Medal shortage leads to Birthday Honours delay

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It is thought the Mint’s focus on production of the new £1 coin might have been a factor.

Tayside and Fife residents recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours are finally receiving their awards after months of delays.

A national shortage of medals has prevented a number of worthy recipients from enjoying their moment in the limelight with proud friends and family.

However, fresh supplies are now winging their way to councils across the country and a flurry of ceremonies are expected to be held in the coming weeks.

The Scottish Government confirmed there had been a delay in medals being forwarded by the Royal Mint, which produces the awards.

It said the glitch had caused hold-ups across the country and, although not directly responsible, a spokesperson apologised for any “distress” caused.

No official reason for the delay has been given but it is thought the Mint’s focus on production of the new £1 coin might have been a factor.

Among those left waiting were Lillian Cook and Ian Brown from Perth and Kinross, who are now looking forward to receiving the British Empire Medals announced earlier this year.

Mrs Cook, of Doune, was put forward for the honour by family members and friends who wanted to recognise her life-long dedication to teaching.

She taught at Kippen, Callander and Trossachs primary schools during a lengthy career and formed the Dundee and Perth Tuition Centres following her “retirement”.

Mr Brown, of Scone, was awarded the BEM for his services to badminton, as former president of BadmintonScotland and for many years the organiser of the annual Yonex Scottish National Championships, held in Perth.

Both will now receive their awards from Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, Brigadier Mel Jameson CBE.

Mr Brown said: “I was delighted to be named as a recipient of the British Empire Medal.

“There has been a delay but I have now been advised the medals have been received by Perth and Kinross Council.

“I look forward to the presentation.”

It falls to local authorities to arrange the medal ceremonies locally and many have been left waiting for supplies to arrive.

A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “While the medals have unfortunately taken longer than usual to arrive with us, we have continued to keep the recipients up-to-date.

“We are working with them, the Provost and Lord-Lieutenant to arrange a suitable date, now that the medals are with us, for the presentation to take place in front of friends and families.”

Fife recipients were presented with their medals at a ceremony in Kirkcaldy’s Town House on Thursday.

David Tod, of Cellardyke, was among those recognised for his services to preserving the heritage of the Scottish fishing industry.

He said he had been unaware of the delay but added: “It was quite a while between discovering we were going to get them and actually getting them.

“We got a letter three weeks ago inviting us to come to the Town House in Kirkcaldy.”

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