A lifelong devotion to and passion for scouting has earned a local scout leader a much deserved MBE.
First Cullybackey Scout Group has seen thousands of young people and leaders gain new skills, knowledge and confidence through its organisation down the decades.
For much of that time, in fact almost the entire life of the organisation, Andy Millar has been a volunteer at its core, leaving its members in no doubt that without him the group would never have developed into the huge success it has been over the past 77 years.
First Cullybackey Scout Group were, therefore, delighted to see Andy recently presented with a MBE by HRM Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace where he was accompanied by Scout Leader Steven Millar, Past Venture Scout Leader Ken Johnston and past scout, Stewart Grant.
As soon as Scouting permitted, as an 8-year-old, Andy started with the organisation and grew up through the various sections in Cullybackey Scout Group.
In 1944, he became a sixer of a section of cubs in 1st Cullybackey Cub Pack and during the years as a scout he also gained various recognitions for achievements in the scout troop and for badgework. He put his own time and effort into an exciting well-run programme including camping, community projects, and life skills.
At times, when the group struggled for leaders, Andy stepped in and would take on a number of leader roles. By 1952, he was so committed to the group and its continuing success, that he filled the dual roles of Cub Master and assistant Scout Master and in later years became a section leader and is now Group Scout Leader.
A spokesperson for the Group stated: “Over these many years, Andy has demonstrated a service to the local community and the development of the young people within it.
“His voluntary work has held a major role in shaping thousands of young people and contributed positively to their development of life long skills and mould them to the people they are today. Congratulations Andy!”