Two inspirational Borderers have been presented with their British Empire Medals in recognition of their services to both charity and community.
Hawick’s Jane Bannerman and Adam Kelly from Galashiels received their medals from the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, Richard Scott at Scottish Border’s Council headquarters at Newtown last week.
Mrs Bannerman’s accolade was in recognition for her 40 years of services to community health care.
She founded the Hawick committee for the children’s charity Action Medical Research in 1976 and has been a driving force behind the committee ever since, helping to raise more than £100,000 to fund research grants to help babies, children and young people.
Mrs Bannerman, 77, who lives in Hawick with husband Sandy, is still on the committee and is also a founder member of a talking newspaper team, volunteering with Hawick in Bloom and the Hawick Stroke Group and as a long-serving member of Teviot Church.
Mrs Bannerman said: “I don’t know who put my name forward, but I would say to them ‘thank you very much’. One person does not make a committee. Two members of the original committee, Elizabeth Stanger and Marilyn Jarvis, have, like me, remained on the committee since day one. Hawick is a small town in the Borders. This is not an award for me. It’s an everybody award.”
Meanwhile, 95-year-old ice-cream entrepreneur Adam Kelly, was recognised for his services to business and the community in Galashiels, after selling ice-cream from his van to generations of people in the town during a 52-year career.
Mr Kelly, whose wife Elizabeth joined him for the medal presentation ceremony, said: “I still have no idea who nominated me for it. It was a very special occasions and we both enjoyed it. I was not long ago up at Edinburgh Castle getting my French medal.”
Since his retirement in August last year Mr Kelly has been busy collecting further recognition for his service in World War II. He took part in the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944 and recently received France’s highest military honour the Legion of Honour from the French Embassy for his services to the country during the war.
After the war, he returned to his previous job delivering milk for a creamery and began taking evening shifts driving the ice-cream van of army friend and café owner Tony Macari in 1964. He started his own business two years later which he continued until 2016.
With his bout of award ceremonies complete, he added: “I will get out in the garden now, weather permitting, and have plenty time to read the paper and watch the box.”
Presenting the honours, the Duke said: “On this, my first occasion for the presentation of the British Empire Medals in my role as Lord Lieutenant, I am absolutely delighted to be doing so to two such worthy recipients.”
The Duke added: “Mrs Bannerman’s commitment and hard work over the years has been second to none, and the range of activities she has supported so tirelessly is truly outstanding.
“Any one of these would have been worthy in their own right, but when combined together, they provide an example of a woman whose dedication to her local community has been quite extraordinary.
“Mr Kelly has an equally inspirational life story with a work ethic and dedication to serving his local community that has earned him the admiration and affection of everyone who knows him. He has been known to say that it is the smiles of the children and families when they hear his van coming that makes it all worthwhile, but just one of the reasons he is receiving this medal is because he is the one who has brought those smiles to the faces of his loyal customers, young and old, who so appreciate his unique contribution to their lives.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to have been able to present a medal to both Jane and Adam, each one given in acknowledgement and recognition of the tremendous contribution they have each made to their local communities over so many years, and I congratulate them both.”