Former Moderator accepts honorary doctorate with historic Gaelic address

Former Moderator accepts honorary doctorate with historic Gaelic address

Issued: Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:00:00 BST

Fhuair am Modaràtair a bh’ ann roimhe, am Fìor Urramach an Dr Aonghas Moireasdan, Ceum Urramach bho Oilthigh Ghlaschu air Dimàirt 26 Ògmhios, ag òraid don luchd-èisteachd ann an Gàidhlig agus Beurla airson a’ chiad uair ann an eachdraidh an Oilthighe thar 561 bliadhna.

Former Moderator Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison received an Honorary Degree from the University of Glasgow on Tuesday 26 June, addressing the audience in both English and Gaelic for the first time in the University’s 561 years.

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The University of Glasgow cited "his contribution to championing Gaelic, refugee and asylum seekers and changing attitudes within the Church to same sex relationships” as their reasoning for his commendation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Morrison said: “Today is a day full of joy and excitement, and to be sharing it with my family means a huge amount to me.

“This is my first University, I was an Undergraduate here in the 70s. Now to come back to receive this award, it’s deeply humbling and absolutely thrilling. It’s a wonderful day.”

Honorary Degree for Rev Dr Angus Morrison

A ‘deep love’ for the Gaelic language

Dr Morrison, the Convener of the Gaelic Group at the Church of Scotland, is a champion and keen advocate for the Gaelic language.

During his address to the audience at the ceremony, he became the first person in the history of University of Glasgow’s 561 years to address the graduation audience in both English and Gaelic.

 Speaking of his love for the language, he said: “Although I’m not a native speaker of Gaelic, my parents were both from the Isle of Harris. They tended not to use it in the home to their children, but I made up my mind I was going to learn it as a boy, and took it as a subject in school and University.

“I’ve always had a deep love for the language and I’ve done my best to promote its use. Within the Church of Scotland, for example, I’ve been convening the Gaelic group of the Church in recent years and we now have a Gaelic plan in place, which is very exciting.

 “I think Gaelic is a wonderful part of our national heritage. It’s a wonderful language and well worthy of our support!”

A ‘prophetic voice for a number of causes close to his heart’

Honorary Degree official photos of Rev Dr Angus Morrison

Dr Scott Spurlock, the University of Glasgow’s Senior Lecturer in Scottish Religious Cultures, presented Dr Morrison for  the honorary degree.

During his introductory speech, Dr Spurlock said: “Angus provided a prophetic voice for a number of causes close to his heart.

 “In 2016 he voiced grave concerns over plans to cut Gaelic medium education in Edinburgh schools, stating ‘I fear that if Gaelic is allowed to wither in Scotland’s capital, it becomes very fragile’.

 “In the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels in 2016 he joined voices with Omar Shaikh of the Islamic Finance Council to express solidarity among faith communities in Scotland and their shared rejection of extremism. 

 “Angus has also been outspoken in response to the refugee crisis and spearheaded fund raising for the St Andrews Refugee Service in Cairo, which provides education for children, legal advice and counselling for displaced people who have arrived in Egypt.

 “As President of the Scottish Churches disability group, Angus has been a strong advocate for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the church, and has voiced the need to support the elderly.

“Angus’ lifelong service to the people of Scotland, both in the Kirk and beyond, his ‘forward-looking’ efforts to advocate equality, justice and servanthood, as well as his championing of the Gaelic language makes him an exemplar of what the University of Glasgow hopes to foster in its graduates. 

“He has embodied the leadership and engagement with society that leads to positive change. He has proved inspirational for all those who have worked alongside him and provides an exemplary model for those Glasgow graduates who will follow after him.

 “Drawing from the Scripture that has shaped him and in the language that he loves, let me finish with an exhortation befitting Angus Morrison and his life of service. ‘Is math a rinn thu, a sheirbheisich mhaith is dhìleis.’ (Mata 25:21) [Well done, good and faithful servant!]”

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Modaràtair a bh’ ann roimhe a’ gabhail ri dotaireachd urramach le òraid Ghàidhlig eachdraidheil

Fhuair am Modaràtair a bh’ ann roimhe, am Fìor Urramach an Dr Aonghas Moireasdan, Ceum Urramach bho Oilthigh Ghlaschu air Dimàirt 26 Ògmhios, ag òraid don luchd-èisteachd ann an Gàidhlig agus Beurla airson a’ chiad uair ann an eachdraidh an Oilthighe thar 561 bliadhna.

Dh’ainmich Oilthigh Ghlaschu "a thabhartas ann an seasamh às leth na Gàidhlig, fògarraich is luchd-siridh comraich agus beachdan atharrachadh taobh a-staigh na h-eaglaise a thaobh dhàimhean aon-ghnèitheach” mar an reusanachadh aca mu choinneamh a’ mholaidh.

A’ labhairt aig an t-seirbheis, thuirt an Dr Moireasdan: “Tha an-diugh na latha a tha làn de ghàirdeachas is togail, agus tha a bhith ga roinn le mo theaghlach a’ ciallachadh mòran dhomh.

“Is e seo a’ chiad Oilthigh agam, bha mi nam Fho-cheumnaiche an seo sna 70an. A-nis a’ tilleadh an seo a dh’fhaighinn na duais seo, tha e gu h-àraidh irioslach agus dha-rìribh aoibhneach dhomh. ’S e latha mìorbhaileach a th’ ann.”

Honorary Degree for Rev Dr Angus Morrison

‘Gràdh domhainn’ don Ghàidhlig

Tha an Dr Moireasdan, Neach-gairm a’ chiad Bhuidheann Gàidhlig ann an Eaglais na h-Alba, na dhiùlnach agus na thagraiche don Ghàidhlig.

 Anns an òraid aige don luchd-èisteachd aig an t-seirbheis, b’ e a’ chiad neach ann an eachdraidh 561 bliadhna Oilthigh Ghlaschu a labhair ris an luchd-èisteachd ceumnachaidh san dà chuid Gàidhlig agus Beurla.

 A’ toirt iomradh air a ghràdh don chànan, thuirt e: “Ged nach e neach-labhairt dùthchasach na Gàidhlig a th’ annam, bha mo dhithis phàrantan le chèile à Eilean na Hearadh. Bha iad buailteach gun a’ Ghàidhlig a chleachdadh san dachaigh ris a’ chloinn, ach chuir mise romham ’s mi nam bhalach gun robh mi a’ dol ga h-ionnsachadh, agus ghabh mi i mar chuspair san sgoil agus san Oilthigh.

 “Tha gràdh domhainn air a bhith agam don chànan a-riamh agus tha mi air mo dhìcheall a dhèanamh gu a cleachdadh adhartachadh. Taobh a-staigh Eaglais na h-Alba mar eisimpleir, tha mi air a bhith nam neach-gairm air buidheann Gàidhlig na h-Eaglaise sna bliadhnaichean mu dheireadh agus tha plana Gàidhlig stèidhichte againn a-nis, nì a tha glè bhrosnachail.

 “Tha mi den bheachd gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig na pàirt mhìorbhaileach de ar dualchas nàiseanta. ’S e cànan eireachdail a th’ innte a tha glè airidh air ar taic!”

 ‘Guth fàisneachail do dh’àireamh de dh’adhbharan a tha dlùth do a chridhe’

Honorary Degree official photos of Rev Dr Angus Morrison

Bhuilich an Dr Scott Spurlock, Àrd-Òraidiche Oilthigh Ghlaschu ann an Cultaran Cràbhach na h-Alba, an ceum urramach air an Dr Moireasdan.

San òraid tòiseachaidh aige, thuirt an Dr Spurlock: “Nochd Aonghas guth fàisneachail do dh’àireamh de dh’adhbharan a tha dlùth do a chridhe.

 “Ann an 2016, thog e draghan cudromach mu phlanaichean air foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig a ghearradh ann an sgoiltean Dhùn Èideann, ’s e ag aithris ‘Tha eagal orm ma leigear le Gàidhlig crìonadh ann am prìomh bhaile na h-Alba, fàsaidh i gu math cugallach’.

 “An dèidh ionnsaighean ceannairceach sa Bhruiseal ann an 2016, chuir e a ghuth ri guth Omar Shaikh bhon Chomhairle Ionmhais Ioslamach a nochdadh dlùth-chomann am measg choimhearsnachdan creideimh ann an Alba agus an diùltainn co-roinnte air anbharrachd.

 “Tha Aonghas cuideachd air a ghuth a thogail mar fhreagairt do shuidheachadh èiginneach nam fògarrach agus air togail-airgid a chur an gnìomh dha Seirbheis Fhògarraich Naoimh Anndra ann an Cairo, a tha a’ solarachadh foghlam do chlann, comhairle laghail is comhairleachadh do dhaoine air an cur à àite a tha air a thighinn don Èipheit.

 “Mar Cheann-suidhe buidheann ciorraim Eaglaisean na h-Alba, tha Aonghas air a bhith na thagraiche làidir do làn in-ghabhail air daoine le ciorraman ann am beatha na h-eaglaise, agus air a ghuth a thogail mun fheum air taic do sheann daoine.

 “Tha seirbheis fad-beatha Aonghais do mhuinntir na h-Alba anns an Eaglais agus air a taobh a-muigh, na h-oidhirpean lèirsinneach aige air co-ionannachd, ceartas agus fritheilteachd a thuilleadh air a sheasamh às leth na Gàidhlig, ga dhèanamh na fhìor eisimpleir de na tha Oilthigh Ghlaschu ag amas air àrach na cheumnaichean. 

“Tha e air ceannardas is conaltradh leis a’ cho-chomann a riochdachadh a leanas gu atharrachadh deimhinneach. Tha e air e fhèin a dhearbhadh brosnachail dhaibhsan uile a tha air a bhith ag obair ri thaobh agus a’ solarachadh modail gun choimeas do cheumnaichean Ghlaschu a leanas às a dhèidh.

“A’ tarraing às an Sgriobtar a tha air a chumadh agus anns a’ chànan dha bheil gràdh aige, leigibh leam crìochnachadh le earalas a tha iomchaidh do Aonghas Moireasdan agus a bheatha de sheirbheis. ‘Is math a rinn thu, a sheirbheisich mhaith is dhìleis.’ (Mata 25:21).”