Two young Scots from Dumfries and Galloway who were born on the same day as the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 joined South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth at the Parliament’s 20th anniversary event.

Emma Kennedy from Kirkpatrick Fleming and Chloe Jeans from Lockerbie were both born on the 1st July 1999, the same day the Scottish Parliament held it’s first session. They attended the Scottish Parliament’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday 29th June. A ceremony took place in the Debating Chamber where HM Queen Elizabeth II addressed Parliament followed by performances from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the National Youth Choir of Scotland and a poem written and performance by Jackie Kay, the Scots Makar.

In the afternoon, Parliament’s doors were open for visitors to join in the celebrations with displays, performances and face painting.

After the event Emma Kennedy said, “I would like to say thanks for the invite, it was an honour to be part of the celebration.”

Chloe Jeans said, “I was delighted to be invited to the event. It has been ten years since I visited Parliament and this is a celebration I will remember.”

Colin Smyth said, “I still remember proudly campaigning and voting for devolution in 1997 and have the huge privilege of representing South Scotland in our Parliament now. The 20th anniversary taking place are a reminder of how far the Parliament has come, how it has established itself and the difference it has made to people living and working in Scotland. I was delighted to join two of those young people, Emma and Chloe, who share the same birthday as the Scottish Parliament.

The focus on young people as part of the celebrations is a reminder that what is important is not the Parliament’s past, but the future and what it does to help generations to come. There is more work to be done particularly for rural communities where Holyrood can often feel as far away from the centre of power as Westminster.”

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