Borderers named in Queen's Birthday Honours list

Four Borderers have been recognised for their services in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 10:30 pm
Clockwise from top left: Eleanor Moffatt BEM, Sandy Davison MBE, George Young MBE and Pauline Elliot BEM.
Clockwise from top left: Eleanor Moffatt BEM, Sandy Davison MBE, George Young MBE and Pauline Elliot BEM.

Professor Sandy Davison is awarded the MBE for voluntary service to the Royal British Legion.

The 81-year-old from Ancrum is the president of the Jedburgh branch of that esteemed organisation, but it’s his work for the Lady Haig Poppy Factory (LHPF) in Edinburgh for which he has been honoured.

In his time as chairman there, he helped the LHPF successfully overcome many challenges, while introducing many game-changing innovations, such as transforming the paper-based system into an electronic one, including the introduction of an online shop.

He's also introduced school visits to the factory, so children can learn about the history of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

The former Royal Navy Reserve Surgeon Lt Cdr is recognised as one of the world’s leading renal specialists, and retired from the NHS 18 years ago, which allowed him to focus his efforts on the LHPF. He also sat on the main Poppyscotland board, where his contributions were always invaluable.

However, this award came to him out of the blue.

He told us: “It was a bit of a surprise, really, but I'm pleased and honoured to receive it.

"The Lady Haig Poppy Factory is a great organisation, I greatly enjoyed my time with them.”

Also receiving the MBE is Kelso man George Young, who is a long-term trustee and company secretary of Queen’s House nursing care home, which was recently named as Scotland’s care home of the year for the second year running.

The 71-year-old has also been a director of Streets Ahead in Hawick, and was regional treasurer of the Scout movement in the Borders for 40 years, for which he was awarded the silver acorn, that organisation’s highest honour.

He’s also served Kelso Community Council, where he was secretary for 20 years; Kelso Rotary Club, where he was chairman twice; sat on Scottish Borders Council’s audit committee; was a community board member of Waverley Housing Association and treasurer for the Order of St John, South East Scotland.

He told us: “I’m obviously seeing it as a great compliment, but I'm actually quite embarrassed about it.

"I’ve been lucky enough to have been working with great, successful organisations, and I’d say the staff deserve this honour more than I do. It has been an exciting few years at Queen's house, with the development of the new specialist dementia facility, the first of its kind in Scotland.”

In the development of the facility, George spent many hours negotiating with builders, quantity surveyors and architects to get the best deal.

He’s also proud of the work done by Streets Ahead.

He said: “It’s a fantastic organisation, which provides such a useful service in the Borders.

He told us why he has put in so many hours in voluntary positions throughout the years.

He said: “I was born and brought up in the Borders, and the region has given me my livelihood.

"It’s only right that I do something for the community to pay it back.”

Newcastleton’s Pauline Elliot has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the village’s resilience group during Covid-19.

The 51-year-old was a founding member of the community group, and has helped residents in floods, snow and power cuts, but it’s during the pandemic last year when the group came into its own.

As the leader of the group, Pauline co-ordinates the local response to crisis situations, working with other teams including first responders, the retained fire service and community volunteers.

During the first Covid-19 lockdown, she managed 30 extra volunteers to support community efforts to help those shielding or isolating; creating a street ‘buddy’ system so that each street was assigned a regular team visiting twice a day, using a traffic light system to ask for help.

She said: “The challenge really was the two floodings in the village, and then we had to deal with Covid slap bang in the middle of that.

"It just showed how resilient we are as a community, as everybody pulled together.”

When the letter advising Pauline of the award, she said: “I was very shocked and surprised … indeed, to start off with, I thought it had to be junk mail. But I’m so proud of the team. Without them, I would never have been considered for it.”

Also receiving the BEM is Janet Moffat, 83, of Coldstream, for services to charity in the Borders and overseas.

Since retiring, Janet has raised £99,000 for Breast Cancer Now. When she was 70, she walked the Great Wall of China to raise funds, and also helps fundraise for the RNLI, and volunteers with the Extended Churches Link to aid schools and churches in Africa.