Leader: So, who is the greatest person ever to come from Edinburgh?

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So, who is the greatest 
person ever to come from Edinburgh?

Ask the question of six friends sitting around a table and you’d probably get a different answer from each one. But that is all part of the fun of these debates.

Of course, it is very difficult to compare the relative merits of, say, a world-beating athlete such as Allan Wells and a writer such as JK Rowling who has caught the imagination of countless millions.

The answer to so many of the questions that will be thrown up will come down to personal perspective. For instance, James Young Simpson improved so many people’s lives by discovering the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, but does that make him a greater person than war hero Tom Hunter, whose courage earned him a Victoria 
Cross?

We will draw up our own list of the 100 greatest Edinburgh citizens of all-time over the coming weeks. That list inevitably will only be the start of the debate in homes across the region.

The fact many will disagree with at least some of our conclusions doesn’t matter. What is important is that this is a great chance to celebrate so many of this great city’s tremendous success stories.

A lot of the news is always negative, but our search for the Capital’s “100 Greatest” will dwell only on the inspirational.

So join in the fun, enjoy the positivity and tell us what you think. Full details of how to take part are on page 13.

Rising from ashes

The incredible response to the blaze which ripped through the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder must have given its owners some comfort.

Shirley and Brian Curran have been left devastated by the fire which killed many of the animals which they are dedicated to 
protecting.

The story has touched hearts around the world and donations have been flooding in to help with the recovery operation.

This is vital as the zoo is a non-profit making operation and without visitors will be simply unable to survive. Even before the fire, it faced a constant fundraising battle to keep the doors open.

As the rebuild continues and the community rallies round, everyone will be hoping the interest and support continues to enable it to emerge stronger and secure its future.

The fire may appear to have been a devastating blow, but from the ashes an even more successful attraction could yet emerge.