Six people from the central Borders are recognised in 2018’s new year honours list.
The annual list recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people.
This year, 1,123 people across the UK have been given awards, including former dancer Darcey Bussell and veteran pop stars Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb.
Locally, Borderers have been rewarded for a lifetime of service to their communities.
Former Scottish Borders Council convener Graham Garvie has been awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to local government and to the community.
He told the Southern: “I was informed back in November, and it was quite a nice surprise. It was difficult to keep shtum as the only person I could tell was my wife.”
The 75-year-old, of Peebles, had given 25 years’ public service before he decided not to stand at May 4’s local election.
It began in 1985 when he was appointed chief executive of Tweeddale District Council.
When that authority ceased to exist in 1996, Mr Garvie worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth office as an adviser for economic development in the Balkans before his election as a Lib Dem councillor in 2003 and his subsequent elevation to the figurehead role of convener in 2012.
Earlier this year, the Liberal Democrat was honoured by his party at its annual conference in Aberdeen, when he was presented with the John Morrison Award for “outstanding leadership and dedication in local government”.
He added: “I am delighted to receive such a prestigious award from the Queen.
“Whilst it is a personal honour to me, I also regard it as a well-deserved recognition of council colleagues, past and present, and the outstanding work which they carry out discreetly and without fuss in serving the people of the Borders in so many ways.”
Tessa Tennant, who lives near Innerleithen, has also been given an OBE for services to sustainable investment.
She has worked in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors for many years.
The 58-year-old said: “I feel very honoured to be given an award, and it’s great to be one of the people in the Borders to receive one.
“OBEs are given to individuals, but I have worked with so many wonderful people in sustainable investment that it’s really for the work they all do as well.
“I have worked all my life campaigning on environmental issues and I am really happy to be responsible for the Glen Estate, near Traquair, and it has been brilliant to hold a number of conferences here on the subject.”
Among other things, Tessa co-founded the Jupiter Ecology Fund, the UK-Social Investment Forum and the Ice Organisation.
Ray Entwistle was awarded an OBE for voluntary and charitable services, particularly to the arts.
Ray, a former London banker, has lived at the Glebe in Lauder with wife Barbara since 1993, but he focuses much of his charity work around the arts scene in Edinburgh.
He said: “I have always been interested in the arts, and over the years, I have started to put something back. It’s nice to be able to help people and organisations that are maybe not quite as fortunate as myself.
“My life really revolves around Edinburgh and London, so most of my charity work is centred around Edinburgh.”
Ray took over as chairman of the struggling Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh in 1990 and, over the next decade, successfully turned its fortunes around.
Since then, he has served as finance convener during his 12 years on the board of Edinburgh College of Art, helped raise funds for the Victim Support charity, led the appeal to raise £15m for Edinburgh Botanic Gardens’ new West Gate and served as chairman of the Scottish Civic Trust. He is also a trustee of the Royal High School Preservation Trust and supports the Bill Scott Edinburgh Sculpture Centre.
Ray moved to Edinburgh in 1977 to set up Lloyds Bank’s first Scottish branch. He later set up the Adam and Co private bank, which he went on to run until he retired from it in 2009. In 2015, he opened his own private bank, Hampden and Co, where, aged 73, he still works as chairman.
Isobel Halliday, 75, of Hawick, said her British Empire Medal award for services to charity is fantastic because it helps raise awareness of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).
The charity offers a full family support service for children with life-shortening conditions, including palliative care, family respite and support.
Isobel began raising funds for the charity through car boot sales, making marmalade and jam, and collecting old clothes after her late sister Mary Stewart and her husband became involved in setting it up in 1992.
She said: “Some people have heard of the charity but don’t know what it stands for or who it helps. This award is super, not just for me but for the many wonderful, hard-working people who do so much for the children.
“I have just tried to do my bit over the years in memory of my sister, my husband Ronnie and my grandson Callum, who was in Fife and probably would have been able to use the hospice in Kinross, had it been built then.”
Isobel told us she had a hard time keeping the news of the award to herself since she received the word from the Duke of Buccleuch in November. “It was difficult, but it did warn me not to say anything in big capital letters,” she said.
“It is really a huge honour.”
A former head boy at Hawick High School was made a Member of the British Empire for services to local government in Essex.
Rob Tinlin, 64, retired as chief executive of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council last year after a career in local government spanning over 40 years.
A former Burnfoot Primary School pupil, he left the Borders as a teenager to study at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University and never returned except to see his late mother May Tinlin and late sister Nan Farquhar.
After leaving Hawick in 1972, his career as a planner took him to Aberdeenshire and East Lothian, and last year the married father of two was given the freedom of the borough of Southend-on-Sea.
He said at the time: “I am one of those people that says a day out of Hawick is a day wasted, so I have wasted most of my days since, except visits up to see my family. You can take the boy out of Hawick, but not the Hawick out of the boy.”
A retired matron manager at a Kelso nursing home has spoken of her pride after being awarded the British Empire Medal.
Sandra Plasting, 68, spent 23 years at Queen’s House until her retirement in 2016.
Now her years of loyal service have received royal approval with an honour in recognition of her services for older people and the community.
Sandra, of Inch Road in Kelso, first heard about the potential award in November but kept the news secret from her family until Christmas Day.
She said: “I received the letter from the Cabinet Office in November telling me that the Prime Minister had asked to put my name forward to the Queen. The information was in the strictest confidence, and I didn’t tell my son Richard until Christmas Day. He is very proud and it is all still a bit surreal.”
Sandra said she was sharing the honour with the staff and committee at Queen’s House, a charitable trust.
She added: “The committee has been very, very supportive, and you can work your socks off, but if you don’t have the support of staff it means nothing.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from them.”
Sandra expects to receive her BEM in a ceremony with the Lord Lieutenant the Duke of Buccleuch, followed by a visit to the Queen’s Garden Party in the summer.
Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, said: “I am pleased to see the New Year Honours 2018 recognise some of Scotland’s most deserving volunteers, community leaders and public figures.
“From the achievements of prominent sporting greats such as Mark Beaumont to the inspirational local heroes of our communities whose tireless dedication, commitment and compassion benefit so many across the length and breadth of Scotland, it is right that we mark their dedication and commitment.
“I congratulate each and every recipient on their award - they truly deserve their recognition today and our thanks and praise for their contribution.”