THERE was good news for two people in the area when the Queen’s Birthday Honours list was revealed at the weekend.
Both Ian Jarvie of Whistome and Adam Gray of Dunbar Coastguard received MBES from Her Majesty and are well deserving of their new titles.
As a member of Whitsome Village Hall Association, Ian, who was fittingly awarded his MBE for services to the community, had a frustrating few years trying to make the village’s dream for a new community hub become a reality.
Plans for Whitsome Ark, a building to house a new community centre, village shop and post office, were first revealed in 2006 and after a rollercoaster three years, which saw various financial setbacks, the Ark was finally opened to the public in the autumn of 2009.
And no-one was more thrilled than Ian. Since the Ark has opened, he has continued to work hard to ensure it is a facility that the Whitsome community can be proud of, playing a key role in the running of the village shop and assuring wherever possible that all of its stock comes from local providers.
As well as ploughing his efforts into getting the Ark plans off the ground, Ian has spent the last few years fighting another issue- the lack of quality broadband in Whitsome.
A poor internet service has become a common thread between many of Berwickshire’s towns and villages and Ian campaigned on Whitsome’s behalf to improve the connection for the local community.
And the persistence of Ian and others paid off as in February last year, Whitsome’s exchange was upgraded although Ian and others are still keen to see the village’s broadband improved even further.
An active long standing member of the Whitsome community, Ian also served for many years on Edrom, Allanton and Whitsome Community Council, and was one of the driving forces behind an attempt to bring it out of abeyance earlier this year.
Unfortunately, not enough other residents shared Ian’s vision and the required membership wasn’t filled.
Adam William Gray, Dunbar Deputy Station Officer, who has given 40 years service to Her Majestys Coastguard, has also been awarded a MBE for his stirling efforts.
Adam (known as Addy) joined the Cocksburnpath team in November 1970, and moved to the Dunbar team after his marriage.
He epitomises the ethos of the Coast Rescue Service, quiet, unassuming, hard working, doing the job for all the right reasons – to help anyone in difficulty on the coast or cliff.
During his 40 years service, Addy has been awarded the Chief Coastguards Commendation twice.
As well as being a stalwart of the rescue side of the Dunbar team, 57 year old Addy has put a tremendous amount of effort into bringing to the public’s attention just what the Coastguard does and important safety message.
HIs most memorable rescue came in 1996 when he saved four people from a sinking yacht in the North Sea, for which he received his first Chief Coastguard Commendation.
In 2003, he was awarded a second when he saved two sailors after a Dutch boat crashed into the rocks at Dunbar Castle.
Mr Gray, said of his honour: “I’m very pleased, it’s good for the family and good for the coastguards.”
A joiner by trade, Mr Gray has been on 24-hour emergency call with the coastguard since he was 16-years-old.
The father-of-three and grandfather-of-four is still involved in a variety of rescues and also helps police to look for missing people.