A Lower Deeside resident has received a high honour from a European state for his ‘promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and regions.’
Milltimber man Ronnie Watt, 8th Dan Black Belt karate master, received the honorary commemorative medal for his work in karate during a surprise ceremony in Slovakia in September, when President Tibor Mikus of Trnava presented him with the honour.
President Mikus told Ronnie: “TSBR (TSGR, a self-governing Slovakian region) is proud that the medal is in good hands in your case,” while presidential assistant Jurai Staffa commented: “It only belongs to those whose contributions to society and human values are extraordinary. It is not only awarded to residents of the region but to other outstanding personalities from other parts of the world.’’
In September, when Ronnie and good friend, Dr Fritz Wendland from Germany were on a 2000-mile European road trip on Fritz’s WW2 motorcycle and sidecar, they ended up in Slovakia with the President of the World Karate Council, where Mikus presented Ronnie’s medal at a surprise ceremony.
Ronnie first met him in 2001 when Aberdeen hosted the World Karate Championships at the Beach Ballroom. The president is a greatly respected 8th Dan as former champion fighter and member of the WKC board.
Ronnie has already received an OBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, been recognised as Aberdeen City Council’s Sports Personality of the Year more than once, and has received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan for his life’s work - an award seldom given to people outside Japan.