ARBROATH’s Citizen of the Year, Brenda McLeod, described her self as “speechless” for one of the first times in her life when she was informed that she was to have the honour bestowed on her.
The award was made on Thursday in the Meadowbank Inn, jointly by Mr Brian Stormont, editor of the Arbroath Herald, and Mr Don Clark, president of the Rotary Club of Arbroath.
Brenda gave a lovely speech detailing what she had done throughout her life and the huge number of organisations she had been involved with, interspersed with many humorous anecdotes.
“I’m touched and honoured to accept the Arbroath Citizen of the Year award,” she commented.
Brenda spent a great deal of her younger life in hospital in Bridge of Earn or Dundee. Once home she joined the 12th Arbroath Guides, but after another two-year spell in Bridge of Earn she was awarded the Girl Guides’ Victoria Cross, presented to her by Lady Jean Wymess.
She became a Young Leader and later a Brown Owl with the 12th Arbroath - for 27 years.
Her interest in folk music led her to become a founder member and secretary of Arbroath Folk Club throughout its existence.
She visited the Angus Black and White Minstrels in 1964 and then did make-up for them for 30 years, fulfilling a similar duty for the Musical Society for 12 years. She had a like involvement for 30 years with the Abbey Pageant Society.
She had two spells at Radio North Angus.
In her working career, Brenda was with Giddings & Lewis-Fraser for 16 years, then did nothing for two years, “got bored” and obtained a part-time job with Angus Council in their training department. She was with the council for 12 years until illness forced her to retire.
For the past 10 years she and some friends have entertained the elderly with about 10 concerts a year, as well as entertaining during age concern week.
Brenda has just retired from being treasurer at Knox’s Church for seven years. She is an elder of the kirk.
In 1974 Brenda met her husband, Martin, through her membership of the SNP. She has a stepdaughter, Audrey, and three grandchildren.
She and Martin enjoy travelling, and they have covered large parts of the Far East and Europe, as well as America and Canada.
Herald editor Brian Stormont said he looked forward to the annual presentation of the Citizen of the Year award for many reasons.
He continued: “The Citizen of the Year is all about honouring someone who has given up great parts of their life for the benefit of others without a moment’s thought.
“The person chosen by the Rotary Club to receive the accolade is always a worthy recipient and none more so than Brenda McLeod.
“When I think about a Citizen of the Year, community involvement and voluntary work are two things that spring to mind immediately. And looking at Mrs McLeod’s CV, so to speak, it would actually be easier trying to list organisations that she hasn’t played a part in throughout the years!
“Add to that family and church commitments and entertaining elderly folk, Mrs McLeod’s service to the community absolutely deserves the recognition of Arbroath Citizen of the Year.
“The Arbroath Herald is proud to play a part in the annual award of this accolade and, once again, I am delighted to be present to see another worthy recipient recognised for the outstanding work she does.”
Maureen Morrison, a great friend of Brenda’s, gave an amusing vote of thanks.