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NEWS AND EVENTS

HRH KING CHARLES - OUT AND ABOUT AGAIN

There's reassuring news about the King who is marking a year into his reign. HRH is out and about again after his recent cancer diagnosis. King Charles has joked that he is glad that he has been 'let out of his cage', and is feeling much better. It won't yet be a full return to official engagements, but, happily, we will be seeing more of the monarch in the weeks and months to come... In the meantime - Dumfries and Galloway Council has received the latest official portrait of the King - and here it is...

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DUMFRIES CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES

The new picture was on display at the council offices when five more people in Dumfries and Galloway officially become British citizens. The ceremony was held in the council chambers office. From left right, the region's new citizens have South African, Polish, American, Pakistani, and Algerian backgrounds. Assistant Registrar Sharon Moore conducted the ceremony and the Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong, gave a warm welcome on behalf of the King. 

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Hello and welcome to 2024. As the King's personal representatives in Dumfries, can we say a big thank you for all you have done in the last year for our communities.

The royal family are deeply grateful for all you do to make our region a better place to live and work in. D & G is amazing when it comes to volunteering; when it comes to the arts and the community, helping the young and our older folk. So many community events take place here, and here are some of those we attended last year in the King's name. Not least the coronation...

DUMFRIES: Fiona Armstrong and her Deputy Lieutenants attended some 150 events. From Gretna to Sanquhar, from Langholm to Dumfries, we have been delivering anniversary cards and presiding over citizenship ceremonies. We have laid wreaths, visited schools and care homes and been lucky enough to be present at medal presentations. The riding of the marches Queen's Gala held at the Crichton was one highlight, as was the visit by the Norwegians, whose proud links to Dumfries date back to World War Two. There was the switch on of the fountain in Dumfries and the unveiling of a flagstone tribute to the late Queen in Annan. There was also tartan galore at the various Burns' ceremonies, and the march through Dumfries by the Royal Regiment of Scotland. All stirring stuff...

THE STEWARTRY: The Lord Sinclair and his Deputy Lieutenants have also been involved in delivering Diamond anniversary and 100th birthday cards, as well as laying wreaths to commemorate Remembrance Sunday and joining in the many Coronation celebrations. Among the events we attended were the Kirkcudbright and District Pipe Band's first Scottish night of the year; the Kirkcudbright Tattoo; a demonstration launch at Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station; a Gatehouse Music Society Concert; a reception celebrating 25 years of cancer patient transport in Dumfries and Galloway; and Castle Douglas Legion Armed Forces Day 2023. The Lord Sinclair also had the honour of presenting medals to very much deserving Stewartry citizens - the Nuclear Test Medal to an RAF veteran; a British Empire Medal (BEM); and a RNLI long service award.  

WIGTOWNSHIRE: Aileen Brewis and her Deputy Lieutenants had another busy year with events the length and breadth of Wigtownshire. We began with the poignant 70th anniversary of the Princess Victoria disaster when 135 men, women and children lost their lives as the Stranraer to Larne ferry sank in icy waters.  As the year progressed we enjoyed lots of Coronation activities and planted trees, visited schools, crowned pageant 'Queens', enjoyed afternoon teas and even waved off vintage tractors for their popular annual run. 

We supported the fantastic Stranraer Oyster Festival and the 25th anniversary of the Wigtown Book Festival alongside countless other community and Armed Forces events. 

Mrs Brewis was delighted to present the prestigious 'Queen's Award for Enterprise' to the owners of Bladnoch whisky distillery who travelled from Australia with several of their staff to accept it. 

From Fiona Armstrong, the Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Aileen Brewis, the Lord-Lieutenant of Wigtownshire, and Lord Sinclair, the Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry - we thank you again for all you do - and look forward to working with you in the coming year...


THE POPPY APPEAL - THE DUMFRIES LIEUTENANCY

As part of his coronation, King Charles asked people to volunteer - and folk in Dumfries and Galloway are busy rattling tins for the annual Poppy Appeal. Millions of pounds will be raised, the money used to support serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Over the years, there have been different versions of the flower, including those made with red silk in the 1920s, and a cardboard 'austerity' poppy produced during the second world war.

This year Poppy Scotland has introduced a plastic free flower, one made entirely from paper. It is part of a drive to be more sustainable, whilst continuing to ensure that the poppy remains a symbol of remembrance for the service and sacrifices of the armed forces community.

The Lieutenancies have been involved in local launches. The Dumfries Poppy Appeal took place at the Loreburne Centre where Deputy Lieutenant Alison Hall praised volunteers. Last year the branch raised nearly 18 thousand pounds.

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Alison said: 'On behalf of the Lieutenancy can I thank you. The Poppy is a mark of respect for all those servicemen and women who laid down their lives for us - and who served our country.'

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Meanwhile people have been creative with their poppy displays. In the village of Mennock, meanwhile, the war memorial turned red - thanks to Shona Johnstone and her team.

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Whilst at Morrison's supermarket in Dumfries, Myra Smith, BEM, organised a tribute to the poppy appeal. Lord-Lieutenant, Fiona Armstrong, and Provost Maureen Johnstone, attended as a quilt made by Solway Quilters was unveiled, and a red post box was given a military feel - thanks to Doreen Johnston and her team of knitters.

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A Coronation Tree - sent by the palace to mark this year's coronation of King Charles and planted on the Crichton estate near the Queen's Jubilee circle of silver birches. In a hundred years this sapling will be a mighty beech!

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This year, the region's Lord-Lieutenants and their deputies will be laying wreaths at Remembrance Day services across Dumfries and Galloway. In Dumfries, a festival of Remembrance will also be held at the Crichton Church on Saturday 11th November. For tickets, contact veteransgarden@outlook.com


News and Events for all 3 Lieutenancies can be found below:


Fiona Armstrong, Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries

HRH THE-PRINCESS ROYAL VISIT MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF LOCKERBIE AIR DISASTER

We've had a very special royal visit! HRH the Princess Royal has been in the region. First in Lockerbie, where she visited MacRebur, a company that uses recycled plastic to make roads and carparks. This award-winning green business is taking off with global orders coming in. Director Toby McCartney who showed the royal visitor around the factory reported that she was very interested in the science behind the business. Princess Anne met staff and family of the directors and unveiled a plaque and signed the visitor book, before being presented with, rather aptly, a bouquet of flowers made from recycled plastic. 

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Next stop on the royal tour was a visit to Lockerbie's newly refurbished Dryfesdale Cemetery where HRH met some of those who were present  when a plane crashed on the town in 1988. 270 people were killed, eleven of them on the ground, when Pan Am 103 was bombed. The princess unveiled a plaque to mark the visit and laid a wreath in the garden of remembrance; visibly moved at the memorial which contains the names of all who died in what is Britain's worst terrorist attack. 

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The final visit was to Kelloholm, north of Sanquhar, where the princess toured, then officially opened Browns Food Group's new food processing plant. This new factory processes pork and other products and here she met local farmers and workers. The company's CEO, Wayne Godfrey, said they were honoured to host their royal visitor who is also President of the Scotch Chef's Club. 

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The Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong said: 'What a wonderful visit from such a popular member of the royal family! We were all delighted and honoured to host the Princess Royal who took such time to talk to everyone.'

The day was a typical Scottish one - rather wet and a little chilly - but D and G Council Convenor, Malcolm Johnstone, said it had been an honour for the region to give the Princess Royal a warm welcome. For her part, Princess Anne loves being north of the border. In 2018 she came to Dumfriesshire to open the new D and G Royal Infirmary. Popular and very hard working, last year HRH carried our more than 400 engagements. Thank you and haste ye back, ma'am was the sentiment of the day...


KING'S AWARD FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE FOR THE VETERANS GARDEN DUMFRIES

Congratulations to the Veterans Garden Dumfries who have just received their official certificate and trophy after being awarded the King's Award for Voluntary Service. The KAVS is the highest award for volunteering in the UK - and is greatly prized. 

The garden on the Crichton Estate supports former military personnel and their families in Dumfries and Galloway. Since it started, some eight hundred veterans have been helped, with volunteers providing a network of support, both mental and physical.

Gardening has been proved to be therapeutic. Yet this is not just about growing fruit and vegetables. This project offers practical, social, and emotional help. Most of the volunteers are veterans themselves, so they understand what it's like to have been in conflict zones.

Mark Harper, organiser at the Veterans Garden Dumfries, said: we have won several awards over the years, but this is the icing on the cake. To be considered worthy by this royal project is a great honour, and we will continue to help our veterans and their families.' 

Fiona Armstrong, Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, who presented the award said: 'this is special because it is the first time the awards have gone out under our new King's name. The Veterans Garden Dumfries is a shining example of people helping each other. It is the military family looking after its own - and, in the process, making our communities stronger and happier.'

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Photo credit: Les Snowdon

For details of how to nominate your own voluntary group, contact https://www.gov.uk/kings-award-for-voluntary-service


Dumfries/Norweigan Connections Remembered...

Congraulations to the Scottish Norweigan Connection - a group set up to remember and strengthen the links between the people of Norway and those of Scotland. SNC organisers, Beverley and Michael Thom, organised a memorable four-day event in Dumfries. 

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The friendship between the two countries goes back to the Second World War. In 1940 a thousand Norweigan fishermen found themselves unable to return to their homeland as it had been invaded by the Germans. Many came to Scotland - to Dumfries - where they found a warm welcome. 

It was here that they set up the Norweigan Brigade - and joined the fight against the Nazis. After the war ended some stayed and married locally.

Since then, representatives from both countries have regularly gathered to remember those wartime links, among them the Norweigan royal family - who are cousins of our royal family.

This time the King of Norway could not attend - but he did send his Defence Attache, Captain Hope. Who is seen here with the Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong, at the unveiling of a magnificent Friendship Stone. The carved boulder was shipped all the way from Norway and now sits on the Whitesands just by the Devorgilla Bridge.

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Among those at the ceremony was the Provost Maureen Johnstone, Some forty Norweigans were also at the unveiling, delighting people with their colourful national dress

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Photo credits: Dumfries Camera Club and Sandy Robertson


Tree planting by HM LL Fiona Armstrong in Keir Wood - Restoring Ancient Dumfriesshire Woodlands - 29 November 2022.

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Saturday 30 October 2021 - Sports Driving Unlimited was awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in June 2020. It is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.


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Lord-Lieutenant Fiona Armstrong and Council Leader Elaine Murray planted a tree in Dock Park, Dumfries, for the launch of The Queen's Green Canopy.


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Visit by Duchess of Rothesay to Moat Brae - September 2019.


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2019 - D-Day 75 years June 2019.


Aileen Brewis, Lord-Lieutenant for Wigtown

2 June 2023 - Alex Haswell DL presents awards at A Listening Ear event held during Volunteer Week.

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4 June 2023 - Alex Haswell DL congratulates Mr and Mrs Jock Smith on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding.

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Sally Hair DL attends the Sandhead Church Coronation Big Lunch on Sunday 7 May 2023

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Angus Carrick-Buchanan DL attends the RBLS and KOSB Parade Service of Celebration in Castle Square, Stranraer,  on Saturday 6 May 2023

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18 April 2023 - Mrs Sally Hair DL congratulates Mr & Mrs McColm of Leswalt on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding

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31 January 2023 - Mrs Brewis attended the 70th anniversary commemoration of the MV Princess Victoria disaster in Agnew Park Stranraer.  Pictured with Councillor Archie Dryburgh planting a memorial tree in the park.

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On 16 November 2022, the Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Aileen Brewis, gifted this native British tree (Sorbus Aucuparia Multi-Stem) to Potters Garden, Stair Park, Stranraer. The tree was part of the Tree of Trees sculpture which was displayed outside Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

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The Lord-Lieutenant presented West Galloway Branch of St John Scotland with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service on 1 October 2022.

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31 January 2022 - the Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Aileen Brewis, laid a wreath to commemorate the tragic loss of life of those on board the Princess Victoria which sank in a storm on this day in 1953 sailing from Stranraer to Larne.


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4 October 2021 - Mrs Aileen Brewis presents Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus group the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.


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1 October 2021 - Deputy Lieutenant Alex Haswell and Councillor Katie Hagmann planted a tree in Agnew Park, Stranraer, for the launch of The Queen's Green Canopy.


The Lord Sinclair, Lord-Lieutenant for The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright

Saturday, 2 December 2023 - The Lord-Lieutenant, The Lord Sinclair, presents Nuclear Test Medal to veteran
 
At the Dalbeattie British legion social night on Saturday, 2 December 2023, the Lord-Lieutenant presented the Nuclear Test Medal to William Watson who served in the RAF in Maralinga, South Australia during the nuclear testing in 1962.  William was 19 at the time and remembers unloading a special box containing the last three firing pins for testing from a Britannia aircraft.  Like all the other veterans from that era, William has waited a long time for his medal. With the Lord-Lieutenant making a surprise visit for the occasion,William was left speechless, but so very proud.

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The Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright attended Kirkcudbright and District Pipe Band's first Scottish night of the year on 13 July 2023 at Kirkcudbright Harbour Square and officially appointed his new Piper for 2023-24, Patrick Ringrose.  Also in the photograph is Pipe Major Glen Cunningham.

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The Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, The Lord Sinclair, presented the British Empire Medal to John Collins, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station, for his services to maritime safety.  The evening commenced with a demonstration launch at the boathouse followed by presentation of the medal back at the RNLI Crewroom in Kirkcudbright. 

The Lord-Lieutenant also presented a long service award to Robert Ross in recognition of 40 years' service with the RNLI.

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The Lord-Lieutenant presented a Queen's Green Canopy "Tree of Trees" to Crossmichael Community Woodland on 30 November 2022. The Crossmichael Community Woodland project in the Stewartry joins over 300 organisations from across the UK who were announced by the QGC as recipients of these special trees.

Photos: Lord-Lieutenant planting the tree with Richard Middleton, Chair of Crossmichael and District Community Council, and schoolchildren from Crossmichael Primary School.  The others are the Lord-Lieutenant and schoolchildren.

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The Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, The Lord Sinclair, attended Parton War Memorial on Sunday, 13 November 2022 to lay a wreath.  He was accompanied by his Cadet, Cpl Rawlings.

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1 October 2021 - Lord-Lieutenant The Lord Sinclair and Councillor Rob Davidson planted a tree at the Market Hill in Castle Douglas, for the launch of The Queen's Green Canopy


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11 September 2021 - Josephine Cameron, Director of the Gatehouse-of-Fleet YMCA Drop-in Centre welcomed the Lord-Lieutenant, The Lord Sinclair, who opened a celebratory event to mark the Centre's 25th anniversary.


29 April 2022 - Tree Planting Ceremonies at Dalbeattie Primary and Secondary Schools. 

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1 June 2022 - the Lord-Lieutenant presented British Empire Medals to Mrs Debra Murdoch and Mr Stewart Parsons.  The ceremony took place in the Council Chambers, Kirkcudbright and was attended by Mrs Murdoch and Mr Parsons' families as well as the local Ward Members and the Interim Chief Executive. 

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As part of Armed Forces Week, Deputy Lieutenant Mark Jardine MBE represented the Lieutenancy at the Armed Forces Flag Raising 2022 at Dalbeattie War Memorial.


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Lord-Lieutenant for The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, The Lord Sinclair, and Council Chief Executive, Dawn Roberts, at the Proclamation in Kirkcudbright on Sunday, 11 September.


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Deputy Lieutenant, Angus Carrick-Buchanan, laying a wreath at Newton Stewart on 14 September 2022.


Service in Whithorn held on 14 September 2022. Deputy Lieutenant, Alex Haswell, was in attendance as were Councillors Hagmann and Inglis. The children from Whithorn Primary School also attended.

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The Proclamation service held in Stranraer on 11 September 2022. The Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Aileen Brewis, and Convener was in attendance.

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Deputy Lieutenant Mark Jardine MBE DL presented a wreath of condolence at Balmoral on behalf of The Lieutenancy of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.

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Deputy Lieutenant Mark Jardine MBE signing the Book of Condolence at Dalbeattie.


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Deputy Lieutenant Annie Yerburgh laying a wreath at Crossmichael on Friday, 16 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenant Chris Walker signing the Book of Condolence at Kirkcudbright.


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Deputy Lieutenant Chris Walker laying a wreath at Gatehouse-of-Fleet War Memorial on Friday, 16 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenant Richard Agnew laying a wreath at New Galloway War Memorial on Thursday, 15 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenants, Annie Yerburgh and Richard Agnew, signing the Book of Condolence at Dalry on 16 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenant Annie Yerburgh laying a wreath outside the Castle Douglas branch of Royal British Legion Scotland on Saturday, 17 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenant Iain Mitchell laying a wreath at Irongray Churchyard on Thursday, 15 September 2022.


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Deputy Lieutenant Iain Mitchell signing the Book of Condolence at Dalbeattie on Friday, 16 September 2022.


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The Lord-Lieutenant for Wigtown, Mrs Aileen Brewis, attends the proclamation ceremony in Stranraer on Sunday 11 September 2022.


Deputy Lieutenant, Mark Jardine MBE, laying a wreath at Dalbeattie on 14 September.

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The Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong signing the Book of Condolence at Council HQ, Dumfries on 9 September.


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The Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, The Lord Sinclair, signing the Book of Condolence at Dalry on 9 September.