I WAS delighted to attend and speak at the 15th anniversary celebrations at The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design, at the end of November.

This fantastic building was the first commission of a very famous Glaswegian - Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Lighthouse was designed in 1893 and originally housed the offices of the Herald and Evening Times.

Who knew from such great beginnings things would only get better! When the newspapers moved out of the building in the early 80s, the building lay unused for 15 years but was finally renovated and launched as The Lighthouse in 1999, and it is a great example of Glasgow's cultural and artistic heritage and the outstanding architecture and aesthetics around our city.

However it is not just a building; it provides experiences through the many creative exhibitions it houses.

As a Minister I attended the opening of an exhibition on Scotland's cultural heritage from above, featuring photos from one of the very first airborne cameras.

As I was going round the exhibition I saw a picture of where my grandfather worked in when he first came to Scotland in 1964 - the Singer (sewing machine) factory in Clydebank.

I heard great stories as I grew up about my grandfather's job as a hammer operator in the factory: the early starts, the bus queues and the hustle and bustle of the thousands of employees.

For me to see the factory from above truly brought home to me those stories and was an experience which will stay with me for a long time.

Glasgow's cultural excellence has been demonstrated recently by the announcement that Duncan Campbell, who studied at the Glasgow School of Art, has won this year's Turner Prize.

Campbell is the fourth graduate from GSA's Master of Fine Art programme to have won the prestigious prize in the last 10 years - a testament to the institution and further cementing its excellent reputation.

Congratulations to Duncan, and it is wonderful that Glasgow-based or educated artists continue to excel in the arts world.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed taking part in my fourth annual St Andrew's Day debate at St Paul's High School last week, alongside Johann Lamont.

It is clear that our young people's enthusiasm for engaging, which was so evident during the referendum, has not dampened in the slightest.

There was such great energy from the young people and definitely some future politicians in the audience.

Scotland has always been a nation of emigrants and immigrants. The famous Scottish author Willie McIlvanney called Scotland the "mongrel nation".

In that spirit, it was a pleasure to celebrate St Andrew's Day with friends from the Sikh community at the Annual National Sikh Banquet.

Listening to the young Sikh choir decked out in tartan singing their hearts out was a wonderful way to end St Andrew's Day, and it makes me so proud of the many threads of our multicultural tartan.