GORDON Jackson thought the biggest surprise of 2010 was when he was asked to be Acting Father, but he admitted he got just as big a shock when he found out he was to receive an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
And he said the award, which was in recognition of his work with the Scottish Ambulance Service and his efforts in the local community, completed one of the most memorable years of his life.
The 58-year-old said: “When I received the letter of notification I was humbled and gobsmacked. I was really lost for words.
“It was the second big surprise of the year. I didn’t think anything could top what happened in March but this is right up there as well.
“It’s capped an amazing year, a year I never in my wildest dreams thought would have happened. It was an honour being Acting Father in the early part of the year and closing that same year with an MBE is just something else.”
It will be 32 years next month when Gordon was first employed by the Scottish Ambulance Service as an emergency medical technician. A past-president of the Mosstroopers’ Association, he is a medic on the ride-outs, is on the Vertish Hill Sports Committee and has been session clerk at Cavers church for the past 10 years.
However, it is in his role as chairman of the Border Holiday Group – an organisation he founded in 1996 – which has arguably given him the greatest satisfaction, taking people with physical and mild learning difficulties on biennial trips of a lifetime.
Gordon said: “Many years ago, about in 1995, a Jumbulance came to the Haugh. I knew nothing about it, but I went along for a look around. I liked what I saw and I enjoyed speaking to the people.
“I discovered that the people who brought it to Hawick were from Cumbria and there were groups in Edinburgh and Glasgow but nothing in the Borders. I signed up as a carer and went away with them the following year. It was after that I decided to form the group in the Borders.” And he has dedicated his award to all those who have helped, in all the organisations, over the years.
He added: “I accept this commendation for all the rest of my colleagues in the Ambulance Service and my close colleagues in the Border Holiday Group. Everybody has played a great part.”