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Highlanders named in King Charles’s birthday honours list for work with NHS, police, charity and the community.


By Philip Murray

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Pamela Dudek. NHS Highland chief executive...Picture: Gary Anthony..
Pamela Dudek. NHS Highland chief executive...Picture: Gary Anthony..

Several Highland figures have been named in the King’s birthday honours list for services ranging from policing and the NHS, to charity and the community.

The former chief executive of NHS Highland, Pamela Dudek - who only retired from her post in March - has been made an OBE for services to the NHS in Scotland.

Businessman Willie Gray, from Culbokie on the Black Isle, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to charity in the Highlands.

Mr Gray (56), who is managing director of ARK Estates, was given his honour for fundraising in aid of the charity Maggies Highland and its Inverness base. He was the lead organiser of the Maggies 500 challenger, which saw 40 well known individuals cycle 500 miles through the Cairngorms in just five days.

Maggie?s 500 charity cycle group with event organiser Willie Gray and sponsor Garry MacKintosh,director HIS(centre).Picture Gary Anthony.
Maggie?s 500 charity cycle group with event organiser Willie Gray and sponsor Garry MacKintosh,director HIS(centre).Picture Gary Anthony.

The success of the event meant that an initial £150,000 fundraising goal was shattered - netting £400,000 instead. That total was enough to fund Maggies’ work for a year supporting cancer sufferers and their families.

He was the spearhead and driver of the event. Not only on the 5 days where he also did the 500 miles, but for 3 years ahead in the planning, food, recruitment, accommodation and fundraising. Without his drive, this event would not have happened.

Elsewhere in the north, Alasdair Matheson (86), from Golspie, was also awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the Sutherland village in which he lives.

He has served on the committee of Golspie Gala Association ever since its inception in 1973 - initially as vice-president and then later as president - and has been the driving force behind the success of the Golspie Gala Week.

The Gala Week’s profits - which usually total around £10,000, are used to help local schools, clubs, associations and individuals within the village, throughout that year.

Examples of such help include taking the primary school pupils to the pantomime in Inverness each year; provision of new stage curtains to the secondary school; financial contributions to the toddler and playgroup clubs; financial contributions to the local youth club and contributions to the many sports clubs within the village including football, golf, swimming, angling etc.

A retired Highland police Special Constable who gave almost 40 years’ of service to the force has also been honoured in the King’s birthday honours list.

Francis John Sutherland, who is known as Iain, was made an MBE for services to policing.

Iain retired as a Special Constable last September after more than 37 years during which he took on the team lead role for the Highlands and Islands mobile CCTV unit. He was also a sales manager.

Iain Sutherland was made an MBE in the King's birthday honours list.
Iain Sutherland was made an MBE in the King's birthday honours list.

Iain (70), lives in Inverness with his wife and has three daughters and eight grandchildren. Iain said: "The award was quite a surprise but I'm proud and happy about it. I'm the first person in my family who has had something like this and I'm also pleased for my family."

He was one of several police officers honoured in the honours list.

Congratulating all of the officers who were honoured, Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “These awards are testament to the dedication and professionalism of our officers and staff, including our fantastic Special Constables.

“I offer my warmest congratulations for this deserved recognition of their significant contribution to policing and their communities.”


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