“For any club in this day and age to reach a centenary birthday is a wonderful achievement but for a club in such a relatively small community as ours to reach 125 years is, without doubt, truly remarkable.”
This was the praise accorded 50 representatives of Teviotdale Harriers from Provost Stuart Marshall in the council chambers last Friday night. Having achieved such a milestone it was only fitting that the club were honoured with an Honorary Provost’s Council civic reception.
The gathering comprised club officials, life members and representatives from the junior section; the future of the Harriers. Present were the three oldest members: 84-year-old Jock Carruthers who joined in 1950, W. ‘Barty’ Yule (1952) and Grant Moyes (1953), as well as three of the youngest: Hollie Grieve, Poppie Gibson and Fraser Clyne.
Referring to the club’s centenary book ,’First Hundred’, Mr Marshall said that it contained pictures and facts of some of the finest athletes the town has produced, many of those mentioned still with us today. The provost added: “I would be here until midnight reeling off the hundreds of Teviotdale Harriers who have put Hawick on the sporting map.”
He also pointed out that the building they were in that night was only built three years earlier in 1886; the town only had a population of just 8,000, and the club was formed the same year that some of the last thatched houses were being demolished just across the road.
“The very survival of Teviotdale Harriers can only be attributed to the commitment, hard work and determination of you, the members, past, present and future, bringing out the best in some of the greatest sporting talent to come from our town,” he added.
“This great sporting institution that we have all come to know and love has indeed rightfully earned the respect of many, not only in the Borders, not only in Scotland, but right across the United Kingdom. Each and every one of you, the members of Teviotdale Harriers, can and should be extremely proud of the reputation, distinction and honour that you have not only brought to the club but indeed to the town.”
Because of the valuable contribution that Teviotdale has made to sport and achievement in the town, club president Alan Coltman received a quaich on behalf of the Provost’s Council, to serve as a happy reminder of the club reaching such a magnificent milestone in its history.
Mr Coltman thanked the Provost’s Council for its recognition of the achievements of the Harriers and said that it had been a successful season, including hosting the Scottish Masters Cross-Country Championships, the anniversary dinner and a memorable exhibition in the museum which was the second most visited winter exhibition ever.
The remainder of the evening was taken up with those present engaging memories of events over the years. An excellent buffet was provided by Debbie Brown.