Lord Wallace of Campsie, businessman and humanitarian; born February 13, 1915, died December 23, 1997

TO describe Lord Wallace of Campsie as a businessman is rather like calling Napoleon a soldier. He created in Scotland one of the most successful manufacturing companies of the past 50 years and in addition made available some of the subsequent wealth his business brought him to support public and charitable causes to which he was committed.

George Wallace attended Abbotsford Primary School and Queen's Park Secondary School, Glasgow, then proceeded to Glasgow University, where he studied law, joining the profession as a trainee solicitor before forming his own legal firm. After serving in the RAF during the Second World War, he came to the conclusion that the law was too tame for his entrepreneurial flair. He decided, therefore, to pursue a career in the business world.

He established the firm of Wallace Cameron and Company, manufacturing industrial disinfectants and first aid dressings, one of which was considered to be a technological breakthrough as it made available the power of alginate to stop bleeding.

In spite of facing tough opposition from other, well-established manufacturers, Wallace Cameron expanded rapidly, soon employing some 300 staff in the factory in Glasgow's South Side. By 1969 the company was established internationally, with associated companies in Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Not only is Wallace Cameron the only company specialising in the manufacture of first aid dressings to have the distinction of holding a Royal Warrant, it enjoys today the unique privilege of holding three Royal Warrants - from the Queen, the Queen Mother, and Prince Charles.

In addition to building up a successful business, Lord Wallace was simultaneously pursuing a career in public life. During the late sixties and early seventies he followed a remarkably diverse range of professional and charitable interests. He was a member of the South of Scotland Electricity Board, chairman of the Institute of Marketing, a founder member of the Scottish Development Agency, and a president of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Awarded a life peerage in 1974 following his re-appointment for a second term as chairman of East Kilbride Development Corporation, he took a special pride in the growth of East Kilbride, seeing it change from a quiet country village to its present status as the semi-conductor capital of Western Europe and Scotland's most successful growth point for the attraction of new industry over the past 30 years.

More than any other New Town, East Kilbride has been a role model for the post-war regeneration of the Scottish economy and the transition of the central belt of Scotland from a heartland of traditional industry to the leading edge of industrial technology.

From his early days as chairman of the New Town Development Corporation, Lord Wallace's mission was clear and unequivocal - to foster the growth of a new community. He steered the corporation via a strategy that was clear and consistent: to create a place where people want to live by providing housing, shopping, schools, and leisure facilities; to create a place for companies to locate and grow by providing a modern, high quality business infrastructure; to create in the country a place with the vitality of a city, while preserving and enhancing the landscape.

Throughout a long and distinguished career, Lord Wallace remained a valued friend and committed supporter of the Salvation Army in Scotland. In 1965 he became a member of the West Scotland Advisory Board, rising in 1972 to become the board's chairman, an office he held for 10 years.

In Scotland during the past 28 years, Lord Wallace was influential in bringing about many improvements in the facilities offered by the wide-ranging and comprehensive social welfare programmes for those in need, including children from deprived backgrounds, those afflicted by alcohol or drugs, and the elderly requiring respite care.

In 1992, in recognition of Lord Wallace's outstanding support for its work, the Salvation Army named in his honour a newly constructed modern centre in Glasgow to house 52 people, Wallace of Campsie House.

He leaves his widow, Irene, who gave him loyal support throughout his public and private life.