John Hodgart is the Scots Champion in the Scots Language Awards 2021.
The Scots Champion award is for ootstaundin service tae the cause o Scots and for fechtin for the richts o ithers tae speak, write and learn in the Scots leid.
John Hodgart hails fae Dalry and has Ayrshire in his hert and heid, his bluid and ilka sinnon.
An Honorary Member and no lang syne Chairman o the legendary Dalry Burns Club, John Hodgart kens his Burns. Scotland’s greatest poet and Ayrshire’s ain is a pairt o John’s literary heritage and woven intae the rich tapestry o his faimly life forby. John had juist aboot aw o Tam o Shanter aff by hert afore he wis even ten year auld.
But as John wance said at a national teachers’ conference,“How long can we continue praising Burns as our national bard and treat his language as a foreign language?”
In his darg as a dominie, John – formerly principal teacher o English at Garnock Academy in Kilbirnie – for mony years brocht his intellectual smeddum and uncowpable commitment tae learnin tae the educational development o North Ayrshire weans. He introduced thoosands o schuil bairns no juist tae Burns but tae ithers writers fae Scottish and warld literature and no for wan meenit treated the language o his Scots speakin pupils as a foreign yin.
John’s Scots play “Bessie Dunlop: The Witch o Dalry” is a seminal text about the persecution and challenges women had tae thole in saxteenth century Scotland and is read and studied in schuils across the country.
John also writes lyrical and aften mischievous Scots poems aboot the land and touns o Ayrshire but has never been blate tae staun up for Scots and Scots speakers. John continues tae be a tireless and fearless advocate for Scots at baith local and national level.
His career in education and as a Scots makar and significantly his lang service wi the Association o Scottish Literary Studies set him apairt as ane o the maist important voices and fechters for Scots in Scotland the day. John Hodgart is a worthy Scots Champion for this year’s Scots Language Awards.