The Keir Hardie Society held its second Annual General Meeting at the Netherthird Community Centre on Saturday June 16th.

The Society welcomed Cumnock born David Lorimer to address the meeting. David’s father, also David, was Provost of Cumnock, and his grandfather, Hugh Lorimer was Keir Hardie’s tailor. Keir Hardie famously caused a stir when he first entered Parliament as the Labour MP for West Ham South in 1892 because he dressed in a brown home spun tweed suit and a tweed cap with flaps rather than a black frock coat and black silk top hat that was conventionally worn by Members of Parliament at the time.

David Lorimer (Left) and Richard Leonard

David Lorimer (Left) and Richard Leonard

David last month presented to the Keir Hardie Society three letters that he had in his possession which had been sent to the District Valuer in Ayr in December 1913 about the valuation of the Hardie family home Lochnorris in Cumnock. Two of the letters were from Keir Hardie himself and another was from his wife Lillie.

Society Secretary, Richard Leonard said
“It was an honour to welcome David back to his family roots in Cumnock. His own life story brings together Labour politics, James Keir Hardie and a fascinating family history which includes a living connection to Labour’s greatest hero.

“Any socialist movement needs moral values, class solidarity but also a sense of history too.
This year is the 120th anniversary of Keir Hardie’s first election to Parliament, 2014 sees the 75th anniversary of the unveiling of the magnificent Benno Schotz bust of Hardie outside the town hall in Cumnock, and 2015 marks the centenary of the death of Keir Hardie. We would like to work with the local community as well as national authorities in commemorating these important milestones.”

Also at the Annual General Meeting Cathy Jamieson MP was re-elected as President of the Society. The former Labour Cabinet Minister Tony Benn and Keir Hardie’s great grand daughter, Dolores Arias were re-elected as Honorary Presidents. Richard Leonard was re-elected as Secretary and Hugh Gaffney as Treasurer of the Society.


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