Stuart Lang from Poppy Scotland

We were privilaged to have Stuart Lang, Deputy Head of Fundraising for Poppy Scotland as our speaker on Tuesday evening. He spoke about the history of the poppy and its origins, explaining how Field Marshal Douglas Haig, the senior officer of the British Army during WW1, saw an old French woman selling poppies in 1921 which then spawned the idea. A factory was susequently established in London in 1922. However, at the time, distances were not easily covered and Lady Haig set up production of poppies for Scotland in an Edinburgh garden shed later that year.

Often, said Stuart, he has been asked about the different shapes of the poppy and he clarified that the Scottish poppy has four petals and the English poppy has two petals with a green leaf. It was decided, Stuart confirmed, the extra cost to add a leaf to the Scottish poppy, was too great. Itb ran into tens of thousands of pounds.

Stuart continued to explain how donated monies were used to benefit our forces and used the poignant quote, “they are looking for a hand up not a hand out” to detail all the various initiatives which have been launched to improve our veterans’ well being including Veterans Gateway and Transition Support. The former provides accommodation and support in Whiteford House, Glasgow with the latter realises the true potential of services leavers regardless of rank, service or cicumstances.

As a recognition of our Club’s support for Poppy Scotland and a token of our appreciation for all his endeavours, Stuart was given a cheque for £500.