Empire medal awarded to local Scout leader

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Local man Leslie Paterson has been named in the New Year’s Honours List for his dedication to working with Scouts in Deeside.

The 60-year-old will receive the British Empire Medal for his services to the Scouting movement, and to Maryculter.

First issued in 1922, the British Empire Medal, or BEM, is awarded for meritorious civil or military service, worthy of recognition by the crown.

When it became difficult to make a distinction between the BEM and the better-known MBE, in 1993, awards to United Kingdom subjects were suspended. However, the BEM was reinstated in 2012, to coincide with the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Mr Paterson has been leader of 1st Maryculter Scouts since 1976 and regularly gives up part of his annual leave to attend summer camps.

No stranger to awards, he was presented with the Scouting movement’s Silver Acorn for outstanding service, in 2001.

Royal recognition is something else, however, and Mr Paterson told us: “I am delighted and honoured to be receiving the award.

‘‘I have been involved with the Scout group since I was eight years old and I enjoy being able to give something back to the local youth.”