Ser­vice with a smile sees Jean hon­oured with BEM

The Oban Times - - News - MON­ICA GIB­SON mgib­son@oban­times.co.uk

A WOMAN who has served the com­mu­nity with a mix­ture of friend­li­ness and dis­cre­tion has re­ceived Royal recog­ni­tion.

Jean­nette Robin­son, or Jean as she prefers, has run the Locha­line Snack Bar on the old pier for nearly 30 years.

Her com­mit­ment has now been recog­nised as she re­ceived a Bri­tish Em­pire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Hon­ours.

The news came as a sur­prise to Jean who said: ‘I was in tears. I am still in shock.

‘I have been here for 27 years and it’s just a re­ally nice thing to be recog­nised. I’ve met so many lovely peo­ple over the years.’

The no­tice came through on the June 11, the day of the Queen’s official birthday.

Jean had ac­tu­ally found out the day ear­lier, but is well versed in the art of se­crecy thanks to her for­mer job and she con­tin­ues to use th­ese skills at the snack bar.

The 71-year- old added: ‘I def­i­nitely have crossed paths with some celebri­ties – it’s been lovely to meet them but what I al­ways say is that they are on their hol­i­days, so I am very dis­creet and never talk about who I’ve met.

‘I worked for the Min­istry of De­fence in my past life so I had to sign se­crecy acts and I guess that’s just stayed with me.

‘I was sworn to se­crecy about this award as well, which was dif­fi­cult, but helped make the whole thing more fun.’

Jean has two grown up chil­dren and de­spite them liv­ing away from home, she keeps the cafe opened all year, apart from Jan­uary, to feed and greet hungry sailors. Jean hasn’t yet found out who is re­spon­si­ble for her nom­i­na­tion, but con­sid­er­ing she helps tourists find their way and of­fers as­sis­tance to the emer­gency ser­vices from time to time, she be­lieves there could be a few ‘cul­prits’.

Jean told The Oban Times: ’I don’t know who would have nom­i­nated me.

‘There could be a few peo­ple that might have been thought­ful enough but I have just en­joyed my time here and loved meet­ing ev­ery­one.

‘It’s a hub of the com­mu­nity down here on the pier, so it has been nice as my fam­ily are liv­ing down south – they are educated and have started lives of their own.

‘My daugh­ter is a carer so she gets that side from me and my son is a chef and he gets the cook­ing side from me, so that makes be very happy.’

Jean be­lieves she will be pre­sented with the award lo­cally, but she hasn’t heard when or where ex­actly the event may take place, how­ever she is re­ally look­ing for­ward to it and said she ‘ will need to buy a frock’ for the oc­ca­sion.

Jean who is to be pre­sented with a BEM is look­ing for­ward to a few more years run­ning the Locha­line Snack Bar. Pho­to­graph: An­thony MacMil­lan Pho­tog­ra­phy

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