OFFICIAL ST NINIAN S DAY PAPAL VISIT 2010 TARTAN LAUNCH
12.30pm, THURSDAY AUGUST OUTSIDE PUBLIC ENTRANCE OF SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien will tomorrow unveil the world s first ever Papal Visit plaid when he presents the St Ninian s Day Tartan to the country s political leaders at the Scottish Parliament.
The tartan will be handed over to the Parliament s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP, along with leading figures from the four main parties on behalf of their parliamentary groups. This will include the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, Iain Gray MSP and Annabel Goldie MSP. All 129 MSP s will then be gifted a tie or a scarf by the Cardinal. The grouping will also be joined by two individuals bedecked in the design “ piper Louise Marshall Millington and the designer himself, Matthew Newsome, who is over from North Carolina in the USA.
The tartan is a limited edition and has been specially created to mark the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland on Thursday, 16 September 2010, St Ninian's Day. The Holy Father will then travel onto England where he will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman on Sunday, 19 September. It has been created in conjunction with two Scottish companies - Ingles Buchan of Glasgow and ClanItalia of Falkirk.
Matthew Newsome is the Director of the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin, North Carolina. He says;
As a Catholic I m just thrilled that my design was chosen as the official Papal Visit tartan. I obviously witnessed the visit of Pope Benedict to the USA in 2008 and can assure the people of Scotland that the events of next Thursday will live long in the memory .
"The white line on blue field draws upon Scotland's national colours while the green reflects the lichens growing on the stones of Whithorn in Galloway. It was there that Ninian first brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to Scottish shores over 1600 years ago. The white lines are also accompanied by a pair of red lines, reflecting the colours of Cardinal Newman's crest. And finally, the thin yellow lines in the tartan, together with the white, reflect the colours of the Vatican.
In terms of the weaving, each white line on the green contains exactly eight threads, one for each Catholic diocese in Scotland. There are 452 threads in the design from pivot to pivot, representing the number of Catholic parishes."
Cardinal O Brien says;
It s a great honour to be able to hand over the first ever tartan created for a Papal Visit as a thank you to all the Holyrood parliamentarians who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of this visit, knowing it means so much to the Catholic community and many others in this country. I also intend to gift the tartan to the Holy Father only a week from today. What could give him a greater Scottish welcome than a new tartan created in honour of this historic visit.
The Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP says;
I am very pleased that the Scottish Parliament is to be presented with this special tartan in recognition of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Scotland on St Ninian's Day. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into producing this unique tartan and it is sure to guarantee a colourful, Scottish welcome for the papal visit."
Colin Brown of Ingles Buchan says;
As traditional weavers of over 500 tartans, Ingles Buchan we are delighted to assist with the manufacturing and weaving of the St Ninian s Day Tartan. To be associated with this high profile tartan can only help to promote, not only Ingles Buchan, but the whole Scottish weaving industry.
Michael Lemetti of ClanItalia says;
I ve been involved in the creation of some high profile tartans, including a bespoke design for AC Milan, but this one tops the lot! The tartan looks brilliant and is full of fabulous Scottish symbolism. I m sure Pope Benedict will love it.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS;
The launch will be attended by;
¢ Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
¢ Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament
¢ Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister and Leader of the SNP
¢ Iain Gray MSP, Leader of the Scottish Labour Partry
¢ Annabel Goldie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
¢ Mike Rumbles MSP, the Liberal Democrat member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
¢ Matthew Newsome, designer of the St Ninian s Day Papal Visit 2010 Tartan
¢ Louise Marshall Millington, piper
¢ Colin Brown of Ingles Buchan
¢ Michael Lemetti of ClanItalia
The launch will directly follow First Minister s Questions in the Chamber. The Cardinal will say a few words and the Presiding Officer will respond in kind.
The Cardinal is also likely to be in the public gallery for First Minister s Questions as a guest of the Presiding Officer.
¢ David Kerr, Media Officer, Scottish Catholic Media Office, 07854307338
¢ Peter Kearney, Scottish Catholic Media Office, 07968122291