“This is without a doubt the greatest privilege that can be bestowed upon a non Hawick man.”
These were the heartfelt words of Reverend Michael Scoular after he was appointed chief guest at this year’s Hawick Common Riding.
Mr Scoular’s appointment was announced by outgoing Honorary Provost Stuart Marshall at last Friday night’s Callant’s Club Dinner.
Speaking of this year’s chief guest, Mr Marshall said: “Our history books inform us that we have been lectured by lords and ladies, persuaded by politicians and professors and guided by generals and journalists.
“This year gentlemen, I believe that we have a chief guest who can lecture, persuade and guide with the best. A guest who will bring much grace to our celebrations and above all, a guest who is deeply conscious of what Hawick Common Riding means to this town and it’s townspeople.”
Michael Scoular was born in Newton Mearns and is the middle child of three sons. He gained a degree from Strathclyde University in production engineering and economics and his early employment included a brief spell with the Bank of Scotland.
Following the completion of a degree in theology at Edinburgh University and with a lifelong interest in army life, Reverend Scoular received further training as a chaplain at Sandhurst after his ordainment and had several postings with the Royal Transport Corps, the Paras and the Royal Highland Fusiliers and his work has taken him to Iraq and Belize.
Reverend Scoular is a Mosstrooper, having followed behind Cornet Chris Ritson in 2013.
He is married to Katherine, a High School English teacher and has two daughters, Jenny and Heather.
Reverend Scoular, who has lived in Hawick for the past 5 years, added: “This is a huge honour for me. The Common-Riding is a massive event and it will be something very special to be part of it. It’s a bit daunting but Hawick folk are very friendly and welcoming and supportive.
This is something I am really looking for ward to. It’s a massive honour.”