Baton honour for two pillars of community

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Two pillars of the Midlothian community with a century of volunteering work between them will be given the honour of carrying the Commonwealth Games baton when it passes through the area this summer.

Eleanor Dalgetty, 71, the president of Midlothian’s only hockey club, and Korean War veteran William Burns Scott, 85, known affectionately as Burns, will be among 100 members of the public carrying the Queen’s Baton as it makes its way through the county on June 16.

Eleanor has been president of Eskvale Hockey Club for almost 40 years, growing it from a single women’s team to two, as well as adding a men’s team and a youth section.

“Being nominated as a baton carrier is a tribute to the club. I don’t see it as a personal honour,” said Eleanor. “It is a thank you to the club for all the work over the years.”

She said she was “surprised and excited” at the thought of carrying the baton as it winds its way through Scotland ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

In nominating her, Eskvale Hockey Club wrote: “Eleanor is a fantastic role model to all the men, women, boys and girls who play – many of whom she pushed in their buggies whilst their parents played.”

Eleanor, who lives in George Drive, Loanhead, initially only planned to help out the hockey club in its first few years.

“Everything was a battle as we didn’t have the facilities we do nowadays. We made the best of what we had but there was such an enthusiasm to get the club going,” she said.

War veteran Burns has been helping people in the community since 1954, when he left the Royal Navy after eight years’ service that saw him in action around the globe.

He got involved with the Penicuik Gala Committee, which is responsible for the town’s annual celebrations and was on the management committee of the local YMCA/YWCA.

He received an award from the Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police for Public Spirited and Determined Actions in 1990 after he was stabbed by thieves when he stopped them breaking into a car.

And in 2006 he was awarded with a crystal paperweight from the chairman of the British Heart Foundation after 18 years of service with the charity.