Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden was made a Freeman of the City of Glasgow in 2007.
The son of a Glasgow councillor, Norman Macfarlane was born in Shawlands in Glasgow and attended the High School of Glasgow. Conferring the Freedom of Glasgow on him, Lord provost Liz Cameron said: “His devotion to Glasgow is perhaps best summed up by his tireless work as the chairman of the Kelvingrove Refurbishment Appeal where his inspirational work resulted in the huge sum of £12.75 million being donated to Kelvingrove.”
Lord Macfarlane was a Member of the Council CBI Scotland from 1975 to 1981, a Board Member of the Scottish Development Agency from 1979 until 1987, and a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland from 1980 to 1982.
He was created a life peer with the title Baron Macfarlane of Bearsden in the District of Bearsden and Milngavie on 29 July 1991 and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1996.
He retired from the House of Lords in 2016. He was Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1992, 1993 and 1997 and has been a member of Glasgow Art Club since 1969.