A Very Merry Christmas from Provost Ronnie Proctor
The Festive Season is upon us and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The start of this season will be remembered – or then again, perhaps not – for a snap UK Election. The debate has been heated, if not always well-lit and at times the rhetoric has been harsh and divisive.
Votes have been declared and the country has spoken and I hope that we can all now come together to enjoy one another’s company as loving families and steadfast friends.
Most of us will have time to share with loved ones. I hope that time is well spent and memories made and cherished. Not all of us will be at home, however – many will be hard at work, both at home and overseas.
Among them will be our public servants here in Angus and they have my heartfelt thanks for the care, support and protection they give to us. Thank you all for your diligence, your professionalism and sacrifice this Festive Season and throughout the year. Your commitment is valued by us all.
Those words are the same for our armed services who are on active duty throughout the world. Among them are the crew of the MHS Montrose who have undertaken a vital and eventful operational tour of the Middle East. Best wishes and congratulations to them on their pivotal role.
Closer to home, 2019 has been another busy year for Angus.
This summer, it was a pleasure to see the ranks of No. II (AC) Squadron Royal Air Force parade through Montrose in celebration of their Freedom of Angus. The close links between the RAF and the town span more than a century and are nourished by our friends at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre.
Just weeks earlier, it was an honour to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Forfar to the historic town. In what was my own personal highlight of the year, their Royal Highnesses spent all day in the Royal Burgh and met with citizens of all ages. It was a pleasure to see how Edward and Sophie embraced the town and its people and to see that reciprocated.
In 2020, Arbroath celebrates 700 years since the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath. It is set to be another memorable year for the town. It was wonderful to see the marvellous bronze Bas Relief on its unveiling at the town’s Abbey in October – it captures Arbroath’s history wonderfully well and offers an exciting hint at the celebrations to come.
Arbroath has not been found wanting in events to celebrate. The Red Lichties had a tremendous season, securing the Scottish First Division title and they continue to hold their own in the championship this term. Congratulations one and all – you do us all proud.
I am honoured to serve as your Provost and to be inspired by all the citizens of Angus – our young and not so young, those in private industry and business, those in the public sector, as well as our young academic achievers and community-spirited volunteers. You each set an example for us all to follow and we are proud of what you do.
2020 approaches. It will arrive with opportunities and challenges aplenty that will produce a wealth of achievement and memorable occasions.
As we bid farewell to 2019, I hope that you and yours have a joyful and peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Ronnie Proctor MBE FSA Scot
Provost of Angus