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The Bard of Banff
Thomas Blake Glover


(The Broch Samurai)

Construction in Building Hall

Thomas Blake Glover,
is a very famous man,
not so well known in his home town,
but he’s a hero in Japan.

Born in the Broch,
15 Commerce Street in 1838,
he had 6 brothers and a sister,
and a future which was destined to be great.

His father was English
and his mother was a Scot,
she came from Fordyce in Banffshire
and loved wee Tom a lot.

He became a Merchant
and sailed the seven seas,
he sold ships and weapons
and all kinds of teas.

In 1863,
he settled in Japan,
in a place called Nagasaki,
he made roots, this proud Scotsman.

Japan was a dangerous place then
and the Shogun ruled with terror,
but Glover helped the Samurai,
reinstate the good Emperor.

Japan’s Navy needed ships
and he remembered his homeland,
so he commissioned the build of three warships,
in Aberdeen in Scotland.

He went and he got married,
in 1867,
to Tsura, a Samurai’s daughter,
a marriage made in heaven.

She wore Butterflies on her clothes
and Puccini’s Opera she did inspire,
‘Madame Butterfly’,
was created because of her attire.

He helped industrialise Japan
and even opened his own shipyard,
this was later to become Mitsubishi,
after Glover found times hard.

Glover was so highly regarded,
the Japanese did honour his name,
the gave him the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’,
no other foreigner knew this fame.

Glover died in 1911,
in his Nagasaki home,
it is now Japans top tourist attraction,
where 2 million visitors a year do roam.

15 Commerce street in the Broch,
was bombed in WW2,
one day perhaps it’ll be rebuilt,
and be a top tourist attraction too!

NB: ‘The Broch’ is the local name for the town Fraserburgh (My birth place).

Stanley Bruce.
25th February 2004.

Salmaid Launch


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