Marshall is elected honorary provost

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STUART Marshall has been elected as the town’s new provost.

The 49-year-old Hawick and Denholm councillor was given a unanimous show of support as he took charge of the chains of office on Wednesday night at the annual general meeting of the Provost’s Council.

He replaces Ron Smith, who retired after two successful years in the role.

Mr Marshall told the Hawick News: “I can only count this appointment as a wonderful honour and privilege and I am extremely grateful to all of the Provost’s Council members for their unanimous support.”

“It’s unbelievable the vast amount of support and kindness that the townsfolk have shown to me and I’m very grateful.

“What a privilege to be able to serve the best town that’s home to the best townsfolk around.”

Mr Marshall was elected to serve the Hawick and Denholm ward in 2007 and in 2012 was re-elected with the greatest majority in the entire Borders.

Steeped in the local traditions, he is chairman of the Common-Riding Committee, on which he has served for the past 12 years. He has also been Hut convenor, Ball convenor and vice-chairman of the committee.

In proposing Mr Marshall, who is a part-time knitting supervisor with Hawick Knitwear, former provost and fellow councillor Zandra Elliot gave an emotionally-charged speech. She said: “I know that he is dedicated to serving his community and cares passionately for our town.

“Hawick born and bred, and a very proud Teri, he knows the community well, understands its past, and is committed to securing its future.

“I can think of no man better suited or qualified to take the town through the exciting times that lie just ahead.”

Mr Marshall has been married to wife Doreen for 27 years and the couple have two sons, Ross and Euan.

His nomination was seconded by Hawick and Hermitage Councillor Mr Smith, who said: “Over the last few days when it became known I was standing down people have said to me how good it was to have a Provost who was so approachable and I know that Stuart will make a most approachable Provost.”

In his report to the AGM Mr Smith reflected on the last two years, which has included attending many functions and welcoming several groups to the town as well as helping to mark notable anniversaries by local groups and organisations.

And he admitted one of his greatest acts was one of his last as Honorary Provost.

He said: “A personal ambition has been to support our Cornet, within my term as Provost, on horseback and this I was able to achieve at Bonchester last Saturday.”

And he joked: “I am particularly relieved, of course, not to have brought disgrace to the office by falling off.”

Councillor Alastair Cranston was elected Senior Bailie and other Bailies appointed were Marion Short, Richard Knight and Councillor Davie Paterson.