William Leckie Ewing – An Entrepreneur
Born in 1798 in the Parish of Kippen in Stirlingshire William’s father died only a year later leaving his mother dependant on the support of her family. At the age of seven he was sent to the Manse School of Aberdalgie Parish Church in Perthshire; he three years later went to Glasgow Grammar School.
His mother eventually moved to Glasgow and when he was fifteen William secured a job as a junior clerk in Stirling & Gordon who were West India Merchants. His quick mind and aptitude for business saw him promoted to Junior Partner at the age of 27. He became a member of the Glasgow West India Association and owned a house in Blythswood Square with his wife and children.
He became a founder of the Glasgow Union Banking Company in 1830, it grew and developed until it had the largest network of branches in Scotland, its 1927 headquarters in St Vincent Street is now the Corinthian. In 1955 they amalgamated with the Bank of Scotland.
Throughout his success he never forgot the needs of others. He supported the Blind Asylum, Highland Society and the School of Art. When he retired, he was fortunate enough to take over the family estate of Brioch where he enjoyed farming and country sports.
William Leckie Ewing was an Orangeman, a member of Glasgow’s Royal Gordon Orange Lodge.
Professor Thomas Macklin
Although born in Londonderry 1818 Thomas settled in Scotland where he married and had a family. Thomas joined the Orange Order in the early 1850s, by 1860 he was Assistant Grand Lodge Chaplain as well as this he was a Classic Teacher at Andersonian College. Thomas took an active role in Grand Lodge debates and in 1865 was elected as Grand Secretary, he held the post for 24 years and served four Grand Masters.
At a time when Scottish Orangeism was starting to come out of its shell, Thomas’ education and communication skills enabled him to lead promoting and developing of the Order. He used his influence to frame correspondence to Government Ministers and other leading figures.
Thomas was one of a committee of five who attended a meeting in Belfast which formed the Grand Orange Council of the World in 1865, he was a delegate to their first meeting in London and every consecutive one afterwards until his retirement.
In 1875 he was promoted to Professor at the Andersonian College which is now Strathclyde University. Throughout his career his faith remained strong and he never faltered on his views.
Professor Thomas Macklin was a member of LOL 1688 in District 24.
At the age of 24 William was elected as the Member of Parliament for Perth, during this term as MP he also served as District Master of Coatbridge District 22 and presided over the opening of Coatbridge Orange Hall on Friday 16th December 1892. He was a member of LOL 31 within District 22 and served as Honorary Depute Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.
He was Chairman of the Highland Railway co, the North British Railway Co, the Forth Road Bridge Railway Co and the much larger London and North-Eastern Railway Co. He was also Deputy Governor of the Bank of Scotland.
William was widely recognised as a prominent member of the Church of Scotland. He played a vital role in the negotiations the led to the Union of the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland in 1929. He was presented with a specially commissioned portrait by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland which was hung in the Kirks Assembly Halls.
William Whitelaw was a member of LOL 31 in District 22.
John Lawrence Baird
“Jonny” Baird was known as many things, soldier, diplomat, spy, politician and Governor General. Above all of these he was known as a transparently honest man. He was born in London to a Scottish father with roots in Stonehaven.
In 1910 he entered politics as MP for Rugby, he became Private Secretary to the leader of the Conservatives. When war broke out, he was back in uniform fighting in France before being transferred to the Intelligence Corps and eventually the Secret Service Bureau unit which later became MI6.
Back in Parliament in 1916 Viscount Trenchard known as the father of the Royal Air Force said of John Baird “The Air Force owes more to Lord Stonehaven than almost any other man. He took the keenest interest in it. He worked like a slave trying to bring it into being in those early days”.
By 1925 he had become the Governor General of Australia, he developed a warm relationship with the Australian Prime Minister Stanley Bruce. He had the honour of opening the first meeting of the Australian Parliament in the new buildings in Canberra in 1927.
He worked through the titles of Sir, Baron and Lord. He finally became Viscount Stonehaven in 1939.
John Lawrence Baird was a member of LOL 82 “Saltcoats Coldstream Guards” in District 9.
Charles entered Glasgow Town Council in 1891 as its youngest member. Nine years later he was serving as Senior Magistrate. Charles Cleland was knighted in 1917.
He was a member of Maryhill School Board until they were replaced with Education Authorities, in 1919 he stood for election and was Glasgow’s first chairman. Glasgow was suffering at the time from poverty, bad housing and religious strife. The City needed to draw in teaching staff but the issues at the time made it unattractive. Under Cleland’s leadership the decision was made to increase the salary making it the highest teacher salaries in Scotland. Sir Charles considered retiring at the next election in 1922 but decided to continue the fight to maintain the quality of education being improved. He served as a Chairman of Glasgow Necessitous Children’s Holiday Camp Fund which gave an average of 5200 children a year a holiday during the years of depression.
His father-in-law was William Burrell who bequeathed the famous Burrell Collection to Glasgow.
Sir Charles J Cleland, K.B.E., M.V.O., D.L., L.L.D. was a member of LOL 136 in Maryhill District 46.