An ex-Coldstream Guard in the 1950s, Jock was in the ranks of the Coldstream Guards Association members on parade to mark the 50th anniversary of the regiment being given the Freedom of the Burgh of Coldstream, and as the parade halted at the war memorial Jock broke rank to be presented with his medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, Jeanna Swan.
The BEM was awarded to Jock in the New Year’s Honour list for his tireless community work for Coldstream in a period extending over 60 years, and despite the rain a large crowd had gathered on Coldstream High Street for the presentation ceremony.
After the presentation Jock said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award which came as a complete shock.
“I would like to thank whoever nominated me, and also the many people who have helped me in my endeavours over the past 60 years.
“I just wanted Coldstream to be ‘Second to None.”
Jock’s voluntary work started in 1956 following three and a half years in the Coldstream Guards as a PT instructor.
He has worked tirelessly for Coldstream ever since as a member of numerous clubs and organisations in the town.
As a leisure centre manager Jock has taught many Duns, Coldstream and Eyemouth children to swim and as a Scottish Borders councillor he represented Coldstream from 1999-2007.
In 2001 when the region was brought to a halt by an ice storm, Jock’s leadership skills took over in Coldstream which had been left without electricity. He organised gas heaters for elderly residents and set up a delivery system for them to receive hot meals.
Coldstream was transformed in 2000 after Jock organised a public meeting, out of which came the Gateway Association which is now responsible for the town’s much admired floral displays and Christmas lights.
One of the most high profile projects Jock was a leading light in was the conversion of St Cuthberts Church on the town’s High Street into what is now a much-used centre at the heart of community events. Along with Martin Johnstone and Dick Mitchell, Jock was known as Coldstream’s ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and the trio carried out much of the physical work at the centre themselves.
The setting up of an Ex-Coldstream Guards Association branch in town was largely down to Jock and most recently has been the very popular Men’s Shed that started life in Jock’s shop premises on the High Street.
“Jock is the go to man in Coldstream Whether it is for fundraising, information on the history of Coldstream or something practical,” said his wife Sheena.
“At 82 years of age when he should be winding down and relaxing Jock is still looking ahead for opportunities to improve and nurture the spirit of Coldstream or to raise funds for yet another project to benefit the town.”