In 2013, Jurgen Kleinwachter, President of an innovative German engineering Company, wrote – arising from a vision which has inspired me since my long journeys in the world, especially in Africa, where I saw the misery of the women in the villages who walked for hours each day to collect the last remaining firewood, I considered it is humanity's duty to respond to such poverty and environmental destruction, which is entirely unnecessary in a land where energy from the sun is particularly abundant.
Thereafter, Jurgen, as a scientist and an inventor, decided to put his technical knowledge into the service of those who needed it most, and, today that Company produces and markets a range of innovative machines which from the power of the sun, deliver mechanical energy to drive grain mills and power tools, and, generate electricity for lighting, communication, hospitals, schools etc. But, there amongst the sales pitch and technical jargon, you read the words – innovative low-temperature Stirling Engine.
In An Historical Synopsis of Galston Parish Church published in 1997, we read comments on a former Minister of Galston Parish Church from 1824 until his death in 1878, covering a life of Christian service during which he earned great respect and love for his kindliness, generosity and strong Christianity. Reference is also made to his conscientious ministrations during the cholera epidemic of 1848-9 when he moved freely amongst the afflicted in Galston, tended them, prayed with them, and, buried them while the world at large passed by.
Robert Stirling, that man who graced Galston with his Ministry for 54 years was also the man who gave birth to the concept and practicalities of the Stirling Engine, and, almost 200 years since having it patented in 1816, that German Company - together with other international companies - reflect the concept of that innovative engine in a diversity of today's technology.
But, here in Galston a different picture emerged, in that the Memorial Stone in Galston Cemetery, commemorating Robert Stirling, his wife Jean and a daughter, was in a broken, decaying and largely illegible state, hardly appropriate for such a famous historic man.
The Kirk Session agreed this should be remedied and research led to plans being prepared for replacement of the stone. Funding for the project was addressed, donations totalling more than £3000 came from far and wide and an offer from Co-operative Funeralcare to carry out the work was accepted.
Have a walk up to Galston Cemetery, view the new Memorial Stone which continues to honour this man of Faith and Future and ponder the life of his ministry and his works which live on in Galston’s memory.
SEE ROBERT STIRLING IN THE ENGINEERING
HALL OF FAME. CLICK THE BUTTON:
The photographs are of the old and new stones: the new stone was erected on 16 December 2014 and re-dedicated on 3 May 2016.