Royal touch at award cel­e­bra­tions

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A ROYAL ap­pear­ance added ex­tra sparkle to di­a­mond an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in Lochaber.

HRH The Earl of Wes­sex met ScotRail staff at Fort Wil­liam rail­way sta­tion as well as pupils and staff from lo­cal schools to mark 60 years of The Duke of Ed­in­burgh’s award (DofE).

The Prince was wel­comed by Phil Ver­ster from ScotRail be­fore the two ped­alled the first mile – on static bikes – of a 348-mile cy­cle be­ing un­der­taken by 11 ScotRail ap­pren­tices as part of their ‘di­a­mond chal­lenge’. Mr Ver­ster, ScotRail Al­liance’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, said: ‘I am im­mensely proud of our all our ap­pren­tices who have worked very hard to­wards a Gold Duke of Ed­in­burgh Award. It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for them to gain in­valu­able skills which will stay with them for­ever. We are hon­oured to wel­come HRH The Earl of Wes­sex to help us cel­e­brate the di­a­mond an­niver­sary.’

Peter West­garth, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of DofE, said: ‘The char­ity is an in­te­gral part of life in Scot­land which has played an in­valu­able role in the de­vel­op­ment of many young peo­ple.’

Pho­to­graphs by Anthony MacMil­lan Pho­tog­ra­phy.

Lochaber High School pupils on the Duke of Ed­in­burgh Award scheme show the Earl pic­tures of their ex­pe­di­tion ca­noe­ing on Loch Arkaig.

The Earl hands over a cer­tifi­cate to Ni­cola Smith and Iain Mor­ri­son to mark the Univer­sity of the High­lands and Is­lands on be­com­ing a li­censed DofE cen­tre.

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