Citizen of the Year Presentation & Business Meeting

Thu 17th May 2012

Each year, in partnership with the Berwickshire News, Duns Rotary Club invites nominations from the community for a Citizen of the Year. 2012 winner is Rev Donald Gaddes who received his trophy at the club's meeting of 17 May.

The Citizen of the Year Award was introduced in 2010 by Duns Rotary Club in partnership with the Berwickshire News, a title of the Johnstone Press group.

The 2012 Citizen of the Year is Revd Donald Gaddes and he received the trophy at the Club's weekly meeting of 17 May.  Also present was the 2011 winner, Neil Redpath.

President Robert Lamont made the citation for the award and then asked Neil to hand over the trophy to Donald, though as this is a not insubstantial piece of wood carving the 'handover' was effected with speeches and an appropriate handshake!

Neil expressed his pleasure at having served as Citizen of the Year for the last twelve months and his recognition of the distinctive and significant contribution Donald has made to the community in the past year or so, fully meriting the nomination for the 2012 award.

Donald received the award with an acceptance speech which down-played his own actions and highlighted the importance of the award as he saw it in promoting the town and encouraging people to make a contribution to community goals.  He urged everyone to 'get behind' the award and ensure it gained the profile it deserved.

President Robert thanked him for his comments and then presented Neil with a commemorative plaque for his year of office.

Club members warmly applauded the award winners past and present for their achievements and for their participation in the award.

Photographs of the proceedings are by Kimberley Powell of the Johnstone Press and we are grateful for the consent of the Johnstone Press to make them available to us.



Reverend Donald Gaddes

Although retired from Kelso for 18 years Donald has been the Locum Minister in Duns Parish Church since the last minister, Revd Andrew Morrice, left in December 2009. Many retired ministers take locum posts to cover holidays and other short-term absences by parish ministers, but Revd Gaddes has done far more than that. He has, in effect, been the parish minister since the vacancy occurred and has carried out the duties of a full-time minister. He has visited the sick in hospital and at home, attended virtually every meeting of all the many groups that function within the parish and planned and delivered inspiring services almost every week for over 21/2 years. This is by a man well into his eighties who was enjoying his well-earned retirement before the vacancy occurred.

Donald Gaddes has kept the morale of the parishioners high when it seemed as though all efforts to secure a new minister were coming to nothing. He encouraged the youngsters in the Sunday Club and their leaders and added his voice to the choir when needed! He welcomed Duns Primary School to the Church at Christmas and Easter and supported all the many organisations who held fund-raising events in the Church or Church Hall.

The Reiver's Party and the Wynsome Mayde were made welcome during the Summer Festival each year, when the Church plays its part in strengthening the community of Duns.

In addition he has continued as an active participant in other local activities such as BAVS (for which he operates the BAVSassist local grants scheme) and as volunteer chairman of Berwickshire Furniture Restoration Co Ltd., a charitable company recycling household goods.

Now that a new minister will be coming to Duns, Donald will be able to step back and enjoy his retirement again, but the congregation of Duns Parish Church, and the wider community of Duns, owe him a huge vote of thanks for his service to the Church and the town.

Few people in recent years have done as much for Duns as Donald and I call upon Neil Redpath, Citizen of the Year 2011, to present him with the Citizen of the Year Award.

Robert Lamont


Duns Rotary Club