THE great, great grandson of missionary David Livingstone has paid tribute to his ancestor on the bicentenary of the explorer's birth.

Neil Wilson, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, presented a historic gavel to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to mark the occasion.

The gavel was carved from the wood of the tree where Livingstone's heart was buried following his death in Zambia in 1873.

Loading article content

The artefact has a long standing connection with the health service in Glasgow as it was used by the NHS Executive Council for the City of Glasgow following the creation of the NHS from 1948 through to 1974. Since then it has remained in the NHS archives.

Mr Wilson, of Bearsden in East Dunbartonshire, presented the gavel to health board chairman Andrew Robertson yesterday. The surgeon said: "To have such a tangible link is a great reminder that the events of the past live on into the present."

Mr Robertson added: "It is fitting for us to be responsible for the safekeeping of this most extraordinary of artefacts."