The Association of Malawians in Scotland (AMS) held a lively and informative Independence Day celebration in Glasgow on Saturday, July 6th.
Held at the Clyde Community Hall in Ibrox in Glasgow, members of the Malawian diaspora in Scotland joined with friends and partners representing Scottish charities active in, or with close connections to Malawi, including Mary's Meals, Classrooms for Malawi, the David Livingstone Trust and Scotland Malawi Partnership, to mark 55 years of independence.
The evening began with an opening address from Scottish Government Minister for International Development Ben Macpherson, followed by a message of support from Stuart Brown, Deputy Chief Executive of the SMP.
Colin Cameron, prominent SMP member and a minister in Malawi’s 1964 Cabinet that successfully negotiated independence from British rule, spoke movingly about the struggle to gain independence.
"Independence didn't just happen," he said, paying tribute to the thousands who were imprisoned or lost their lives in the struggle.
Replying on behalf of the AMS, Chair Joyce Phiri said: "This is important for Malawians to remember and not take independence for granted."
Members of each of the charities present gave a brief account of their work and expressed congratulations and hopes for continuing the friendship and partnership between Scotland and Malawi.
Joyce Phiri then brought the formal part of the evening to a close with a vote of thanks and invited everyone to enjoy a banquet of delicious food prepared by AMS members followed by music and dancing.
Speaking after the event, Joyce added: "We were very happy to have such a large number of staff from MSP and also other organisations working in Malawi being represented at the independence celebrations.
"The attendance this year reflected the partnership that's existing between the two countries.
"Our thanks to the Minister Ben McPherson for representing the Scottish Government and their continued support for Malawi."