Sir Alexander Stone Memorial Lecture

The annual Sir Alexander Stone Memorial Lecture took place on Friday and this year’s guest speaker was former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Sir Harry Burns.

The Lecture, part of the S6 Talking Points programme, was well attended and Sir Harry Burns engaged the audience with a talk which stressed that love and compassion is the only way humanity can overcome war and poverty.

Mr Burns told his audience that affluent individuals can live up to 20 years longer than poorer people. He explained the higher prevalence of chronic stress in areas of poverty, which can lead to higher blood pressure and increase levels of cortisol, is the reason for the worrying statistic.

He spoke about the nation’s alcohol problem and said that people get caught up in a vortex of stress and burden and alcohol acts as a temporary band aid for this.

Sir Harry Burns went on to explain his belief that through kindness and love people can relieve the stress which will not only reduce their alcohol problem but additionally improve their health and wellbeing.

To finish, Mr Burns left the audience with a quote: “Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.” - Gregory J.Boyle.

The Sir Alexander Stone Memorial Lecture was also attended by Lady Stone and her guests. Rector Mr Gambles welcomed the visitors and paid tribute to Sir Alexander Stone, a successful businessman, philanthropist and Former Pupil of the School.

He valued his days at Hutchesons’ Grammar School and took a continued interest in the life of the School. For many years this interest was made tangible by his donations to the School prize funds which benefited many generations of Hutchesons’ pupils.

Since his death in 1998, Lady Stone has generously continued this support by giving in Sir Alexander’s memory.  Two examples are the stunningly unique John K Clark windows in the Library and the Music Practice Suite in the Fotheringay Centre.




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