Comment: We hope Tom Gilzean inspires others

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Writers Ian Rankin and JK Rowling. Sportsmen George Kerr and Sir Chris Hoy. Scientist Professor Peter Higgs and painter Dame Elizabeth Blackadder.

What a line-up of the great and the good from Edinburgh.

Each of them has been a recipient of The Edinburgh Award, an opportunity for the people of the city to pay a lasting tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Capital.

Now the relentless rattler Tom Gilzean, a tireless worker for charity and a former Royal Engineer, will join them.

Tom has raised more than £200,000 for local causes, and continues to dedicate his time fundraising at the age of 94.

On March 17, friends and family will join the Lord Provost Donald Wilson at a ceremony where Tom’s hand prints will be carved and gilded onto a flagstone outside the City Chambers.

Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca will also recite a poem written especially for Tom.

Tom, who will doubtless wear his trademark tartan trews for the occasion, already has the British Empire Medal.

But something tells us that an award made by the residents of one’s own city counts for more.

As the (very successful) marketing slogan tells us: People Make Glasgow.

Well, People Make Edinburgh too. It’s just we perhaps don’t shout about it as much as we should.

Tom Gilzean is one of ours and we wouldn’t swap him for anyone down the M8.

We are proud of you Tom and we hope you act as an inspiration to others, and in particular to our young people.

You may be from a different generation, but your courage and selflessness and dedication are a message that should cross the decades.

Wha’s like ye? Damn few Tam. Damn few.