History in the Making

Ruth Maltman will make history today (Wed 14 October '15), when DC15_16she becomes the first female to lead the Trades House of Glasgow as its Deacon Convener since the historic organisation was established in 1605. Ruth, a civil servant, holds the role until October 2016 along with that of Third Citizen of Glasgow.

Dr Alistair Dorward takes up the post as Collector, which will see him serve alongside Ruth on the Platform. This is the executive committee of volunteers who deal with the day to day running of the Trades House, along with Chief Executive and Clerk, John Gilchrist, and the administration team.

Commenting on her historic appointment, Ruth said: "We're used to seeing many 'firsts' for women these days - opportunities are different from those that were open to our mothers and grandmothers. I feel really honoured to be leading Trades House, an historic organisation with such vibrancy and so many facets, and which continues to contribute so much to the welfare and development of our City of Glasgow and its people. No organisation lasts 410 years without adapting to the times, and that's precisely what we've been busy doing thanks to sustained input from our members and our staff.

"As well as continuing to encourage local enterprise, promote traditional craft skills and uphold our many historic traditions, our various benevolent activities thrive. Only yesterday we successfully launched our new Kinship Care Initiative to support and develop children in kinship care. Our aim is to help these youngsters, who have often lived through difficult and stressful experiences, to develop into confident and capable adults. This is just one of our many initiatives and ongoing charitable undertakings in the City. I am very proud to represent the House in the year ahead."

Ruth's election was the result of a voting process, also a first for this historic organisation, which is now a registered charity widely viewed as a centre of excellence in the administration of trusts and legacies in excess of £18 million. Through their benevolent work, the Trades House and its 14 Incorporated Crafts also award more than £650,000 in grants each year to deserving causes and vulnerable individuals throughout Glasgow.

As Collector for the coming year, Alistair will support the Deacon Convener and oversee the finances of the House. This will include the investments that ultimately provide funds for its charitable giving.

"While Ruth was nominated in the election process for her expertise and knowledge and not because she was a woman, this remains a truly historic occasion for the Trades House," said Chief Executive, John Gilchrist. "It reflects an ongoing period of transition for an organisation that benefits from great heritage while being very progressive. We would like to congratulate both Ruth and Alistair on their elections today and wish them well in the year ahead."