Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scotland builds Pioneers and Leaders - Panalba

For wherever Scots have settled globally, they have emerged as pioneers and leaders, hard working and consistent in the contributions they have made towards their adopted lands.

A lot of this has to do with an inbred sense of commitment and honesty, coupled with a thirst for adventure. In company with the mass-migration of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Scottish regiments formed the backbone of the British Army whilst others served as mercenaries in the armies of Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and France. Scots also emerged as missionaries in Africa and Asia: it was David Livingston from Blantyre who sourced the River Nile; it was Mungo Park from Selkirk who discovered the Niger. My distant relative, John Witherspoon (both of us claim kinship with the reformer John Knox) signed the United States Declaration of Independence.

Two Scots traders, Dr William Jardine from Dumfries and James Matheson from Sutherland, pioneered the Far Eastern trading hub of Hong Kong. In the Arctic, the magnetic north pole was identified by Sir John Ross from Stranraer. Sir Alexander Mackenzie from Lewis first charted the interior of Canada, and it was another Lewis-man, Lachlan Macquarrie, who, as Governor of New South Wales, launched Australia.

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