The latest seven Lanarkians to be given the honour of becoming burgesses of the royal burgh stepped up to accept their awards at Lanark Memorial Hall last week.
Possibly the original good citizenship award, Lanark has been rewarding folk who have carried out selfless work for the community for centuries, though the tradition almost died out with the abolition of the old town council back in 1975.
However, in 2013, Lanark Community Council decided to bring the award back and the burgess tradition has flourished again since, largely thanks to sponsorship from the town’s Border Biscuits.
This year, seven new burgesses were recognised.
They include Grace Abernethy, truly worthy of her nickname ‘Amazing Grace’ for her years of voluntary work at Kirkfieldbank Primary School, her work with Lanark’s St Andrew’s Hospice charity shop and her service as a extraordinary minister of the eucharist for St Mary’s Church, taking communion every week to the sick.
Dr Jamie Hill is a hard-working member of the Lanark Development Trust board and is chairman of Music in Lanark.
Iain Hughes is a stalwart of Lanark Rugby Club, of which he is currently president and developed its youth wing, the Lanark Eagles.
He is also a valued member of Lanark Panto Club and is a marches steward.
Mary Kelly has been involved with Lanark Amateur Swimming Club for over 40 years, retiring as secretary only in June of this year at the age of 75.
Jim Robertson is an invaluable South Lanarkshire Council worker behind the scenes at many Lanark events such as Whuppity Scoorie and the Lanimners,
Andrew Sharkey has enchanced and expanded the Lanark Beavers and Cubs and the wider Scouting movement in Lanark.
Ex-lord cornet David Strachan and has long supported local institutions such as St Nicholas’s Church, the Lanimer Silver Club, Rotary club and sports council, and he is also a member of Glasgow’s world-famous Phoenix Choir.
Community council chairman Frank Gunning said that all the recipients were respected among their own community for their selfless efforts on behalf of the royal burgh.
He announced that, apart from the traditional burgess ticket certificate, recipients will now also receive a burgess badge.
This will be retrospectively awarded to previous winners of the honour.