South Scotland

Alex Fergusson honoured with knighthood

Alex Fergusson Image copyright Other

Former Galloway MSP Alex Fergusson has received a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours for services to politics and public life.

The Conservative politician was a champion of rural affairs during 17 years at Holyrood.

He was elected as a south of Scotland MSP in 1999 before representing Galloway and Upper Nithsdale and Galloway and West Dumfries.

He was presiding officer between 2007 and 2011 and stood down in May.

Mr Fergusson was born near the village of Leswalt, Dumfries and Galloway, and attended Eton College before spending two years working in agriculture in New Zealand.

On his return, he studied agriculture at the West of Scotland Agricultural College, later taking over his family's 1,500-acre farm in South Ayrshire, where he reared cattle and sheep between 1971 and his election to the Scottish Parliament.

'Extraordinary honour'

In his time, Mr Fergusson has also been a farm management consultant, community councillor, president of the Blackface Sheepbreeders' Association and member of the Scottish Landowners Federation and Game Conservancy, as well as a farm labourer and even an onion picker.

The married father of three sons lives near Dalry, Dumfries and Galloway, and cites rugby, curling, folk music and Scottish country dancing among his interests.

He was knighted for services to politics, the Scottish Parliamentary process and public life in Scotland.

"It is an extraordinary honour and I am somewhat stunned, I must admit, to have been honoured in this way," he said.

"I have to say that my 94-year-old mother has probably put me back on the top of her Christmas card list."

Others from the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to be honoured included Brian McLeod, Poppy Appeal Convenor with Hawick Royal British Legion Scotland, who received a British Empire Medal.

Linda Nicholson of Peebles Netball Club was given the same honour as was Jessica Mary Troughton, from Stow, along with John Hunter and Margaret Jamieson of Stranraer.

There were MBEs for Margaret Morgan, of Reston, for services to the Riding for the Disabled Association and Barony College lecturer Thomas Karas.

Capt Gerald Maitland-Carew, the Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, was made a Commander of the Victorian Order.

Dr Peter Ingram-Monk from Castle Douglas received an OBE for services to people with disabilities in Dumfries and Galloway.

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