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Two Wonderful Years

It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of Lord Dean of Guild May Storrie CBE on Sunday 21st May 2023. Our thoughts are with her family at this time. In her final blog May shared the highlights of her tenure as the first female Lord Dean.

The last two years have flown by and my tenure as the first female Lord Dean of Guild is coming to a close.

In this final blog I reflect on my personal highlights and share how this experience has enriched my life.

There are so many memorable moments which spring to mind such as meeting with Commander Storton of HMS Defender, and attending COP26 where world experts shared knowledge on climate change. Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with the Chinese Cultural and Welfare Society, and representing the House to offer condolences to HRH Princess Anne following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. It was my pleasure visiting the teachers and pupils of St Denis Primary in Glasgow’s east end. The children’s questions, laughter, and singing always brightened my day.

Building strong relationships with the charities that the House supports through grant funding was a key part of my role. I have been deeply moved by conversations I’ve had with charity leaders, volunteers, and those who use their services. It has been educational too. Young Enterprise Scotland taught me about beekeeping and sustainability, and at SAY Women I met with young women overcoming exceptionally difficult experiences. At the Govan Pantry I saw the positive impact that designing services which treat individuals with dignity and respect can have on the whole community.

At times, my eyes were opened to the truly shocking levels of poverty many people face today.

From food banks to child bereavement services, charities combating loneliness in isolated older people, to the day to day life of young carers. There are so many people in need within Glasgow and the West of Scotland and many small charities are determined to help, despite running their services on shoestring budgets.

What always shines through is the drive to make a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community. The hope that someone does care and that you’re never alone is a heartwarming message shared loud and clear to those who need to hear it.

In 2021 when I stood in Glasgow Cathedral for the Kirking of the Lord Dean of Guild service, I reflected on what it meant for a girl who left school at 16 to take on such a prestigious role, and to be the first woman ever to do so. It’s rare to be the first at anything in life and I feel very privileged to have encountered the warmth, insight, and spirit of goodwill from those I’ve met through this role.

I wish every success to the new Lord Dean, Andrew McFarlane, the Directors and Members of the House. Thank you to all who have supported me over the past two years.