Surprise event honours local community champion

BALMAHA’S Oak Tree Inn was the venue for a surprise event to thank a local champion last week (30 November).

Joe Twaddle was honoured by the Buchanan community for his untiring   service on Buchanan Community Council at the gathering organised by Balmaha’s Liz Bates with help from others in the community.

To everyone who knows him, the name Joe Twaddle is synonymous with a man who is all at once trustworthy, honest, thorough, committed and a good friend.

In keeping with St Andrews night, the evening started when an unsyuspecting Joe and his wife Betty arrived to accordion music played by Neil MacMillan then local minister, Alec MacPherson told the crowd a little about St Andrew before revealing that the real aim of the evening was to honour our very own Joe Twaddle.

Liz Bates spoke a little and introduced the first of the evening’s many surprises for Joe – his daughter Shona and family, who had been staying out of sight in the kitchen. 

As Liz related a true story about Andy Murray, whose guidance teacher was Joe, a figure walked in wearing an Andy Murray mask who turned out to be Kirsty – Joe and Betty’s other daughter, all the way from California. 

Fiona MacMillan read out a few words encapsulating Joe’s journey in the community, Seonaidh Bannerman said a few words on behalf of Buchanan Community Council followed by Dave Green – a lifelong friend of Joe and Betty. As the evening progressed others shared their own memories and stories of their time with Joe. 

Dave Arcari performed two of his own songs, one Joe’s favourite and the other Betty’s, then it was time for a buffet supper supplied by the proprietors of the Oak Tree Inn, Sandy and Lucy Fraser. This was enjoyed by all and gave Joe and Betty a chance to mingle with everyone who had gathered to give their support to Joe.

Later on in the evening Joe was presented with a specially commissioned painting and a bottle of Glengoyne whiskey. Betty was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

Joe Twaddle with the picture presented to mark his contribution to the local community. Pic: Loch Lomond Studios.

Author: editor

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