Edinburgh: launch of David Gemmell Memorial Fund

 Cardinal Keith O'Brien will mark the first anniversary of the death of Mgr David Gemmell at a special Mass in St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh this Thursday, 5 March at 7.30pm. Mgr Gemmell died aged 54 in Barcelona last year.

Following the Mass the David Gemmell Living Memorial Fund will be launched by his friend and former GP, Gerry McPartlin. The purpose of this fund is to raise money toward a new L' Arche home in Scotland or overseas.

L' Arche homes provide support and care to adults with learning difficulties. Gerry McPartlin was Fr David's GP and close friend for many years. They
climbed together on numerous Munros as well as in the Alps and in the Himalaya. They completed their rounds of the 284 Munros together in 1996, in a group of five which is still the largest group known to have completed the Munros at the same time.

To raise funds for the David Gemmell Living Memorial Fund" Gerry will undertake a sponsored second round of all the Munros. This will involve climbing over 400,000 feet and walking more than 1,000 miles. Typically it takes in excess of ten years to do all the Munros but Gerry is attempting to do it in three to four months, starting in Spring, 2010. If he succeeds, it is likely that his will be the fastest Munro round by a pensioner ­ he will
be 66.

Gerry said: "Fr David has gone from us far too soon leaving so much grief. But his untimely death at the age of 54, has also left a burning desire to do something to remember him; to remember him not just in our hearts and minds and prayers, but in some tangible and enduring way."

Adding his support, Cardinal O'Brien added: "It is very fitting that David should be remembered in this way, I am delighted that a lasting legacy will keep his memory alive with a project he would have approved and appreciated."

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