2015 Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Awards 

Four Scots honoured for their ‘unique’ contributions to Scottish society

Four leading Scots have been honoured for their unique contribution to Scotland’s culture and society at a special ceremony at St. Mungo’s Museum in Glasgow. The four individuals each received the 2015 Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun award in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the fields of science, the arts and public life.

Established in 1988, the Fletcher of Saltoun award forms part of the Saltire Society’s annual awards programme and seeks to recognise outstanding contributions to Scottish society across different walks of life. The award celebrates the legacy of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, a seventeenth century Scottish writer and politician and a keen patron of the arts during his lifetime.

Last year’s winners included Dr Ann Matheson, for her work with the Scottish Poetry Library and as a champion of Scotland’s literary culture, Sir Chris Hoy as the UK’s most successful Olympic cyclist of all time and Professor Sue Black in recognition of her work as Director of Dundee University’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.

Prof Alison Michie collecting the Award on Tessa's behalf.

This year’s recipients include leading cancer researcher Professor Tessa Holyoake and Gaelic and English language poet and songwriter Aonghas MacNeacail alongside landscape painter James Morrison and Andrew Kerr, a lifelong supporter of and leading campaigner for the Scottish arts and conservation.

Tessa Holyoake is a Professor of Experimental Haematology at the Institute of Cancer Sciences in Glasgow and a globally recognised specialist in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). She received the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award in recognition of her contribution to science.

Commenting on receiving the award, Professor Holyoake said:

“It is a real honour to have been recognised in this unique way and I think it is a great tribute to the outstanding work of everyone working at the Institute of Cancer Sciences. Over the past 12 years, that hard work has really put Glasgow on the map as a centre of global excellence in the fight against cancer. I am very proud of everything we have achieved so far but equally ambitious about what we want to achieve in the future.”

Aonghas MacNeacail

Aonghas MacNeacail is a Scottish poet and songwriter who has contributed significantly to the Scottish cultural stage. A native Gael, his works have been published in a number of languages across the world and he broadcasts regularly on radio and television. Reacting to his award, Aonghas said:

“I am really honoured to receive this very special award. Hopefully it will spur me on to even bigger and better things in the future. It’s really humbling to join so many other talented individuals who have received a Fletcher of Saltoun award in years gone by.”

James Morrison

The second arts and humanities recipient, James Morrison, is a celebrated Scottish painter whose early works depicted large, dark Glasgow tenement buildings. He quickly developed a love for capturing the beauty of Scottish landscapes, painting outside wherever possible. He has travelled widely throughout his career, painting in the Arctic and Africa.  James commented:

“Scotland’s landscape and heritage has always been a unique inspiration to me. So it’s particularly pleasing to be presented with this uniquely Scottish award. I’m equally pleased for my fellow recipients this year who are all worthy winners.”

Andrew Kerr

The recipient of the award for contributions to Scottish public life is Andrew Kerr.  Andrew was secretary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for 35 years, which led to many other positions in the arts, at local and national level.  He has also been deeply involved in the conservation of historic buildings.  After being presented with the award, Andrew said:

“I am delighted and honoured to receive the Fletcher of Saltoun award this year.  I was very fortunate in the opportunities which came my way during my life in legal practice, and it has been a privilege to have been able to make things happen from time to time, over a wide spectrum of Scottish cultural life”.

Nominations for the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun award are made by the Saltire Society Council. Last year, the Council decided to broaden the scope of the award to include three distinct categories with the aim of recognising a wider range of achievements and engaging wider public interest. This year, the number of winners was extended from three to four with two separate individuals both receiving an award in recognition of their particular contribution to the Arts and Humanities.

Commenting on this year’s awards, Saltire Society convenor Prof. Ian Brown said:  

“Once again this year, we were delighted to be able to honour four outstanding individuals, each of whom has made a unique and special contribution to Scottish culture and society. Through these awards, we always strive to give recognition to those particularly talented and driven people who help to make Scottish culture and society as vibrant and stimulating as it so clearly is today – as well as achieving wider recognition for Scotland on an international stage.”

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Commemorative Lecture

2015 Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Lecture

sponsored by Linda Fabiani MSP

'Andrew Fletcher, Revolution

and the disappearing pathways to modern Scotland'

given by

Professor Christopher Whatley

The 2015 Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Lecture took place on Monday 29th September at the Scottish Parliament The Burns Room, from 6.00 p.m.