Eddie receives lifetime award

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The Piper’s recently retired farming columnist, Eddie Gillanders, has received an award from the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society for his “lifetime dedication” to the Aberdeen-Angus breed of cattle.

Eddie retired last month after contributing a weekly farming article to the Piper for 28 years.

The prestigious Hugh Watson Memorial Award – named after one of the breed’s founders, Hugh Watson of Keillor in Angus – was presented to Eddie by president, David Evans, at a reception following the society’s Annual General Meeting at Stirling earlier this week.

Eddie (72) joined the staff of the society, whose headquarters were then in Aberdeen, from Banchory Academy on January 5, 1959, after failing a medical for a job he had been offered with the Clydesdale Bank in Banchory.

He initially worked in the department producing the annual Herd Book, registering the births of all Aberdeen-Angus calves born in Great Britain and Ireland before becoming committee clerk and later press officer and assistant secretary, leaving in 1971 to pursue a career in agricultural journalism following the move of the society’s office to Perth.

However, he retained an interest in the breed when asked to continue editing the society’s magazine, the Aberdeen-Angus Review, which he went on to edit on a freelance basis for more than 40 years.

Eddie also instigated the formation of the North East Aberdeen-Angus Club where he acted as secretary from its start in 1972 until 2012 and is now honorary president.

Mr Evans paid tribute to Eddie’s devotion to the breed and presented him with a unique inscribed Rock Tablet hand crafted from raw glass.

Eddie is only the third person to receive this honour, following in the footsteps of the late Sir John Moores of the Littlewoods pools and retail family, who bred Aberdeen-Angus for 60 years on his farm in Lancashire, and veteran breeder, 85 years old Willie McLaren of the renowned Netherton herd at Blackford, Auchterarder.

Everyone at the Deeside Piper and Donside Piper and Herald would like to take this chance to congratulate Eddie on his recent award and to thank him for his years of service to the paper.

Meanwhile, it was a successful day for Donside and Deeside Aberdeen-Angus herds at the annual Stirling bull sales on Monday, February 1.

The Wattie family from Mains of Tonley, Tough, Alford – Neil, Sen, son Neil and grandson, Mark – won the supreme championship for the first time with the bull, Tonley Evor P044, which sold for the top price of 24,000gns (£25,200) to Fife breeder, Rae Grieve, Carlhurlie, Lundin Links.

The junior champion, Blelack Mr Braveheart P411, from Neil and Graeme Massie, Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne, sold for the joint second highest price of 10,000gns (£10,500) to an Irish buyer.