COLDSTREAM’s coffee morning queens Ann Hogg and Wilma Purves were crowned ‘citizens of the year’ at the town’s annual pensioners’ party earlier this month, and the reception they received from those present proved it to be a particularly popular choice.
There are very few organisations in the town that have not benefited from the behind the scenes help of Ann and Wilma over the years. Every Saturday it will be the turn of one or other of the town’s many groups to hold a fund raising coffee morning; the stalwart group of ladies (plus a few men) who attend them week after week provide a financial lifeline to many organisations and on many a Saturday morning Ann and Wilma are to be found in the kitchen making their own special recipe of ‘coffee morning coffee’ no matter which group is holding the coffee morning.
Announcing the winners of this year’s Coldstream Citizen of the Year award, and keeping his audience guessing before presenting the recipients with the Brown Scott Quaich, Coldstream & District Community Council chairman, Martin Brims said: “As in previous years, the competition has been fierce for the Brown-Scott Quaich. And, as ever, it is a privilege to be able to honour the hard work and dedication shown by the recipients of the award of ‘Coldstream Citizen of the Year’.
“This year’s recipients can be described as cheery, helpful and quietly dependable, and these very qualities are shown time and time again, making them worthy winners of the Citizen of the Year award.”
The late Alastair Brown Scott presented the town with the quaich to honour someone whose contribution to the town may otherwise have gone unnoticed and explaining why this year it was being presented to two people, Martin added: “The community council felt that this year there would be a slight departure from the usual award, but this alteration does have a precedent.
“As with previous years’ recipients, their commitment to the community they call home is second to none. Some previous winners have held quite prominent roles within our community, but both this year’s recipients are being recognised for their public roles as well as their unseen activities which make them stand-out winners.
“They both help out wherever they can, and they are not ones to ‘Hogg’ the limelight, in fact they are more likely to be found working tirelessly behind the scenes, and between them it is not uncommon for them to get neighbours’ shopping if they can’t make it to the shops themselves, or ensuring that there is a spot of Sunday dinner available to those who may otherwise not have one.
“It is these very qualities that keep the fabric of our community together. Simply knowing that your neighbours will keep an eye out for you, and if they are not offering practical help then they will always have a smile and a cheery word to brighten your day, and sometimes that can be equally important.
“One half of their working lives was spent working in a Big House over the Border in Northumberland the other half, spent caring within the community, whether that was at the cottage hospital or as a home-carer, before they both took a well earned break from the working world. Mind you retirement hasn’t slowed them down any!
“They are particularly well travelled, in so much that if there is a bus trip leaving from Coldstream they will be on it!
“They are both active members of the Over 60s Club, and they like nothing better than getting their eyes down at bingo nights.
“Their exploits are Legion, but they do not seek the limelight, no, they are more likely to be found in the kitchen at parties!
“The heat of the kitchen might not drive them out, but a good raffle might!
“Like most of you here they are ever-present at coffee mornings and they are often first to arrive and last to leave.
“Legend has it that only four members of the Heinz dynasty are aware of the secret recipe for their famed baked beans, and this year’s winners are also the custodians of a secret recipe. And I know for a fact that all of you here will have consumed their wonderful elixir at one time or another.
“On behalf of the Community Council and the people of Coldstream, I am delighted to present this year’s Citizen of the Year award to Ann Hogg and Wilma Purves.
Ann’s response when asked to accept the award was: “There was no need for you to do this.”
There are many people in Coldstream who would beg to differ and feel there was every need to acknowledge both Ann and Wilma’s contribution to life in Coldstream.