A special festive illustration of Oor Wullie will feature on the front of the First Minister’s 2016 official Christmas card.
The image of Wullie sitting on his famous upturned bucket wearing his black dungarees is as familiar to Scots as Edinburgh Castle.
In the snowy scene, Wullie is sitting in front of his shed with the First Minister peering round the side after leaving a present for him.
The original illustration by Peter Davidson and text by Morris Heggie will be auctioned next year and the proceeds will be shared between four charities; The Archie Foundation, SiMBA, Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund and The Dixon Community.
This year, Oor Wullie and The Broons celebrate the 80th anniversary of their first appearance in the Sunday Post in March 1936. Peter Davidson and Morris Heggie have produced the weekly Oor Wullie and The Broons cartoon strips for many years, having started work with publishers DC Thomson in the 1960s. Peter went on to have a successful career as a freelance commercial artist. Morris stayed with the Dundee based company, retiring from the editorial offices in 2015.
The First Minister said:
“Oor Wullie is a much-loved national treasure, adored by both children and adults across Scotland.
“His witty banter and mischievous character have been keeping people entertained for generations, and the marvellous artwork and timeless storylines mean that everyone recognises a little of themselves in these classic tales.
“I am delighted that on Wullie’s 80th anniversary, Peter and Morris have created a unique illustration for my 2016 Christmas card.
“Christmas is a time when we can all take a moment to slow down and spend time with our family and friends. However I also hope over the next few weeks people can take time to give comfort, companionship and support to those who need it. The charities chosen to benefit from this card are a reminder of the work done by others who do this valuable work all year round.”
Artist Peter Davidson said:
“I feel very honoured to have been asked to design this Christmas card. Oor Wullie has amused and delighted Scotland for over eighty years and hopefully this scene captures some of that joy.”
Writer Morris Heggie said:
“The adventures of Oor Wullie have entertained Scots for eight decades and in that time the mischievous scamp has become a much loved national treasure. I am delighted that the First Minister wanted to include Oor Wullie on her Christmas card. I feel very fortunate to be the cog that currently takes this iconic strip forward and am delighted that the wee laddie from Auchenshoogle is getting such recognition in the year of his 80th anniversary.”
About Oor Wullie: In 2016, Oor Wullie and The Broons celebrate the 80th anniversary of their first appearance in the Sunday Post.
With a sense of benign mischievousness and an inability to lie, Oor Wullie has a big heart, is full of tricks and is an inspirational leader of his ‘Gang’ consisting of Fat Bob, Wee Eck and Soapy Soutar. He lives in the fictional town of Auchenshoogle and his adventures always start and end with him sitting on his upturned bucket. He wages war on boredom or embarks on some get-rich quick schemes sometimes with his occasional girlfriend Primrose and often coming up against his old adversary, PC Murdoch.
Oor Wullie is so loved by the Scottish nation that in a survey conducted in 2004 the young scamp was voted ‘Scotland’s Favourite Son’, beating William Wallace and Sean Connery into second and 3rd places, with Rabbie Burns a distant 4th.
For the first time, special packs featuring the First Minister’s Christmas cards from previous years are now on sale in National Galleries of Scotland shops in Edinburgh.
The four charities selected are:
The ARCHIE Foundation supports sick children and their families across the whole of the North of Scotland. They buy specialist equipment, create amazing hospital environments, enhance staff training, buy toys, fund research, provide specialist staff and respond in emergencies.
SiMBA was founded by a team of dedicated individuals in October 2005 in response to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby during pregnancy or close to the time of birth. Their goal is to gather timeless memories that help support families through the difficult time.
Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund is a day-care centre in Sarajevo, for children with complex mental and physical disabilities. The Centre was established as a memorial to Christine Witcutt, who was killed in an Edinburgh Direct Aid convoy delivering aid to the city in 1993.
The Dixon Community has provided day care to older people across the south side of Glasgow for 44 years. In 1991 they opened their Ethnic Minorities day care centre which is designed to cater for the specific needs of older people from the South Asian Community. The project provides food and health activities which meet cultural and religious requirements.