1999 News Article

Stirling, Scotland - 11 Aug 1999  Save The Bruce!

The local Stirling Council has dug in their heels against staggering opposition regarding a Y2K celebration planned to bring in the year 2000.  The issue is the councils plans to burn in effigy Robert The Bruce, King of the Scots, who brought freedom for Scotland after William Wallace.

If you have questions, please send a message to mcej @ jex dot org
 
A petition drive has been established, with some of the most lopsided scores being recorded.  So far the "NO's" number in the thousands, with less than 40 votes in support of the measure.  You can participate via email by sending your vote and comments to
[email protected], a mailbox setup by noted Stirling Historian Bob McCutcheon.

If you would rather fax your thoughts directly to the Stirling council you can send them to Keith Yates, Chief Executive, Stirling Council, Viewforth, Stirling, Scotland.  His fax number is 01786 443078, his UK phone is 01786 443320.  The council does not publish or release comments they receive, you may want to send your comments to both places.

The following letter written by Cheri Jex and published recently in the Stirling Observer sums up pretty well many of our sentiments.  I've included it here for your review -

24 July, 1999

Sir,

Since reading the Observer of June 9th, I’ve experienced a range of emotions. Content at first to observe the debate from a distance, I now feel compelled to join in the fray.

As one of 30 million Americans of Scottish ancestry I was appalled by the announcement of the ‘Burning of the Bruce’ to usher in the new millennium. My ancestors were ‘escorted’ out of Scotland by Cromwell, deported after Culloden and became a strong force in the American War for Independence. I enjoy the freedom earned by their sacrifice born of a deep sense of liberty and justice. These ideals came from Scotland through Wallace and were instituted by the Bruce.

For the first time in 300 years there will be a Scottish Parliament. Scotts have fought in every place and clime on earth to promote freedom and individual rights. Should they not now fight for the preservation of the memory of their own heroes?

The custom of effigy burning has no positive connotation anywhere in the civilized world. Primitive cultures believed some remnant of the person was contained in the effigy and harming the image would harm the person represented. Since the Bruce is long deceased the aim would be turning his soul to ashes denigrating all he represents. As to its being a Spanish custom, was it perfected during the Inquisition? One wishing to celebrate the new millennium according to Spanish customs would be well advised to book a trip to Madrid.

Scotland has an ancient and rich heritage of her own which has been too long ignored. The entire world is watching the emergence of a free Scotland. Do you want them to see a nation having a clarity of purpose and strength of identity which centuries of deliberate ethnocide could not remove, upon achieving self determination torch its own house?

Judging from the editorials, the constituents represented by the Stirling Council do not agree with this travesty. Financially it’s irresponsible as no lasting monument will be had. Where is the promotions company based? What is their ulterior motivation? Since when do Scots need any help knowing how to celebrate properly?

Stirling is a remarkable place and the cradle of freedom enjoyed in such diverse places as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We cousins across the sea appreciate the legacy of Robert the Bruce and Wallace as well as the hospitality we enjoy while visiting your hometown.

The Chinese noted for the use of fireworks in celebration of the New Year have a proverb: The hard work of a hundred years may be destroyed in an hour. Please do not persist in this folly. Stirling & Scotland deserve a better first footing.

READ MORE ABOUT ITStirling Observer Newspaper