GORDON Jackson has admitted his date at Buckingham Palace was an “unforgettable” experience.
Mr Jackson, or Mr Jackson MBE to give him his full title, was in London last week to receive his award, in recognition of his work with the Scottish Ambulance Service – during a 33-year career – and efforts in the local community as, among other things, chairman of the Border Holiday Group.
He told the Hawick News: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I still think to myself, why me? And I really can’t get over that because I’m just an ordinary guy.”
Mr Jackson was due to receive his MBE earlier in the year but was away on holiday. And so he travelled to London with wife Evelyn and daughters Linda and Suzanne and their respective partners last week for the grand occasion.
Joined by 107 other worthy recipients in the state ballroom of Buckingham Palace, the 59-year-old received his award from Prince Charles, who pinned it on his lapel and congratulated him on his success.
Mr Jackson said: “I wasn’t terribly nervous beforehand. I think I was more apprehensive because I was very much going into the unknown.
“Prince Charles knew why I was there and said 33 years in the ambulance service was a wonderful achievement. He asked what I would be doing in my spare time and then talked about the Border Holiday Group.
“He was really nice and it was really nice speaking to him. He said many congratulations on the wonderful achievements and offered me his hand.”
Acting Father in 2010 and past president of the Mosstroopers Club, Mr Jackson is on the Vertish Hill Sports committee and has been a session clerk at Cavers Church for the last 10 years.
He founded the Border Holiday Group in 1996 which takes people with physical and mild learning difficulties on biennial trips of a lifetime.
He said: “It is a great honour for me to be given this MBE. It was an unforgettable experience and a privilege and a pleasure.
“I must say, however, that I accept it on behalf of all my other colleagues in the ambulance service and the rest of the Border Holiday Group committee.”