Historic moment for brothers and Peebles

Start of Beltane Parade.
Start of Beltane Parade.

BANKER Cameron Young was sound as a pound – and certainly sounder than a Euro – last night when he was installed as Peebles Cornet.

He followed in the footsteps of brother Ewen who returned the burgh standard at a ceremony in front of the Parish Church to see it immediately entrusted to brother Cameron.

It was a moment of history – the first time a sibling had succeeded a sibling as Cornet.

There has only been one other pair of brothers who have served as Cornet – Scott Anderson in 1992 and Gary two years later.

Installed as Cornet’s Lass was Rae Brown, a childcare student at Borders College.

Following his elevation from Cornet-Elect to Cornet, the Bank of Ireland worker led a cavalcade around the town boundaries.

The evening also saw Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP installed as Warden of Neidpath and deliver an oration from the steps of the ancient castle which towers above the Tweed.

Chases followed on the edge of the golf course where, amongst other trophies, the coveted Beltane Bell, was contested. A rousing reel brought the evening to an end in front of the Tontine Hotel.

Beltane Queen Niamh Kinahan, a pupil at Halyrude Primary, will be crowed on Saturday morning and she was one of the principals who participated in the opening ceremony of Beltane week on Sunday.

She joined other leading lights in the Quadrangle for a parade along the High Street and over Cuddy Bridge to the ruins of the Cross Kirk.

Youth organisation, the Callants Club, Ex-Cornets Association, the Cornets’ Lass Association and councillors were amongst those who marched with the town’s silver and pipe bands.

The weather, after two days of torrential rain, was kind and only a light shower fell during the ceremony amidst the ruins.

It was here that Nancy Norman – soon to retire as the minister for Lynn and Manor – was installed as Warden of the Cross Kirk, a title that dates from 1930 and which is shared between religious denominations.

The former Scottish Borders councillor was installed by the 2011 warden, the Reverend Jim Wallace.

Warden Norman’s theme for her sermon was that many things in life remained incomplete and that there was much to be said for things that were uncertain, inconclusive and incomplete.

She cited three examples. She told the congregation: “Our community is incomplete, one generation flows into another ... and so our community is good because we need everybody here and everybody who will be here, for centuries to come, to continue to make Peebles the best it can be.”

She also stated: “Our concern is incomplete ... concern is what prompts us to want to make things better for others. We are incomplete without others and others are incomplete without us – and we need each other.”

Her final example was consecration – it was incomplete because it required more than the individual was able to do. It required, she said, God’s blessing.

She added: “Everything we begin and everything that has begun – if it is of any worth – needs others. Others – who have yet to come over the hills tae Peebles – to fulfil our dreams and who, inspired by what they will look back on in us, will begin their own dreams.

“Without us, they are incomplete and without those will come after us, we are incomplete – the future is nothing unless it is open-ended, open-handed and open-hearted.”

Following the ceremony the two bands escorted the participants back to the Quadrangle and the 2012 Beltane and March Riding festival was well and truly under way.