Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Great Scots!

There's a lot of catching up to do!

Friends of Chitambo Trustee, Richard Vallis, was selected to receive the Great Scot Award on behalf of Lung Ha Theatre Company, which he founded: http://lungha.com/

Lung Ha is a leading Scottish Theatre Company for people with learning disabilities.  This prestigious event took place on 29th October, at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Glasgow: http://www.7daysscotland.co.uk/sites/events/a_great_scot/

L to R: Richard Vallis; Paul Vallis (Lung Ha volunteer); Stephan Tait (Actor, seated); Dan Wallace (Silver Medalist for swimming, Rio Olympics, 2016)

Nice that the event also honoured leading individuals from Scotland's ethnic minority groups, including  murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Sha, and Kalhid Ghelan who raised over £300,000 for judo stat Stephanie Inglis's treatment, following a motor bike accident in Vietnam,  Both these awardees received standing ovations and Kalhid Ghelan was the overall winner of the Great Scot Award.

Richard is a truly Great Scot: in his own right and recently also won Archery Scotland's Coach of the year Award for his contributions to Disability Archery: http://scottisharchery.org.uk/news/scottish-archery-awards-agm

The Great Scot event also doubled as a golden opportunity to meet up with Ron Swanson, another Great Scot with a Chitambo connection.

L to R: Jo Vallis; Ron Swanson; Richard Vallis at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Glasgow

Read Ron's explanation below:

"After 56 years, it was wonderful to meet up with Dr Jo and Richard Vallis.
Jo’s family - the Currie’s and the Swanson family were brought up together, in the early 1960’s, in the Chitambo Hospital Mission Station, in what was Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.
Chitambo has major historical links with Scotland, as it is where the famous missionary/explorer David Livingstone died – the hospital is known as Livingstone’s hospital.
Jo Vallis is the founder and chair of the charity “Friends of Chitambo” supporting the wonderful work of the hospital, serving a community of 100,000 people – just slightly smaller than Ayrshire.
As a family, we are planning a very special nostalgic visit to Chitambo in 2017 to experience at first hand the lasting legacy of the late Ron & Mary Swanson who in 1960 left the comfort of Glasgow, with their three very young children, to serve as Church of Scotland missionaries; with our father being responsible for the building and construction of many of the hospital buildings, including a maternity wing, nurses hostel, the Doctor’s and two Nursing Sisters houses – the good news, nearly 60 years later, the buildings are still standing and being fully utilised to support the needs of the community.
The old photos include a very young Ron & Mary Swanson, with their three bare footed children – Elizabeth (7), Ronald (3) & baby Andrew (6 months).
We have so much to be thankful for ……..."

Ron's Dad, also Ron Swanson, was a missionary builder at Chitambo and built the 'old' student nurse hostel, which is still in use today:

'Old' student nurse hostel, built by Ron Swanson Snr.

Here are some photo of the your Ron at Chitambo:

Nowadays, Ron Chairs the vibrant Ayrshire-based charity Centrestage: http://www.centrestagemusictheatre.co.uk/

Their Facebook page is an inspiration to us on getting our message 'out there' and we are working on developing our own page.

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