A FAMILY tradition spanning more than a century has been upheld in Selkirk with the announcement that Steven Heatlie is the Royal and Ancient Burgh’s new Junior Burgh Officer.
His appointment by the Common Riding Trust means he is the fifth successive member of his family to hold the historic post.
The Heatlie monopoly of the position stretches back more than 108 unbroken years.
Lorry driver Steven, 33, takes over from his father Andrew who announced his decision to stand down in October after 32 years’ service.
“It’s a tremendous honour and one I’ve been looking forward to for many years,” said Steven who lives in the town’s Montrose Place with wife Kirsty and daughters Maisie and Emma.
Educated at Knowepark and Selkirk High, Steven will carry out his first official duties at the end of April when the Royal Burgh Standard Bearer is appointed.
During the days of Selkirk Town Council, the burgh officers kept order in meetings, but now their roles are purely ceremonial as they accompany the Provost, for whom they historically acted as bodyguards, during the Common Riding and on visits by the Royal Archers.
Clerk to the Common Riding Trust Johnnie Thomson described the position of Burgh Officer as “completely invaluable”.
“Ask any former Provost or Standard Bearer about their terms in office and I’m certain they would all agree,” said Johnnie.
“Few people realise the work input from the burgh officers; it is a service these men render in a quiet, confident and dignified way.
“I am delighted that Steven has been appointed and feel certain the Heatlie family’s experience and dedication over generations of upholding Selkirk’s finest traditions will be upheld.”
Steven told us: “I’ve been watching my dad dressing up in his regalia since I was a wee boy and now it’s my turn.”