Achnacarry man gets OBE for mountain rescue work
Achnacarry resident and HM Coastguard Area Commander Jonathan Hart says he is delighted to receive an OBE for his voluntary work with Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.
He was one of four people in the Lochaber, Skye and Western Islands to feature in the New Year's Honours List.
The others were Sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie DL, of Lewis, who gets an OBE for services to communities in the Western and Northern isles; Duncan MacInnes, creative director of Skye Events for All (SEALL) who gets an MBE for services to the arts and natural environment on Skye, and Mairi Levack of North Uist who gets the BEM.
Mr Hart has served with the mountain rescue team for more than 20 years. The role has seen him travel across the world, specialising in avalanche rescue and technical rope rescue techniques.
He says the voluntary work he does benefits his daytime job as an area commander responsible for 18 HM Coastguard search and rescue teams, all made up of volunteers.
His reaction to receiving the award is one of delight but his response is typical of all those who volunteer, a reminder of the other support that really matters.
He said: ‘I need to thank my partner Emma for supporting me. In addition, no individual award can be made without recognising that any major search and rescue is a team effort.
‘For that reason, I need to recognise and thank my Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team colleagues for being always there for people in distress in the mountains on the west coast of Scotland and for whom I receive this award on behalf of.'
Sheriff Mackenzie said he too was surprised and delighted to be honoured with an OBE. ‘It is always delightful to receive a pat on the back however deserved (or otherwise) that might be – being all too aware that there are so many others far better entitled to the recognition than am I – but it is a pleasant situation to be in nonetheless,' he told the Lochaber Times.
The creative director of performing arts promotion charity SEALL Duncan MacInnes came to live in Sleat as a young adult.
This is the third time he has been recognised for his services to the community and performing arts.
‘I am delighted to receive this honour and am grateful to those in the community that made it happen. It is wonderful to be rewarded for something I thoroughly enjoy doing,' he said.
‘I am doubly pleased the citation covers the arts and the natural environment, referring to a previous existence. I am but one of many, so raise a glass to all rural arts promoters and all countryside rangers.'
Jonathan Hart receives the OBE for his services to Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.