Ross-shire members of 1st Battalion the Highlanders ACF were recognised for their various commitments to the cadets and local community during a presentation by the Lord-Lieutenant of Ross & Cromarty, Mrs Janet Bowen.
Major George MacDonald (49), Lieutenant Liza Macfarquhar (34), 2Lt Lorraine Wright (47), Staff Sergeant Instructor Alastair Smyth (40) and Cadet Corporal Andy Tait (16) were awarded certificates in a ceremony at Alness Cadet Centre.
Major MacDonald, Lt Macfarquhar, 2Lt Wright and SSI Smyth were all awarded with Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates of Meritorious Service. Major MacDonald, who is the Company Commander for Ross Company, has been involved with the ACF since October 1987, leaving in 2000 due to work and has been back with the Battalion since 2012. During his recent years with the Battalion, as well as balancing his responsibilities as Company Commander, he was also making the journey from Inverness to Portree each week to run the detachment there.
Lt Macfarquhar, who is currently the Dornoch Detachment Commander, has been a member of the ACF since April 2004. During her time with the Battalion Liza has been heavily involved with the Battalion’s Pipe & Drums and was the Detachment Commander of the music detachment until 2014.
2Lt Wright, who is Detachment Commander of Alness Detachment, has been a member of the Battalion since November 2009. On top of her detachment duties Lorraine is also the Ross Company Duke of Edinburgh Officer and has also recently completed a Level 4 City & Guilds Certificate in Leadership & Management though the ACF as part of her commissioning to Second Lieutenant.
SSI Smyth, who is one of the Alness Detachment Instructors, has been involved with the ACF since November 2002. He is also part of the Battalion’s Shooting Team – training cadets for upcoming regional and national competitions. The National Shooting Team has picked up on these skills and, in 2017, SSI Smyth was selected to help the British Cadet Rifle Team (the Athelings), training them during their annual exchange in Canada.
Cpl Tait, from Dingwall Detachment, was presented with a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Certificate. Every year each area’s respective Lord-Lieutenant appoints young people to serve as their Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet. Cpl Tait has been a cadet since November 2015, where he is currently completing his 3 Star Training on the organisation’s syllabus. After the Battalion’s Summer Camp he will be a Junior Cadet Instructor and able to teach cadets up to 1 Star level. Andy is also an active member of the Battalion’s Shooting Team and has recently qualified for the Inter-Service Cadet Rifle Meeting to be held at Bisley in July. As the new Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet of Ross & Cromarty, Andy will assist the Lord-Lieutenant in her duties as Her Majesty The Queen’s appointed representative of the area and will also act as an ambassador for the ACF and the young people of Ross-shire.
Senior members of the Battalion, including Commandant Colonel Iain Cassidy, and members of each recipient’s families, attended the presentations.
◉ Picture (top) shows the Lord-Lieutenant (third right) with the award recipients and Battalion Commandant Col Cassidy (left).