THE Herald’s campaign to create a memorial garden as a fitting tribute to Scotland’s coronavirus victims has received a major boost with a £10,000 donation from one of Scotland’s foremost philanthropists and entrepreneurs.

Former printing tycoon John Watson OBE generously offered £10,000 to our Garden of Remembrance campaign, which more than doubles the total raised so far towards our £50,000 target.

Just days after we revealed we had passed the £10,000 mark, Mr Watson has helped us reach our second milestone.

The campaign has now raised £21,749 since its launch in late May. Our vision is to create a memorial garden to remember the lives of every Scot who has died from the coronavirus.

The charitable Watson Foundation has helped a range of charities since Mr Watson retired as chairman and chief executive of the Glasgow-based printing dynasty John Watson and Company.

Mr Watson said: “I am deeply impressed by the willingness of The Herald to launch a campaign to create a memorial garden and provide a lasting tribute to those we have lost during this unprecedented health emergency.

“Every one of those who have died are simply irreplaceable and the enduring grief of their loved ones may lessen in time but will never truly go away.

“Full marks to The Herald for leading the way on this initiative and I would encourage businesses and Glaswegians alike to get behind this campaign.

“No matter how small your donation is, it will make a big difference and it is our way of saying we care for the families of those we have lost. A great city like Glasgow needs a lasting memorial to remember the fight against coronavirus.

“I have always believed anything can be achieved when Glasgow comes together.”

We have set an initial target through our GoFundMe page of £50,000 to build the memorial garden.

Soon after the campaign was launched, Glasgow City Council came forward with the offer of a site in Pollok Country Park.

We have also received widespread support and generous donations and offers in kind from readers and bereaved families who have been directly affected by this terrible virus.

Mr Watson has been at the forefront of the Scottish business scene for several decades and sold his highly-successful printing business to the world’s largest label manufacturer US-based Multi-Color Corporation in 2013.

It was a condition of the sale that no existing member of staff would lose their job and his retirement allowed him to turn his attention to philanthropy – notably in a link-up with the charity Social Bite, which he has supported strongly.

He also served on the fundraising board of the Marie Curie Hospice at Stobhill and stepped in last month to provide a “substantial donation” to the famous Clyde steamer TS Queen Mary – berthed at Pacific Quay – whose funding from tours of the ship dried up as a result of the pandemic.

The Watson Foundation is also working with Ardenglen Housing Association in Castlemilk on its trail-blazing plans for a community food pantry offering low-cost nutritious food in a bid to fight food inequality and poverty.

Donald Martin, editor of The Herald said: “This is an incredibly generous gift from Mr Watson and his charitable foundation. We are delighted he has shown such an interest in our campaign and the donation will go a long in helping us create a fitting memorial for Scotland’s coronavirus victims.

“This fantastic donation also sees our funds total pass £20,000 and is a major boost to the campaign.”

The aim of The Herald’s memorial garden campaign is to create a memorial cairn and peaceful garden as a place where families can go to remember their loved ones lost to the pandemic.

It is hoped the site will be a place for people to be alone with their thoughts or reflect on the lives of people who have died and be a comfort to people who may want to visit.

Donations from readers and fundraising initiatives are helping us on our way to our target.

A recent donation of £440 to the fund came from Scots jeweller and artist Caitlin Hegney.

She had contacted The Herald to donate the proceeds of her latest collection, which was rainbowinspired, to our campaign.

And contributions from Herald readers helped us over the £10,000 mark with their £1,370 donations by cheque in July alone.

Early on in the campaign we received a £5,000 donation from Hillington-based business Harry Clarke Group of companies following the death of a close friend of one of their directors.

Jim Russell, from Glasgow, died from the virus in May. To donate go to: herald-garden-of-remembrance.

You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG. If you can help email