Lo­cal he­roes hon­oured

The Oban Times - - News -

A NUM­BER of peo­ple from the High­lands and Is­lands are to be recog­nised in this year’s Queen’s birthday hon­ours.

Robert Ryan, 79, will re­ceive an MBE for ser­vices to weav­ing and the econ­omy on the Isle of Mull.

The orig­i­nal Isle of Mull Weavers was founded by Robert and Kathy Ryan in 1987. When they re­tired in 2003 Robert helped move the 1920s and 1950s looms to Ardalan­ish. He then ad­vised on, and helped build, the vi­able weav­ing op­er­a­tion and trained young ap­pren­tices to carry on the skilled work, which has re­ju­ve­nated a small agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity in the Ross of Mull.

A Scot­tish sci­en­tist who be­came one of the world’s fore­most re­searchers in deep sea ecol­ogy has been awarded the OBE.

Ed­in­burgh-born John Gor­don, who lives in Eas­dale, Isle of Seil, spent his whole re­search ca­reer at the Oban-based Scot­tish As­so­ci­a­tion for Marine Sci­ence (SAMS) af­ter com­plet­ing a PhD at Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity.

Dr Gor­don be­gan his re­search in the shal­low wa­ters of the Firth of Lorn, but with the com­mis­sion­ing of the RRS Chal­lenger in 1974, he moved into deeper wa­ters (500-1,500 me­tres) to the west of Scot­land’s con­ti­nen­tal slope, working on the bi­ol­ogy of the bot­tom-liv­ing fish. His work contributed greatly to knowl­edge of food chains in the deep sea and how com­mer­cial trawl­ing af­fects fish pop­u­la­tions in deeper wa­ter.

Dr Gor­don said: ‘I was greatly sur­prised and hon­oured to be rec­om­mended for an OBE for ser­vices to sci­ence. I had to go back sev­eral times to the let­ter to make sure it was true.’

Jeanette Robin­son, 71, of Oban will re­ceive a BEM for ser­vices to the com­mu­nity in Morvern.

Mrs Robin­son runs the only cafe in the area and also acts as an un­paid tourist in­for­ma­tion worker, pier-mis­tress, dog min­der, coast-watcher, lit­ter-picker and provider of food and help for emer­gency ser­vices when re­quired. For more, turn to page 11. Jessie Brown Wat­son Don­ald­son, 72, from Skye will re­ceive a Bri­tish Em­pire Medal (BEM) for vol­un­tary ser­vice to the com­mu­nity on the is­land. Mrs Wat­son Don­ald­son is a volunteer gen­er­al­ist ad­viser for the Skye and Lochalsh Ci­ti­zens Ad­vice Bureau (CAB), and she is also a com­mit­ted fundraiser and or­gan­iser of com­mu­nity events.

Alistair and He­len Ni­col­son, aged 74 and 63 re­spec­tively, will be awarded a joint BEM for ser­vices to Can­cer Re­search UK on Skye.

Mr and Mrs Ni­col­son set up a branch of the char­ity on the is­land and have worked tire­lessly over the past 30 years to help raise more than £800,000 on the is­land.

Andrew Naylor, 54, will be given an MBE (Mem­ber of the Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire) for ser­vices to health­care on the Isle of Har­ris.

A GP at the Le­ver­burgh surgery, Dr Naylor is known for his will­ing­ness to at­tend pa­tients at any time and his ‘no ap­point­ment nec­es­sary’ sys­tem. He is also a great sup­porter of Cross­roads Care At­ten­dant Scheme.

And Shirley Spear, co-owner of the Three Chim­neys on the Isle of Skye and chair of the Scot­tish Food Com­mis­sion, is awarded an OBE for ser­vices to the food and drink industry in Scot­land.

Shirley said: ‘I am ab­so­lutely hon­oured to re­ceive this award and the news was com­pletely un­ex­pected.

‘My first thought is to say how much I would like to share this with ev­ery­one I have worked with closely over the past 31 years to­wards im­prov­ing Scot­land’s food and drink industry, es­pe­cially my hus­band Eddie and my chil­dren, Sarah, Steven and Lind­say.’

Robert Ryan from Mull, left, and John Gor­don from Eas­dale have both been hon­oured by the Queen.

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