Letter: We should celebrate Robert McCheyne
The Courier & Advertiser 14 Jun 2016
What a brilliant piece of journalism your Impact 200 series on the men and women of Tayside and Fife who have inspired, challenged and influenced us in the past 200 years, has been.
It was fascinating to see and read about who was on it and what they did.
Such talent from such a small area of the world.
Of course, there will be arguments about who is on and who has been left off.
For example, it was good to see Rev George Gilfillan in at number four but why no mention of his more famous compatriot, Rev Robert Murray McCheyne, whose memoirs sold by the million and whose grave, even today, is visited by people from all over the world? Some people regard him as being one of the key figures in the Balfour Declaration which in turn was key in the formation of the modern state of Israel. He was the minister of St Peter’s Free Church of which your number 23, William McGonagall was a member.
Another minister of note was Islay Burns who is considered one of the founding fathers of the modern Chinese church, the largest in the world.
Another missing Dundee hero from the 19th Century was the soldier Robert Annan who became a folk hero in Dundee and rescued nine people from drowning in the Tay, before himself drowning. He was the first commoner given a civic funeral in Dundee and until the 1950s was commemorated by an Annan memorial service.
The famous Annan eternity stone can still be seen outside the newly refurbished St Peter’s. Thanks again for a superb series.
Rev David A. Robertson. St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee.