Dundee missionary Mary Slessor died 100 years ago and Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has celebrated her as “one of Scotland’s best-known and most important daughters.”
In a speech on Tuesday which also recognised International Women’s Day 2015, Mr Stevenson said: “Not many Victorian women who were born in Aberdeenshire and brought up in the slums of Aberdeen and Dundee earned a state funeral at the end of their lives, were a member of the Order of St John or were a magistrate, which was exceptional in Victorian times.”
Miss Slessor’s father came from Buchan, and Mr Stevenson said that her life was formed by “deprivation, her Christian faith and the inspiration that came from African missionary David Livingstone.”
He added: “Mary Slessor was quite different and disjointed from women of her time.
“We have heard that she dressed, ate and drank in the way that the people in Nigeria she supported did.
“More fundamentally, she learned to speak the native language, which she learnt from the people she was supporting.”
He paid tribute to the Mary Slessor Foundation which supports her memory and is dedicated to improving the lives of people in Nigeria.
Mr Stevenson said:“Mary Slessor did a lot for people in Scotland and in Africa, and it is right that we celebrate her life.”