Eight inducted into Merchant Company
With backgrounds in insurance, recruitment, charity and investment, tourism, sport, property, construction and housing, they represent the diversity of professional experience that the company harnesses in support of its work to fund educational and charitable projects in Edinburgh.
A ceremony took place at The Merchants’ Hall where their names and signatures were added to a membership roll which dates back to 1681. The Roll contains information about every member over the centuries, contributing to a valuable source of historical records in the City of Edinburgh.
The new members are: Kevin Robertson (Marsh Ltd) Donald Wynn (Construction & Property Recruitment Ltd), Caroline Halliday (Charity and Investment), Alison Ross (Ross Tour Consultants), June Lumsden (Edinburgh Sports Injury Clinic), Paul Stevenson (GSS Developments), Alastair Raitt (HM Raitt & Sons Ltd) and Graham Harper (Graham Harper Consulting).
The Merchant Company, has been enriching the life of Scotland’s capital for more than 300 years. Established by Royal Charter, its purpose was to protect trading rights of merchants in the City of Edinburgh. Today, more than 500 businessmen and women from more than 43 professions are members of the company and are actively involved at the heart of the city in a range of activities.
These activities include The Merchant Company Education Board which owns The Mary Erskine School (opened 1694), George Watson’s College (opened 1741) and Stewarts Melville College (opened 1855). The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College are run together under the title Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools or ESMS. Collectively the three schools educate around 5,100 pupils annually, making The Merchant Company one of the largest livery companies in the UK in terms of education.
The Merchant Company’s charitable activity is carried out through a number of charitable trusts, the most prominent being The Endowments Trust.
The Trust supports nearly 250 pensioners with annual pensions and provides social support and advice through its Almoner services.
A £5.8m housing development built to enhance the quality of life for the frail and elderly in Edinburgh – Merchant’s Court in Little Road, Liberton – was delivered through a unique partnership between The Merchant Company of Edinburgh’s Endowments Trust, The City of Edinburgh Council, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association and J.Smart & Co (Contractors) PLC.
Pat Denzler, Master of The Merchant Company, said: “The Merchant Company, Scotland’s pre-eminent livery company, is heavily involved in both the civic and ceremonial life of Edinburgh.
“While it is steeped in history and rich in tradition, it has a very relevant and modern role in the business life of Edinburgh. It is a measure of this that I welcome today eight new members from such different backgrounds, all of whom have so much to contribute to the Company and the educational and charitable work we carry out in Edinburgh.”
Photo: Alison Ross is signing the Roll Book (seated) and from left to right behind her are: Paul Stevenson, Kevin Robertson, Graham Harper, Alastair Raitt, June Lumsden, Donald Wynn and Caroline Halliday.