LANARK man Peter Wallace acted like his historic namesake and became a true ‘Braveheart’ when caught up in the Vanuata cyclone disaster.
The 34-year-old was on the stricken South Sea island working for the World Bank when Cyclone Pam struck a fortnight ago, killing 14 islanders and causing widespread havoc.
Instead of panicking – or simply jumping on the first plane out of the disaster zone – Peter just rolled up his sleeves and mucked in with the huge clean-up operation.
Now he is being hailed by the islanders as a loyal friend and has massively enhanced Scotland’s – and Lanark’s – reputation in a land thousands of miles away.
Doubtless, some of his colleagues at the international bank formed by the United Nations to help developing countries were green with envy two years ago when he won what looked like a plum posting to an exotic South Sea island.
However, they wouldn’t have been so jealous of him the night two weeks ago when the 155mph winds of Cyclone Pam smashed into the chain of over 60 islands that make up Vanuatu.
Although Peter escaped unscathed, the house next to his had its roof totally blown off.
When he finally emerged the next morning to survey the damage, he could hardly recognise the wind-blasted scene around him.
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Lanark Gazette, which is in the shops now.