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Boat festival stalwart's legacy remembered at event

By Kyle Ritchie

The legacy of a community "champion" who grew Portsoy's Scottish Traditional Boat Festival from humble beginnings to an international showcase was remembered at the event over the weekend.

Roger Goodyear, who was the co-chairman, died just weeks before the event after a short illness with cancer.

The 26th festival was held in the town this past weekend which included a wide range of maritime, crafts, music, food and sports events.

At the opening ceremony Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Clare Russell paid tribute to Mr Goodyear and the work he had done for the event over the years.

She said: "He and his team made the festival what it is today.

"Roger's legacy to Portsoy is amazing. The festival has gone from 3000 people to well up to 20,000 now with people coming from all over the world.

"The Salmon Bothy, Boatshed, the Sail Loft, the caravan site have all been renovated beautifully and are thriving.

"Roger had been involved with many other projects and events from all over Banffshire and Aberdeenshire, but of course from my point of view he was the most marvellous Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, always by my side helping me.

"His organisation skills were marvellous. North-east Scotland has lost a real champion of their community.

"We organised many royal visits together and I was delighted that he had a lovely conversation with the Duke of Rothesay when he visited Banff and Macduff a few weeks ago.

"His Royal Highness was very interested to know how the Sail Loft was now because when he opened it the destructive flood had swept through the project shortly before the opening.

"But as usual Roger and his team managed to overcome the problems and the opening went on as programmed.

"Roger was the most amazing man, full of wisdom and great kindness. A marvellous organiser, huge fun and much loved by everyone.

"He will be greatly missed but will never be forgotten by Portsoy. We thank him for all he has done in this life but he would want us most of all to go on and make Portsoy boat festival this year a huge success."

The Lord Lieutenant went on to thank co-chairman Keith Newton and his team who had organised the event.

She added: "The festival relies on the support of many businesses and individuals whether it be financial, in kind or of their time, without that support we would not be able to do this and we are very grateful to all.

"The festvial committe has given up huge amounts of time to bring the event together and I know what a difficult time it has been.

"It's been wonderful to see all the volunteers who assist in the run up to the festival and over the course of the weekend."

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