SNP remember former leader

TRIBUTES have been paid to the Broughty Ferry based former SNP leader Jimmy Halliday who died on Thursday aged 86.

Mr Halliday was a former national chairman between 1956 and 1960, which was a key period in the development of the party.

He taught at various schools before becoming a history lecturer at Dundee College of Education in 1967 initially in the Park Place building and then at Dundee campus of the Northern College of Education at Gardyne Road in West Ferry.

He was also known to generations of teacher-training students and became principal lecturer of history at Dundee College of Education a post which he held until retirement in 1987.

Mr Halliday’s involvement in the national movement began at an early age and he was one of the earliest political candidates to stand for the SNP.

His political activities continued right up to his death, as chairman of the Board of Scots Independent (Newspapers) Ltd.

He was also the author of several highly-regarded books, including the popular and much-reprinted ‘A Concise History of Scotland (BC to 1990)’ which was described as a masterly summary of our national story by an impeccable authority.

Most recently, in 2011, he published ‘Yours For Scotland’, a memoir of the early days of the SNP, which had been well received.

His monthly columns for the Scots Independent on a wide range of subjects were a long-running feature of the newspaper and much admired for their wisdom and keen insight.

Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said: “I was sad to hear of Jimmy’s death. He was a veteran of the party and an inspiration to many. He had a wry sense of humour and was well-grounded. Our condolences go to Olive and to his sons, Gavin and David.

Stewart Hosie MP for Dundee East added: “Jimmy was a positive influence on Scottish politics both through his early leadership of the SNP and his significant role with the SI newspaper and through his own personal life as a teacher, author and elder-statesman.

“Locally, his ‘Address to the Haggis’ recited entirely from memory, was a feature at our annual Dundee SNP Burns’ Suppers. Jimmy’s legacy to the party in terms of his vision and his commitment is incalculable.”

And Andrew Scott, organiser of the Broughty Ferry SNP branch, said: “Jimmy attended branch meetings at Broughty YMCA and we were delighted to have him - a former party leader - in our midst.

“As a former student of his, I can also remember his erudite and fascinating lectures on American politics.

“He was a keen observer of American affairs as well as of Scottish politics and continued to give key-note speeches to various historical gatherings such as the Alexander III Commemoration at Kinghorne and the 1820 Martyrs Society Rallies at Strathaven.

“Jimmy was warm, witty and companionable. He seemed ageless and we are all much the poorer for his passing.”