Cumbernauld man pays tribute to famed son of Lanarkshire

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A CUMBERNAULD man is playing his own particular role in honouring a true Scots pioneer who is one of the hottest contenders in the Lanarkshire Hall of Fame.

Reverend Derek Corner (64) of Lime Crescent in Abronhill will be known to some of our readers as the former minister at Cumbernauld Congregational Church in Carbrain.

The former engineer-turned teacher at Balfron High School is now a part-time minister at the United Reformed Church in Hamilton and has organised a special bicentennial service for the birth of David Livingstone on Monday, March 19.

This will be attended by a host of VIP guests including the Depute Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire, Helen Russell plus local MSPs.

Along with Keir Hardie, David Livingstone is the congregation’s most famous son and Mr Corner, who originally hails from the Borders, is determined that the church should seize on the opportunity to pay him tribute.

Married dad-of-three Mr Corner said: “I believe Livingstone was 150 years ahead of his time He wanted to ‘Christianise’ tribal culture rather than say ‘‘This is Scottish Christianity’’ and impose that upon tribal people.

“There is so much to David Livingstone – he was a medical man, an explorer and a Christian. He fought the slave trade to India and his life is a big part of the school curriculum in Malawi,’’ he added.

David Livingstone died in Zambia 1873 of Malaria aged 60 His body and journal were transported thousands of miles by his loyal attendants to the coast so that he could be returned for burial in England. His heart, however, was buried under a Mvula tree in Africa.

He is honoured the world over and Mr Corner stresses that anyone from Cumbernauld who wishes to join the congregation in the celebration would be welcome – but warns that that space is at a premium.

Contact hamiltonurc1@ for more details.

Meanwhile there is time to nominate your choice for Lanarkshire Hall of Fame – and there has been an interesting development for locals.

It’s emerged that there have been some fresh nominations for the Victorian lady whose photographs we featured last week – Clementina Hawarden.

Clementina was one of the most influential fine art photographers of her era and grew up in Cumbernauld House and 37 of her photographs are set to go under the hammer for £150,000 at auction in London next month.

The only other local name in the frame at this point in time is that of the former Cumbernauld High School pupil who is now one of America’s biggest chat show hosts Late Late Show presenter Craig Ferguson.

See for more details.

Those with the most nominations will feature in an exhibition at the end of the year.