Janie Pryde honoured for Musselburgh charity work

Janie Pryde with her award. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Janie Pryde with her award. Picture: Gordon Fraser

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A PENSIONER has been honoured for her decades of charity work in her adopted home town of Musselburgh.

Janie Pryde, 86, was confirmed as the Honest Toun’s Citizen of the Year 2015 at a special ceremony hosted by Musselburgh and Inveresk community council. More than 100 people attended the event in The Brunton.

Born in Gorebridge, Janie attended Dalkeith Secondary School before serving her apprenticeship as a dressmaker with Gorebridge Co-operative Society.

She became engaged and married budding footballer Willie Pryde, captain of Newtongrange Star.

Willie became a distinguished footballer, signing for Airdrieonians. He also played for Scotland.

The couple, who moved to Musselburgh in the 1960s, have two sons ,Douglas and Alan, and a daughter, Hazel.

It was when Janie was persuaded by friends to join St Michael’s Parish Church that her generosity of spirit and keen organisational skills became apparent.

Having opened a guest house in Linkfield Road, she was soon providing free accommodation – and in some cases food and clothing – for a steady stream of students and ministers visiting from India and other parts of the world.

In 1986, she was elected president of the women’s guild at St Michael’s, going on to become an elder and the first woman to administer communion in the church.

As her home became a hub for community activities, including musical evenings and Burns suppers, Janie realised the potential to use such events to raise money for charity and encouraged more and more people to get involved.

“What I did in opening up my home did not pay in money, but it has paid in other ways. I did not realise until now what an impact it had made,” she said.

“This award has been a wonderful surprise and a real honour and I think it is as much for St Michael’s as it is for me. It’s a proud moment for the church.”

Thanking her for her contribution to the life of the town, community councillor and friend Cathie McAlpine said Janie had touched people in Musselburgh and around the globe with the “quiet and dignified manner” in which she had helped so many others.