Toggle menu

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...

King Charles

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. 

ceremony pic


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.

postbox pic 5

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.'

postbox pic 3

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.

postbox pic 4

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.

postbox pic 1
postbox pic 2

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!

poppy

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. 

macrebur pic


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. 

cemetery pic1
cemetery pic2


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. 

browns pics


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.'

veterans-award
veterans-award-2
veterans-award-3

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. 

Norway 1

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.

Norway 2

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

Norway 3

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.

wood3
wood1
wood2


Item 1
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.


Item 2
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.


Item 3
Visit by Duchess of Rothesay to Moat Brae - September 2019.


Item 4
2019 - D-Day 75 years June 2019.


Aileen Brewis, Lord-Lieutenant for Wigtown

20 June 2024 - Alex Haswell DL congratulates Mr & Mrs Wilson on their Diamond Wedding

haswell


D-Day 80th Anniversary at Garlieston

Wigtownshire was the main focus of commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Dumfries and Galloway with a military parade, service and the lighting of two beacons.

The small village of Garlieston is famous for the development and testing of the Mulberry Harbours which were integral to the success of D-Day.

Crowds lined the main street as a parade of military vehicles, veterans and schoolchildren met at the village War Memorial for a moving service with the laying of wreaths and the unveiling of a bench overlooking the harbour.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Wigtown, Mrs Aileen Brewis said: "Standing here it's hard to imagine that this quiet, out of the way, peaceful little village played such a crucial role in the largest amphibious operation in world history, but it did and historians now rank Garlieston - along with Bletchley Park  -  as one of the Top Secret locations during World War 2. 

"Allied commanders knew that D-Day's success needed secure, sheltered harbour facilities for the advancing forces and  if they couldn't capture a French port then they would have to build their own - and the idea of the portable Mulberry Harbours was born.

"The search then began for 'test' beaches with characteristics similar to those off Normandy - flat, sandy, remote and sparsely populated to ensure an effective security cordon. After exhaustive surveys Garlieston was chosen and in the year leading up to D-Day a military camp was built and the pier head and floating roadways were developed, even the village hall here was requisitioned to put up a further 200 men.

"These floating Harbours were indeed vital to the success of the D-Day Landings, they enabled thousands of tonnes of vehicles and goods to be put ashore in Normandy each day.  They made it possible for the Allied forces to disembark quickly, for the wounded to be evacuated and they were essential in keeping supply lines going after the invasion.

"It is now recognised that the part Garlieston played in the construction of the Mulberry Harbours was pivotal to D-Day's success. This campaign, and the immense and heroic endeavour of so many, brought the end of the Second World War within reach as the Nazi hold over Western Europe began to crumble.

"The people of Wigtownshire are rightly proud of the huge part little Garlieston played in world history and I am extremely proud to be here with you as we commemorate this historic day, a day which secured all our futures and hopefully those of our children, grandchildren and generations to come.

"I'm sure you will agree today's event is a fitting tribute for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.  So many people have given their time and I thank them all,   however I would particularly like to thank the many staff and councillors of Dumfries and Galloway Council for all their exceptional work in organising this event; to veterans Padre Tom Bonnar for his service, to the school for bringing the lovely children along, to Mr Roy Walter for his historical expertise and exhibition,  and of course to all the Veterans and Regimental organisations - not just for their valued contribution to today,  but for their many "years of continued dedication and service above all else.    You continue to make me proud.  It is an honour to be with you all here today.  Thank you."

In the evening two 'Beacons of Light' were lit at 9.15pm to coincide with beacon lighting throughout the UK and Europe. 

Mrs Brewis lit the beacon at 'The View' in Port William and also cut a cake to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Port William Inshore Rescue Service (PIRSAC).

Meanwhile at Scotland's most southerly point, The Mull of Galloway, the beacon was lit by Deputy Lieutenant Mr Alex Haswell.     

d-day wigtown


GARLIESTON D-DAY EVENT

Meanwhile, as HM the King was attending D Day events in the UK and France, the 80th anniversary was marked at the ceremonial church in Dumfries. St Michael's played host to a number of cadets and veterans, plus the Provost of Dumfries, Maureen Johnstone, and the Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong. The minister, Tom Bonar, took the service.

d-day


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

Listening_Ear


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

Diamond_Wedding


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

sally1

sally2


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

angus

angus1

angus2

angus3

angus4

angus5


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

sally-hair


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.

brewis-vm-1
brewis-vm-2
brewis-vm-3


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.

Potter 1
Potter 2
Potter 3


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

saint-john


Item 5
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.


Item 6
4 October 2021 - Mrs Aileen Brewis presents Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus group the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.


Item 7
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

Tuesday, 2 July 2024 - HM The King's Garden Party
 
Willie and Kathleen Watson were delighted to have been nominated by The Lord-Lieutenant for The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright to attend this year's Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.  Mr Watson, a veteran, was recently presented with the Nuclear Test Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant.

GardenParty
 


Sunday, 30 June 2024 - The Lord-Lieutenant presented Coronation Medals to members of the Galloway Mountain Rescue.

Coronation1
 
Coronation2


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.

medal1
medal2


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.

Pipe Band


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.

Empire Medal 1
Empire Medal 2
Empire Medal 3
Empire Medal 4
Empire Medal 5
Empire Medal 6


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.

Tree planting 1
Tree planting 2
Tree planting 3


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.

parton
parton 2


Item 8
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


Item 9
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. 

tree 1
tree 2
tree 3
 


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. 

British Empire


Dalbeattie war memorial
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.


Death of Her Majesty The Queen

Lord and CE
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.


Angus Newton Stewart
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.

Whithorn1
Whithorn2
Whithorn3


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

aileen-stranraer1
aileen-stranraer2
aileen-stranraer3
aileen-proc


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

Mark and Ruth Balmoral
 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Aileen and Stephen
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.

Mark Jardine - Wreath
Mark Jardine - Wreath2
 


condolence 2
The Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong signing the Book of Condolence at Council HQ, Dumfries on 9 September.


condolence 1
The Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, The Lord Sinclair, signing the Book of Condolence at Dalry on 9 September.