STEPHEN Bunyan has received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for voluntary service in East Lothian.
Mr Bunyan was born in Melrose on October 29, 1933 and after attending Melrose Academy, completed an honours degree at Edinburgh University in history.
He met his wife at Edinburgh University and they married in Rushden, Northamptonshire in August 1963 and went on to have three children: Jane, Eleanor and Alistair. The family moved back to East Lothian in 1966 when he was offered the job of principal teacher of history, at Dunbar Grammar School – where he worked till 1990.
He said: “In my time, two-thirds of those doing honours degrees went on to work in the teaching profession – it was very much the norm. My family were settled in Dunbar and once offered this position I never moved away.” Since 1966, Stephen has been a member of St Anne’s Episcopal Church, Dunbar, and he sits on East Lothian Council’s education committee as a religious representative.
Mr Bunyan retired early, in 1990. He said: “I had lots of energy and time to pass so decided to pursue many of my interests and get involved in various voluntary services, being persuaded to stand for the district council.”
He is the chairman of the Fourth Statistical Society which produced, as a millennium project, the seven- volume survey of East Lothian from 1945-2000.
This offered insights into the daily lives of people within the county since World War Two and led to East Lothian Library Services winning the prestigious Alan Ball Local History Award for 2010.
He said: “This award was highly recognised and I contributed a fair bit of writing and so on. The entire production of it was certainly an extremely gratifying experience.”
He further served as Commandant of Lothian Battalion from 1991-2 and of Lothian and Borders Battalion until October 2000.
Mr Bunyan is Deputy Lieutenant of East Lothian and has been involved with the Army Cadets, having been awarded the ACF medal in January 1999. He was a Conservative councillor from 1992-96. For Mr Bunyan, his greatest achievements include the establishment of Dunbar Day Centre for the elderly and his role as president of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalist Society from 2000.
He is also a founder member and long-term chairman of Dunbar Community Council.
On receiving his MBE award, Mr Bunyan said: “I don’t know who put recommendations forward, but there was a fair number and I guess various aspects of my voluntary service are well known.
“I am highly honoured and gratified that the Queen has found me worthy of a notice of attention and overwhelmed by the response.”