FARMWORKER Walter Mabon struck gold recently when he was honoured for 45 years of sterling service at Westerhouses.
The 71-year-old joined a large gathering at the 28th lunch held by the Border Union Agricultural Society in honour of recipients of long service certificates and medals from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.
Walter, who completed his 45 years with R. S. Harker (deceased) and Mrs M. Harker (deceased), Mr A. Tile and with Mr D. Steen on Westerhouses Farm at Southdean, was one of four who received gold medals and certificates, while the rest were presented with silver medals and certificates.
He told the Hawick News: “I came here when I was about 12 and I started work on the cattle when I was 15. I left after five years to get married but I came back and I’ve been here 45 years since.
“I do a bit of everything; stock, cattle, sheep, tractor work, dyking – you name it, I do it.”
And he explained why he enjoyed the job so much. He added: “I like being out in the fresh air and the country life. You’re not shut away in an office or a mill.
“I’m still going strong. They say if I give up I’ll end up in the church yard.”
The function, at the society’s Springwood Park in Kelso, was overseen by its chairman, Charlie Stewart. The medals and certificates were presented by the Duke of Roxburghe. Mr Stewart said: “The event went very well and I think it’s testimony to the high calibre and loyalty of the people we have working on local farms, that they spend much of their working lives either on the same property or with the same employer.
“I’m not sure such loyalty is all that fashionable in other business sectors, but we’re very lucky it still is here in Borders farming.”
Silver medals were presented to Alistair McAulay – 35 years at Spittal-on-Rule; David Rodgerson – 31 years at Harwood-on-Teviot; Allan Hedley – 30 years at Ruletownhead; and David Hedley – 30 years at Hallrule.