A LOCAL man who has dedicated more than 30 years to local radio was honoured on Thursday evening.
Malcolm Finlayson, who has been at the head of Radio North Angus since its formation in 1979, was named Arbroath Citizen of the Year.
Mr Finlayson said he was truly humbled by the award, jointly sponsored by the Arbroath Herald and Rotary Club of Arbroath, when presented with a lovely crystal rosebowl at the Meadowbank Inn on Thursday.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Finlayson said that, having come to the town 50 years ago, he would never have envisaged receiving such an accolade as “he didn’t like it very much”.
However, he fell in love with the town and even downgraded his position within the civil service so that he could return to Arbroath after a couple of years working in Edinburgh.
The award, Mr Finlayson pointed out, was not just for him, but for everyone who played a part in making Radio North Angus the success it is.
Rotary Club president Dale Hatton said that the award recipient was a “truly remarkable man” and was “indeed a worthy winner of the Citizen of the Year award”.
Mr Hatton paid tribute to the decades of voluntary work Mr Finlayson had undertaken on behalf of Radio North Angus, adding that it was “quite simply brilliant!”
Editor of the Arbroath Herald Brian Stormont commented: “I was delighted to hear that Malcolm was to be the recipient of this year’s award.
“His dedication and devotion to Radio North Angus for the over 30 years cannot be understated.
“I believe it really has been a labour of love for Malcolm and I am sure, like me, many of you have tuned in to the station since it came on to the FM platform some years ago.
“What has been achieved from small beginnings is nothing short of remarkable and the award is indeed well deserved.
“I believe hospital radio and the radio network in general would be much poorer were it not for your efforts Malcolm and I am delighted that the you have been named Arbroath Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year.”
Mr Finlayson dreamed of being involved in radio, growing up listening to Radio Luxembourg and the offshore radio stations in the 1960s.
A chance meeting with two former offshore presenters in 1968 resulted in him receiving some tuition.
He then went on to join TOC H Dundee Hospital Broadcasting in 1969. they were pioneering closed circuit television and he had the honour being a TV presenter at 19!
The television service proved unviable and he transferred to the radio side.
In 1973, Mr Finlayson was appointed secretary and along with fellow Arbroathian, Ian Clark, he expanded the service from two to 44 hours per week.
In 1977, the duo recognised the demand for hospital radio in Angus and Radio North Angus was established at Stracathro in 1979, Arbroath in 1980 and Forfar in 1985.
In 1996, RNA became the first Scottish, and second British, to be granted permission to transfer from closed-circuit to FM broadcasting in Stracathro and Arbroath Infirmary.
And RNA was awarded its licence in 1998 becoming the only hospital radio, to the present time, to be granted a commercial radio licence.
For their services to the community, Mr Finlayson and Ian were each awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate, and one of the members, namely 90-year-old Bert Shepherd, was awarded the British Empire Medal.
The station was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2007.