Published Tuesday, 19 March 2013
A new exhibition 'Shining New Light on Livingstone' officially opened today (Tuesday 19 March) at the David Livingstone Centre.
More than 70 guests from Scotland, Malawi and Zambia, including two of Livingstone's great-great grand-children) of the world-famous explorer and missionary attended the special event as part of the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth - highlights of which can be seen on our YouTube page.
As well as the official opening of the exhibition by Humza Yousef MSP, the Minister for External Affairs and International Development, guests, pupils from Blantyre's primary schools, local dignitaries and visiting officials from Malawi and Zambia were entertained with performances by Scottish and African story-tellers, Ewan McVicar and Toto Tales and a new song about Livingstone by children from St Theresa's Primary School, Newarthill.
And Mr Yousef helped children from the local primary schools bury a special time capsule to further mark the special day.
Provost Eileen Logan, who welcomed everyone to the centre, said: "It's wonderful to be here this morning to celebrate the life of Lanarkshire's most famous son - David Livingstone.
"It was here at Blantyre Mills that the 10-year-old David worked 12 and a half hour shifts - six days a week. But he was so desperate to learn that he not only attended classes from 8-10pm but when he eventually got home he would read until midnight before getting up at six the next day for work.
"Another thing we can all learn from the young Livingstone is his love of the countryside and natural history. He probably went up to Chatelherault and walked through the ancient oak forests, and from those little acorns, the greatest geographer and explorer the world has ever seen took root.
"So it's little wonder that Livingstone's early life, and his extraordinary journeys through Africa have prompted a huge number of projects in our local schools this year.
"And it's my sincere hope that Livingstone's story, retold through this wonderful bi-centenary will inspire many of today's young people. The life of David Livingstone shows how we can overcome just about any challenge through determination, hard work and the courage to reach out to others around the world."
The event is just one of many taking place throughout 2013 to commemorate the life of Lanarkshire's most famous son. Just a few days before the opening of the new exhibition the centre Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond accompanied President of Malawi Joyce Banda on a visit to the centre – you can watch highlights of the President of Malawi's visit on our YouTube page.
And throughout the year there is a wide range of activities taking place as part of the Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 programme of events to recognise and promote the achievements of the people of Lanarkshire over the last 200 years.