Week full of firsts is a kind of magic for Melrosian Ben

Always a highlight of Melrose Festival Week, Thursday’s installation and crowning cermeonies in Melrose Abbey were once again blessed with fine weather.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:59 pm
Melrosian Ben Magowan and his right and left-hand men harry Fletcher and Russell Mackay parade around the town following the ceremony.

Guest speaker Justin Sinclair, originally from Dundee but headteacher at Earlston High School for the past four years, gave this year’s oration.

Mr Sinclair spoke of what makes a community like Melrose so special.

“They say the sun always shines on the righteous, and it has this evening,” he said.

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“In my four years that I’ve been here, I’ve grown very fond of Melrose.

“I was brought up in a 1960s grey housing scheme in Dundee, and in many ways it couldn’t be more different from here, but I was brought up by two very loving parents and I was brought up in a community that offered so much and gave me many opportunities.

“Melrose is a place which similarly offers opportunities to its young people.

“This place you call home is truly special.”

Earlier in the evening, festival chairman Douglas Hardie presented the Melrosian with his sash and said: “Ben has carried out his duties as Melrosian in a very professional manner and I am confident that he will be a worthy ambassador for our town and community in the weeks ahead.”

Presentations were also made to 1969 Melrosian Graham Wilson and 1994 Melrosian Gavin Ross.

Crowning lady Kathleen Ramage, 1944’s queen, was joined on stage by her counterparts from 1959, Jennifer Logan, now living in Edinburgh; 1969, Evelyn Brown, of St Boswells; and 1994, Deborah Caswell, back home from London for the occasion.