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"Fair tricket" with honours recognition

By David Porter

A CHAMPION of Doric in the north-east has been recognised for his service to the promotion of the language in the New Year honours list.

Alexander (Sandy) May from Longside was made an MBE for services to the Doric language, culture and heritage in the north east of Scotland.

While best known to many for this long term association with the Buchan Heritage Society, Sandy is also involved in the production of its Heirskip magazine, has been heavily involved with the Strichen Heritage Festival and was also one of the people who brought together the James Morrison Photographic Collection.

Much of Sandy’s time is focused on intergenerational work, involving volunteers working with school children where he continues to ensures that local children learn about their heritage and about work in community life, the trades, skills, clothing, language and music as it was in the past.

So much so that his efforts were recognised locally in 2017 when he was nominated for an Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards, winning the Inspiring Aberdeen Doric title.

A resident of Longside for most of his life, he has shared his passions for the tradition, heritage and culture of the north-east with hundreds of others not least during his time in a leading role at theBuchan Heritage Society.

His passion has also seen him for many years take a leading role with the Buchan Field Club, which has been promoting local archaeology and folklore since 1887.

Serveing on his local community council for more than 50 years, with a large portion of this period as chairman his skills have been put to good use in the planning of the Annual Festival in Strichen, which promotes culture through concerts and talks, and workshops for hundreds of schoolchildren.

Made an MBE in recognition of his efforts he noted that the award helped him to realise the positive impact his actions have had on others.

He said: “I never thought much about what I was doing, just that I was doing it, I am absolutely delighted and I hope to continue on with it all.”

Working with the arts also proved the basis of another MBE presentation, which was made to Sarah Paterson for her work with the community in her role with the Woodend Barn in Banchory.

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