Birthday honours for Kirk elder and minister

Jimmy Anderson
Jimmy Anderson

An 88-year-old man has been awarded the British Empire Medal for a lifetime of voluntary service.

Jimmy Anderson, a Church of Scotland elder, grew up in the East End of Glasgow and moved to Stonehouse in South Lanarkshire in 1954.

Although an incomer to the village, he volunteered as an officer in the recently formed Boys’ Brigade Company where, in his own quiet and undemonstrative way, he quickly made an impact.

When the Company experienced leadership problems not long after its formation, Mr Anderson stepped into the role of Captain - a position he held for over 60 years.

He was appointed an Honorary Vice-President of the Hamilton Battalion in 2008.

Kindness

In 2014, he was awarded a long service certificate to mark 60 years as an elder of Stonehouse Church.
Mr Anderson has been involved in the Stonehouse Senior Citizens Group for many years and is its Honorary President.

In his 50s, he decided to take up running and has participated in many marathons, half marathons and similar races to raise funds for local and national charities.

Among those to benefit are Guide Dogs for the Blind, Cancer Research and Stonehouse Hospital.

Mr Anderson was employed locally for nearly all his working life, initially with a local building firm and then as a mobile ice cream vendor.

Known by his nickname, ‘Wee Jimmy’, friend Campbell Thomson said his kindness, warm personality and thoughtfulness are legendary.

Mr Thomson said he was an unofficial social worker to the people of Stonehouse and a discreet and sympathetic ear was always open to anyone in need.

Gaelic

Meanwhile, the long-serving editor of Life and Work’s Gaelic Supplement, the Rev Dr Roddy MacLeod, has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The 76-year-old said he was ‘surprised and flattered’ to be informed of the honour, which is for services to Gaelic and the community.

Dr MacLeod has edited Na Duilleagan Gàidhlig since 1980, only the fifth man to have done so since it was founded in January 1880.

He said: “I think the supplement’s been very important over the years, and it still is.

“People use it, not just to read but it’s used in Gaelic classes.

“It still has an important role to play.”

A native of North Uist, Dr MacLeod began his ministry on the island of Bernera.

He moved to Cumlodden, Lochfyneside and Lochgair in Argyll and Bute, where he stayed until retirement in 2011.

Lynne McNeil, editor of Life and Work, said: “I am delighted to hear of the recognition for Roddy's unstinting contribution and commitment to the Gaelic language through his long-standing and fruitful work with the Gaelic Supplement of Life and Work.

“It is an honour that is richly deserved and demonstrates the respect and esteem in which he is held by Scottish Gaels."

Richly deserved

Tributes were paid to Dr MacLeod at this year’s General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which recognised ‘with sincere appreciation [his] outstanding contribution’.

The convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council, the Rev Norman Smith, said he had been “nothing short of brilliant”.

Isle of Lewis minister the Rev Hugh Stewart said the supplement was: “A great work, greatly appreciated by those who receive it.”

Former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison, said the award was “richly deserved”.

“The announcement will give enormous pleasure to his many friends throughout the Church and the Gaelic community,” he added.

“Over many years, Dr MacLeod has served with distinction and grace in a variety of roles.

“To many, he is best known for his contribution, in various contexts, though the medium of Gaelic.

“An outstanding scholar, communicator and preacher in the language, his work demonstrates both love for the Gaidhealtachd and extensive knowledge of its history.

“Dr MacLeod’s editorship of Na Duilleagan Gàidhlig over many years has been highly effective."