Following the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 94th Birthday in July, Alex Salmond MSP is urging the people of Scotland to spend 67 minutes volunteering within their communities, to commemorate the 67 years that Nelson Mandela devoted to South Africa’s political struggle.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP will today (Sunday 02 September) spend 67 minutes acting as a guide for his hometown of Strichen, showing local young people around one of his favourite spots: Strichen Community Park. Local Brownies, Boys Brigade and Army Cadets will be in attendance.
Mr Salmond played an instrumental role in developing the area around Strichen Lake, helping to secure funding for a new lottery funded café and visitor centre which opened to the public last year.
Commenting on his pledge, Alex Salmond said:
“Nelson Mandela is today perhaps the most respected elder statesman in the world, having fought against Apartheid, dedicating himself to civil rights for 67 years of public life.
“On his 94th birthday, I invited Scots to commemorate his service by doing something to make the world a better place, starting with our own communities. I pledged to spend an afternoon working as a guide at Strichen Community Park, and I look forward to welcoming the local young people to this event.
“It is important that young people are engaged, from a young age, in shaping our communities and are inspired to take pride in their local surroundings.
“The Strichen Community Park is a project of which the whole of Strichen can be proud. It is an example of a true community project that could not have been possible without the hard work, commitment and dedication of those who gave up their time, and volunteered in this community, to make the concept a reality.”
Hebbie Fowlie, Director of Strichen Community Park Company, added:
“I think that this idea of doing something for the community, symbolises the man we have in Alex.
“We as the committee, and the volunteers of Strichen Community Park, are indebted to the help Alex has given us over the years, from the time the park was began to what it is now – an oasis in the village of Strichen.
“The Park is attracting many people from all over to use the facility, which is always maintained to a fantastic standard by the talented volunteers. The new restaurant and coffee shop , where Joanna and her great staff serve up fresh quality food with a difference, is also a hit in the community and a magnet to those from further afield.
“This tour will give people an insight into the Community Park that has been created by the people of Strichen, for the people of Strichen and beyond.”
Video message about Mandela Day, to the people of Scotland, from Archbishop Desmond Tutu