British Empire Medal for Bert

British empire mEdal: Bert receiving his medal.
British empire mEdal: Bert receiving his medal.

MR BERT Shepherd was presented with the British Empire Medal by Mrs Georgiana Osborne, the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, at a ceremony held last Wednesday.

Bert applied to join Radio North Angus as a production assistant at Stracathro in April, 1982, and subsequently helped with the programmes broadcast on Friday and Saturday between 7.30 a.m. and 10 p.m., which included visiting patients and collecting requests for both programmes.

On the retiral of the existing presenter in 1984, he volunteered to present the Saturday programme whilst continuing to be the production assistant for Friday evenings,

He continued in both roles travelling initially from Newtyle, and latterly from Forfar, regardless of the weather conditions.

RNA transferred from hospital to commercial radio status in November 1998, and he transferred to the Arbroath radio station in 2000 to present both the Wednesday and Friday lunchtime programmes.

His programmes consisted principally of nostalgia and Scottish music, of which he has an expert knowledge and together with his continual cheery disposition, he attracted a large and regular audience mainly in the middle and elderly age groups.

He proved to be immensely popular with the audience and his colleagues and he also participated in fund-raising activities at various locations throughout the county.

The station management has received many complimentary comments regarding Bert throughout the years and they are therefore delighted that his services to Radio North Angus and services to the Scout movement as a District Commissioner, have been formally recognised.

Malcolm Finlayson, the managing director at Radio North Angus, said of Bert: “It has truly been a pleasure to have worked with Bert for the past 30 years and his input to the success of Radio North Angus is very much appreciated. His ongoing dedication, selfless attitude, and altruism towards others, coupled with his skill at programming and fund-raising, sets an example to all who are involved in voluntary work”.

The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds.

Founded in the year 1917, the British Empire Medal was scrapped by Conservative Prime Minister John Major as part of efforts to make the honours system “classless”. Prime Minister David Cameron reinstated the British Empire Medal to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

The honour is conferred by the Lord Lieutenant of a recipient’s home county rather than by Her Majesty The Queen or the Prince of Wales.