Life has been busy since my last blog. My first official engagement was to attend the wreath-laying ceremony at the Knightswood War Memorial during D-Day celebrations. The Lord Provost, the Deacon Convener from Trades House, and the Provincial Grand Master from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, also laid wreaths. There were many serving and ex-servicemen present, including two soldiers who had taken part in the D-Day landings.

The Vice Dean and I have had several zoom meetings with our Chief Executive and other directors to discuss the progress of the new Committee, Employment and Remuneration, and I attended the inaugural meeting of the Grant Giving Review Committee, chaired by Immediate Past Dean, Alasdair Ronald.

We have also attended meetings to discuss the refurbishment of the House and the day to day administration.

My thanks to director Frances McMenamin for hosting our informal meeting with two of the new Trustees, Tony McElroy and Kim Schmulian.

The first in a series of Trustee/Director training days take place on 30th July.

The Merchants House are currently in contact with the representatives of Govan Help, https://www.facebook.com/GovanHELP and hopefully, we will be able to support this worthwhile charity which offers early intervention for families.

I attended two Zoom Trades House Business Lectures, both with excellent speakers, a meeting of the Rotary Club of Glasgow and my first Glasgow City Council meeting where I was warmly welcomed by the Lord Provost.

Together with directors, Mariella MacLeod and Campbell Armour, Chair and Vice-Chair of Membership and Marketing, I took part in a short interview promoting the Merchants House and the benefits of membership.

Immediate Past Dean, Alasdair Ronald, continues to progress the educational boards detailing the House’s historical links with the slave trade. Our acknowledgment of our historical links with the slave trade resulted in the committee room being named for James McCune-Smith who was the first African American to hold a medical degree and graduated at the top in his class at the University of Glasgow. After his return to the United States, he became the first African American to run a pharmacy in the nation. The Merchants House also sponsors the annual James McCune-Smith Lecture at Glasgow University.

Our House Golf Competition takes place on the 9th September at East Renfrewshire Golf Course and bookings are already being taken on our website or by contacting the office. www.merchantshouse.org.uk T: 0141 221 8272 E: [email protected]

Our autumn Drinks Before Dinner will be held via Zoom on the 21st September and our speaker will be Sir Kenneth Calman who was Scotland’s first professor of oncology and is the only person ever to have been appointed Chief Medical Officer of both Scotland and England. Our website will open for bookings in a few weeks' time, for what promises to be an interesting presentation.

Until next time, keep safe and well and I wish you and your families a good summer.