Local heroes named on Honours List

Charlie Miller, who was awarded the OBE, with Mohammed Akram and Chris Paterson (middle and below) who were awarded the MBE. Photos: Phil Wilkinson/Esme Allen/Neil Hanna
Charlie Miller, who was awarded the OBE, with Mohammed Akram and Chris Paterson (middle and below) who were awarded the MBE. Photos: Phil Wilkinson/Esme Allen/Neil Hanna
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THEY are the surgeons, sportsmen, fundraisers – and a hairdresser – recognised for their dedication with the highest honours in the land.

More than 20 people from Edinburgh and the Lothians have today been named on the Queen’s New Year Honours list for their outstanding dedication to their chosen fields.

Mohammed Akram

Mohammed Akram

And perhaps none was more shocked than Mohammed Akram, who lives in Warriston and will receive an MBE for his service to the Pakistani community in Scotland.

He told of the moment he found out about his date with the Queen – and almost dismissed it as junk mail.

“I had just brought my wife home from the hospital after a knee replacement operation when I discovered a number of letters banded together.

“The first I opened was a statutory notice from the council followed by a gas bill and the third letter which I opened from the back, expecting it to be junk mail, just made me sit there in disbelief which only turned into reality once I had looked at the front of the envelope saying ‘Cabinet Office’.

“My wife could not understand why I was suddenly happy when she was in agony from knee pain!”

Mr Akram, who owns Khushi Punjabi and is the president of the Council of British Pakistanis (Scotland), added: “I see this honour not only for the British Pakistani community in Scotland but recognition of the vibrant multiracial nature of Scotland.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Miller will become the first hair stylist in Scotland to receive an honour for his services to the hairdressing industry when he is awarded the Officer of the British Empire.

The 67-year-old, who opened his first salon in Edinburgh in 1965, has worked with Teenage Cancer Trust since 2007 to help boost the confidence of young cancer patients by supplying them with wigs during chemotherapy. “Scotland has a lot of great hairdressers, so considering that level of ability, to receive this award is just wonderful,” said Mr Miller.

Chris Paterson, Scotland’s most capped rugby player, will become a Member of the British Empire just one week after retiring from international rugby.

The 33-year-old, who plays for Edinburgh, amassed 109 caps for Scotland over a 12-year international career, played in four Rugby World Cups and scored more than 800 points.

Among the best known of today’s recipients is Edinburgh-born Ronnie Corbett who, as the Evening News told yesterday, will become a Commander of the British Empire for his services to entertainment and charity. The legendary performer, who has a country retreat in Gullane, East Lothian, will add the honour to his OBE.

Among the other well known city figures is James Holloway, who as director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery oversaw the £17.5 million revamp and will be made a CBE.

Donald McGougan, formerly director of finance at the city council, will become an OBE for his services to local government.

Away from those in the spotlight are community workers and charity fundraisers who dedicate their own time to improving the lives of others.

William Rochford, a counsellor at Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, from Longniddry, East Lothian, will be awarded an MBE for working in voluntary service for 20 years.

The 79-year-old, a former deputy head of St Joseph’s School in Tranent, began counselling those who have lost a close friend or family member after retiring and went on to serve on the organisation’s national board and train other counsellors.

Gordon MacKinlay, the Sick Kids’ top consultant paediatric surgeon, is awarded an OBE after spending his entire career at the Marchmont hospital.

Dubbed the “matchbox surgeon” for his pioneering work in keyhole surgery on children, Mr MacKinley, from Balerno, said he was proud to have played an instrumental role in the development of the hospital into one of Europe’s most advanced facilities.

“It’s been an enormous privilege to work at the Sick Kids, it’s a tremendous hospital and I’m sure we’ll go from strength to strength,” he said.

Anita Green, who recently stood down as vice chair of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s board of trustees, will receive an OBE for her services to children. The 55-year-old, from Haddington, East Lothian, said: “I’ve worked with children throughout those years and it’s been a fantastic honour, but I feel it’s for all of the other fundraisers around the country like me.”

Margaret Laidlaw will receive an MBE for her service to UNICEF, which includes nearly 25 years of fundraising after witnessing the extent of child poverty in Fiji in the 1980s. She said: “I had a few young people recently who said they didn’t think putting on a coffee morning to raise £60 was worthwhile doing, but over the years we’ve raised £117,000.”

Rewards in the Lothians


• Ronald Balfour Corbett, OBE, entertainer, for services to entertainment and to charity – London and East Lothian

• James Essex Holloway, director, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, for services to the arts – Edinburgh

• Professor Alan Bundy. professor of automated reasoning, University of Edinburgh, for services to computing science – Edinburgh

• James Gordon MacKinnon. director and chief planner, directorate for the built environment, Scottish Government – Haddington, East Lothian.


• Robin Mackenzie Hodge, publisher, The List magazine, for services to arts and culture – Edinburgh

• Gordon Alexander MacKinlay, consultant paediatric surgeon and former president of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons, for services to paediatric surgery – Balerno, Edinburgh

• Donald McGougan. formerly director of Finance, Edinburgh City Council, for services to local government – Edinburgh

• Charles Miller. proprietor, Charlie Miller Hairdressing, for services to the hairdressing industry – Edinburgh

• Gordon Ford, formerly depute chief executive, West Lothian Council, for services to education – Torphichen, West Lothian

• Lynn Garvie. formerly head of Procurement, the Scottish Parliament – Edinburgh

• Professor Stuart Haszeldine, FRSE, professor of geology, University of Edinburgh, for services to climate change technologies – Edinburgh

• Professor Niall Lothian, adjunct professor of accounting, INSEAD, for services to corporate and civic governance in Scotland – Edinburgh

• William Sadler Scott. head of unit, Blood and Transplant Division, Health and Social Care Directorate, Scottish Executive – Edinburgh

• Linda Hamilton Urquhart, chair, Morton Fraser LLP, for services to Business in Scotland – Edinburgh

• Dr Michael Leonard Watson, director of medicine, NHS Education Scotland, for services to postgraduate medical education – Edinburgh

• Anita Green, formerly vice chair, board of trustees, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, for services to Children – Haddington, East Lothian


• Mohammed Akram, for services to the British Pakistani community in Scotland – Edinburgh

• Christopher Douglas Paterson, for services to Scottish Rugby – Edinburgh

• Margaret Laidlaw, for voluntary service to UNICEF – Dunbar, East Lothian

• William Francis Rochford, counsellor, Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, for voluntary service to vulnerable people – Longniddry, East Lothian

• Brian Cameron. senior technical officer, for services to science engagement in Scotland – Dalkeith, Midlothian

• Irene Henderson. casework specialist, human resources, Scottish Parliament – Edinburgh

• GOLFER Rory McIlroy said today he felt humbled to stand among the “worthy recipients” of New Year Honours as he was made an MBE.

McIlroy is recognised alongside fellow Ulster golfer Darren Clarke and property tycoon Gerald Ronson, who bounced back after being jailed for his part in the Guinness Four share scam.

He was among a string of stars honoured for their contributions to entertainment, media and sport. These include TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, actress Helena Bonham Carter and Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford, who won acclaim for her reporting from Libya.

Apple’s Jonathan Ive, credited with designing the iPhone, iPod and iPad, was made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE).