New year messages: a memorable year in history

07 May 2011..Stewart Maxwell MSP West Scotland / Scottish National Party pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
07 May 2011..Stewart Maxwell MSP West Scotland / Scottish National Party pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

As the year comes to a close we can take time to reflect on what has been a memorable year in Scotland’s history.

The eyes of the world were upon us as we hosted the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in addition to holding the independence referendum. I believe we can hold our heads high as we demonstrated Scotland’s best qualities of openness, tolerance and the ability to extend a warm welcome to friends from across the world.

I would also like to highlight the contribution of Scotland’s army of volunteers. They have made Scotland a better place and their support has allowed food banks to help those in need and to ensure as many people as possible could enjoy events such as the Commonwealth Games.

However, our thoughts must be with the victims of the recent tragedy in George Square. There are no words of comfort for families who have experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one but I know that the generous people of Glasgow will rally to give them any support that they need. I wish everyone a peaceful New Year.