Kenny Matheson to give Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture

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This year’s prestigious Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture will be given by well-known businessman and broadcaster Kenny Matheson at 7.30pm on Thursday October 24 at Pairc School, Gravir, South Lochs, Lewis.

It will have the title ‘The Leverhulme Initiative –An Opportunity Lost or a Narrow Escape for Lewis and Harris?’.

Kenny, who is from Gravir but is now based in Aberdeen, will speak in English and assess, with the benefit of 100 years of hindsight, the reasons for Leverhulme’s failure and what lessons can be drawn for recent and current debates about the economic future of Lewis and Harris.

Addressing the question in the lecture title, Kenny said: ‘I thought it might be appropriate in the first instance to take a little time to try and understand something about the type of man William Lever, the first Viscount Leverhulme, was and what made him tick.

‘Secondly, I will explore the significance of his timing before thirdly speculating on whether his grand plan was fundamentally flawed and as such doomed to failure from the beginning or whether a different approach might have produced an altogether different outcome.

‘I will then try fourthly to consider what lessons, if any, have been learned and applied in the intervening decades before, fifthly and finally, posing the question whether the historical controversies surrounding Leverhulme’s ideas remain relevant to more recent and current debates about the types of commercial activities which may or may not be compatible with the traditional ethos of the island.’

The lecture series is arranged by Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc in partnership with e-Sgoil, the CnES multi-media unit, the Islands Book Trust and Angus Macleod’s family.

The lecture will be livestreamed over the internet and will be shown in the e-Sgoil headquarters at 44 Francis Street, Stornoway, and possibly other venues.

Attendance at Pairc School is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. A big turnout is expected for what is sure to be a thought-provoking lecture and a memorable occasion. For further details, please contact John Randall at john673randall@btinternet.com.