Chamber pays tribute to knighted Sirs Willie Haughey and Professor Jim McDonald
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Thu 21 Jun 12 @ 15:00
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick has paid tribute to leading city citizens Willie Haughey and Professor Jim McDonald, who were both honoured with knighthoods in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Gorbals-born businessman Mr Haughey, the 2009 recipient of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Award for Lifetime Achievement, received his knighthood for services to business and philanthropy.
The son of a painter and decorator father and a mother who worked in a glass factory, he founded City Refrigeration Holdings Ltd with his wife Susan and four staff in 1985. The facilities management firm now has a £500million turnover and almost 11,500 employees around the world.
The 55-year-old, who has also taken part in the Chamber's Glasgow Talks series, moved the company headquarters to a site on which his childhood home once stood, and where he grew up with his two brothers and sister.
In 2002 the Haugheys set up the City Charitable Trust, which has donated more than £6.5million to charities.
The father of one said he was "very honoured, privileged and humbled" to be given a knighthood.
He added: "It is astonishing to think that a boy in the Gorbals could be successful in business and then for this to happen, I have been so fortunate in life. I am looking forward to going to the palace."
Joining Mr Haughey in the Queen's Birthday Honours List is Professor James McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of Strathclyde University, who was also honoured with a knighthood for his service to education, engineering and economy.
Professor McDonald, who is Chair of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board, said receiving a knighthood was also as much for the university as well as for his own work.
He started his Strathclyde career as an undergraduate, studied for an MSc and later a PhD in power engineering and power system economics. After eight years working for industry he returned to the university in 1984, holding academic positions in the electronic and engineering department.
He became university deputy principal in August 2006 and was made principal and vice-chancellor in March 2009.
He said: "I regard this honour as recognition not just for me but for the university. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my wife and family, my colleagues and our other partners in higher education, the public sector and industry.
"I am humbled by this honour and see it not only as recognition for past effort but as an encouragement to work harder and deliver more for the university, the great city of Glasgow, Scotland and the UK."
Professor McDonald also advises government, industry and commerce and holds a number of public posts. He is a director of Scottish Enterprise and a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee and, along with First Minister Alex Salmond, co-chairs the Energy Advisory Board in Scotland.
Fellow Glasgow Economic Leadership Board member and Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Stuart Patrick, said: "I'm truly thrilled for my fellow board member Jim and friend of the Chamber Willie, who both fully deserve their honours. These two men work tirelessly for the betterment of a city they both love and hail from."