Congratulations to our Battalion President, Marc Thomson, who was presented with his Bronze Long Service Award by Mr Sandy Manson, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, yesterday evening.
The award recognises his 15 years as a volunteer officer with the Boys’ Brigade within the 1st Fraserburgh, 1st Rosehearty and the Buchan Battalion. The President was surprised on the evening when the award appeared from “the Captain’s Mother’s handbag”.
We all send our congratulations to the Battalion President on this well deserved recognition.
The award was introduced by the Captain of the 1st Rosehearty, who said the following words about Mr Thomson:
“Although celebrating 15 years as an officer, Marc has been a member of the Boys’ Brigade for a great many years more than that. He first joined the 1st Fraserburgh Anchor Boys back in 1994 at the age of 5, meaning he has been a BB member for nearly 29 years. As it happens it would have been that year I first met him in Mrs Watt’s Anchor Boys, but I have no memory of it.
Making his way through the Junior Section he joined Alastair Sinclair’s Bugle Band with the 1st Fraserburgh, attending the national bands competition on an annual basis on the drum. All the while, in the Company Section, ‘Keno’ proved to be very able at the PT work learning a great deal from Mr Muirhead on the buck and the horse. He achieved the Queen’s Badge in 2007 and the following year became an officer of the Boys’ Brigade with the 1st Fraserburgh.
As an officer he has played a very active role in the Fraserburgh Company. As early as c.2011 he was placed in charge of the Seniors Challenge+ badgework and through that had his first appointment to the Battalion Executive as convener of the seniors group. As the years have gone on he has continued to play an active role in instructing drill and PT work as well as organising annual camps.
In May 2017 he was appointed Vice-President of the Buchan Battalion and as a result was also appointed Chair of the Battalion Company and Seniors Committee in preparation for his elevation to the top job – Battalion President – in March 2022. His enthusiasm has massively helped in the Battalion’s recovery from COVID-19 with a full and growing number of Battalion competitions being reintroduced to the area. I know from speaking to other Captains and Officers around our Battalion that his personal interest and keenness to celebrate the achievements of companies, young people and officers by way of letters and visits has been very much appreciated by all who have been in receipt of them.
What about this Company [1st Rosehearty]? It was on the 25th March 2018, at the Battalion Parade at New Pitsligo, that he had a very brief chat with me about Rosehearty. The previous evening he had bumped into my Uncle at the Davron Bar and the question was asked of him “Why isn’t there a Boys’ Brigade in Rosehearty”? The next morning, at that parade, Marc told me of this question (and the offer of a donation to get it started) and it was asked – half jokingly I suppose – if we could set up a new Junior Section in Rosehearty.
I have to say that if anyone else had asked me, I would probably have said no. It was never going to be an easy job.
I said yes for two reasons. In the first instance I knew I was being asked by someone who was dependable, committed and skilled in BB work. I knew he had a successful record in other BB projects. And I knew that because he wanted it to work that he would put in 110%. On those scores he has yet to prove me wrong. In five years we have gone from being a Company at risk of closure, to one of the strongest in the Battalion and in that effort his contribution has been immeasurable. The second reason I said yes; it was a chance to do something good with one of my oldest friends.
Like most awards in Buchan, this is an occasion where we celebrate not only the quantity of years but the quality of the service to back it up. He has done more than you will ever hear about and more than he will ever take the credit for. It may be a Bronze award for the years given, but it’s a Gold award for the time, talent and dedication gifted to our Battalion and Company to make it better for the young people we serve.
It gives me great pleasure to invite the Lord-Lieutenant to present our Battalion President with his Bronze Long Service Award”.