A special Christmas gift from down under
Rutherglen people in need are to benefit from the generosity of Rutherglen, Australia.
Roberta Horne, a councillor for Rutherglen down under, recently discovered various connections between Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire, and Rutherglen, in Victoria, stretching back to World War II.
To re-establish the connection, Councillor Horne and the people of Rutherglen in Indigo Shire have sent a special parcel to our Rutherglen, through Provost Eileen Logan.
The parcel was sent by sea, and arrived at the council’s headquarters in Hamilton.
Touched by the generosity, Provost Logan decided to donate the package to those who need it most, and gave it to the Salvation Army in King Street
Indigo Shire’s Councillor Roberta Horne, who lives in Rutherglen, said: “It has been quite an interesting journey of discovery about the links between our two towns.
“In the early days of settlement Rutherglen was known as Barkly.
“That was until a Scotsman by the name of John Wallace earned the right to name the township after shouting a drink for everyone at a local public house. He named it Rutherglen, after his hometown.
“With Rutherglen’s trap shooter Gaye Shale preparing for the Commonwealth Games, which were held in Glasgow in July, the connections between our two towns gained momentum.
“Various people, some of whom attended the Games, reconnected with family in Rutherglen, Scotland. This led to so many conversations where other people remembered their own connections with Scotland’s Rutherglen.
“Another strong connection with Rutherglen in Scotland came about during WWII when the students and families of Rutherglen Primary School sent food parcels to their counterparts in Rutherglen in Glasgow.
“Now, to co- ordinate with the recognition of the 100 year anniversary of World War One in both countries, our tourism organisation, Destination Rutherglen has gathered a selection of gourmet products from Indigo Shire producers for another food parcel to go to Rutherglen in Scotland.
“The parcel contains jams, pickles, Christmas pudding, cakes and oils from local producers.”
Provost Logan said: “During World War II , people in Rutherglen, Australia, sent food parcels to here in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire. It’s such a kind gesture, and we’re delighted to re-establish this link.
“In this day and age, it was very nice that the people in Australia took the time to think about sending this to us.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have received this package. It was a lovely surprise when we found all the local produce inside, and I had to find a worthwhile recipient.
“I thought about the Salvation Army straight away because I’ve had good connections with them over the last few years, so hopefully this package will come to be of use for their Christmas lunches.
Major Mike Watkins from the Salvation Army said: “It’s very kind, as it wasn’t something we were expecting to get, especially coming from Australia.
“When the Provost got in touch, we were delighted, especially with Christmas coming up and the meals we will be doing. It’s a nice little extra for everyone. It’s a fantastic gesture, which we’ll make full use of.”
Councillor Horne also sent Reformer editor Kenny Smith a jar of jam and an Aussie tea towel.
Last year, the Rotary Club of Rutherglen received a visit from their counterparts down under, who shared a slideshow of their town.
Thank you Provost Eileen Logan presents a box of Australian produce to Majors Morag and Mike Watkins at the Rutherglen Salvation Army