WE ARE always delighted to bring you an exclusive .... and the latest in a long line was our public unveiling last week of the man whose name in enshrined in the Moray community.
With the help of local historian Peter Willis, we have been able to put a face to the name that has become one of the most famous in Moray through our main district hospital. Dr Alexander Gray made his fortune in India and left much of it to his home town of Elgin so that “in time it may save the life of thousands”. And so it has done, many times over.
The doctor turned businessman never forgot his roots, and from the opening of the hospital in 1819 he has never been forgotten here, except no-one knew what he looked like. Peter Willis has solved that mystery through some magnificent detective work spanning India, South Africa and America, where a miniature painting of Dr Gray ended up in the Yale University Museum Gallery, USA.
Now we are able to allow him to show and complete another chapter in this remarkable show of generosity and love for his homeland. Mr Willis is hoping, later this year, to publish a history of Dr Gray, and although that will further enlighten us on this great man it won’t be a final chapter. In a way, the story of Dr Gray is never ending, for his legacy lives on and will live on through the hospital’s role in Elgin and Moray.
Could he have envisaged making such an impact? Probably not. From far-off India he never lost his longing for home, and we are eternally grateful to him. The face of Dr Gray will now look down on the old entrance to the hospital, next to the plaque unveiled at the opening in 1819. He will have his place of honour at last.
Despicable crime has sickened community
THERE IS no sign of the anger abating over the latest episode of vandalism at Elgin Cemetery, and nor should it. This is a despicable crime and, sadly, one that keeps being repeated, not just at Elgin but at other graveyards in Moray.
The police appeal for information continues, and we urge anyone who has information of who is responsible to pick up the phone either to Grampian Police or, if wishing to remain anonymous, to Crimestoppers.
This can’t be allowed to go unchecked. The toppling of 20 gravestones is sickening for a community and devastating for the families of loved ones. Think of them if you know the culprits.
Festival success is well worth toasting
THE SPIRIT of Speyside Whisky Festival has come and gone and a toast is raised to another outstanding success. It brought in people from many countries just as the great product that we produce flows into many countries in just about every part of the world.
Our whisky exports are a great success story, and the Spirit of Speyside is a great success story of its own, generating lots of money for the local economy as well as turning the spotlight on one of Moray’s and Speyside’s most famous creations.
The festival has helped kick-start a whole series of exciting events that we can look forward to, continuing this weekend with the revived Gordon Castle Games. Then there will be the many Queen’s Diamond Jubilee events and our traditional round of Highland games, fêtes and shows .... and lots, lots more in the way of events over the summer.
There is, and there will be, plenty happening in Moray. Look out for the fun and games, go along and enjoy.