms stated a scholarship of £30 was to be given to a student selected by the Governors and Miss Melvin. This continued into Queen’s College when the scholarship was awarded to a graduate of the College for post-diploma study which was approved by the Principal and the Governors.

Dorothy Melvin retired in December 1946 but maintained links with the College, often attending on Diploma Days. She died on the 26th of December 1963, in her home at “Oakdene”, 15 Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields, Glasgow. Her death was reported in the Glasgow and Edinburgh press, in related journals of the day, and tribute was given to this great pioneer of women’s education and domestic science.

Black, Margaret | 1830-1903 | Founder and Principal of the West End School of Cookery, Glasgow

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  • Person
  • 1830-1903

Margaret MacKirdy was born in Rothesay, Isle of Bute, in 1830. Margaret was brought up in the Free Church and was actively involved in the School of Industry at Anderston, Glasgow, which had been established by elders of the St Matthews’ Free Church. It was whilst living at 150 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, in the early 1870s that Margaret married John Black, a shawl manufacturer. Their marriage was short-lived when he tragically drowned in the River Kelvin in 1874. The family had a strong friendship with Bailie William Collins, the Glasgow Publisher, also a member of the Free Church. He was on the sub-committee of the Glasgow School of Cookery responsible for finding a lady to be trained at the National Training School of Cookery. Margaret applied and was accepted for the post, teaching at the school from 1 June 1876 until 1878 when she left to open the West End School of Cookery. Margaret also wrote several books on cookery and household management which were published by Collins, including ”Household Cookery and Laundry Work”, “Superior Cookery” and “Hints to Young Housekeepers”. In September 1885, Margaret was created a Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland and in 1891 was elected on the the School Board of Glasgow as a temperance and free educationalist candidate. She was also secretary of the Womens’ Liberal Association, an office bearer of the National Temperance Association, and a Parish Councillor. Margaret died of pnuemonia on 1 March 1903 at her home at 2 Clifton Terrace, Glasgow.

Gibson, Isobel Scott | 1897-1993 |OBE JP, Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

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  • Person
  • 1897-1993

Isobel Scott Gibson was born in Glasgow in 1897, the daughter of George A Gibson, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. Her father was involved with the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science as a Governor from session 1911/12 until his resignation in December 1925. He was also involved with the Board at Park School in Glasgow, joining in May 1915 and rising to Chairman of the Board of this prestigious girl's school in August 1917. Isobel Gibson also went on to become a member of the Board at Park School and a Director of the School Company.

Isobel Gibson was educated at the Park School, Glasgow, and then studied for a teaching diploma at the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. In 1917 she left the College to work in the kitchens of the Erskine Hospital for limbless soldiers. She returned to the College 2 years later to complete her teacher training. In 1920 she took a one year course at the King's College of Household and Social Science in London. She returned to Glasgow in 1921 to teach at Park School. In 1927, at the age of 30 years, she entered the University of Glasgow to study for a BSc in Applied Science, specialising in chemistry and physiology.

After graduating in 1930, Isobel Gibson went to work in Edinburgh as a Superintendent of Domestic Subjects with the Education Authority. Promotion followed in 1937 to the general staff of the Scottish Education Department's Inspectorate and in 1944 she was again promoted to the rank of His Majesty's Inspectorate. In January 1947 she took up her new position of Principal at the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. In June 1951 she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work.

During her career she helped the College recover from the war and struggle through the period of scarcity and rationing. She encouraged the academic developments of the College and put much work into the establishment of a proper library at Park Drive. She also played an important role within the International Federation of Home Economics, being elected as its president in 1959. She was also a president of the Glasgow branch of the British Federation of University Women. She instigated the new student residences at Dorchester Avenue that were formally opened by the Queen in 1968. The residences were named Gibson Hall in recognition of her vital role.

After her retirement at the end of 1962, Isobel Gibson moved to Edinburgh to live. In May 1993, she died in a nursing home, aged 96 years.

Calder, Juliann MacKinnon |1914-2008 | Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

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  • Person
  • 1914-2008

Juliann MacKinnon Calder (also known as Sheila Calder to close friends), was born in Glasgow in 1914. She graduated in 1936 with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. She then attended Jordanhill College of Education where she was awarded a double qualification in primary and secondary teaching. Following qualification she taught in primary schools in Kinross and Glasgow.

In January 1940 she was appointed to the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science where she taught Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physiology and Hygiene. Drawing on her specialism in organic chemistry, she developed studies in textiles and synthetic materials. Whilst working full time she studied for a Master in Education, which she was awarded in 1948 from the University of Glasgow.

When Isobel Gibson, the Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science retired at the end of 1962, Juliann Calder was appointed her successor. Her strength of leadership guided the College through an important period of academic development. A new extension to the College to cater primarily for the sciences, was formally opened in September 1975. The new building was named the Calder Wing in honour of her work.

In 1975, under Juliann Calder’s administration, the College not only celebrated its centenary, but also received a royal accolade, changing its name to The Queen’s College, Glasgow. In that same year, Juliann Calder donated £200 to provide an annual prize in chemistry, which she asked to be named the Mary Andross prize in recognition of the contribution her former Head of Science had made to the College. Students were able to enrol on the first College degree course in Dietetics in September 1976 and one of her successors, Dr John Philips, said that “in many ways she brought the College forward 20 years academically.”

She was a Fellow of the Chemical Society; the Educational Institute of Scotland; and the Association of Home Economists. She was a past president of the Scottish Branch of the Association of Women Science Teachers and a member of several professional bodies, including the Society of Chemical Industry; the Catering and Institutional Management Association; the Association of Home Economists; and the Council of the National Committee for Education in Home Economics. She also served on several committees, notably being a member of the steering committee which set up organisation for the Scottish Certificate of Education Examination Board.

Juliann Calder retired as Principal on 31st August, 1976. She died in Glasgow on 28 December 2008 at the age of 94 years.

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