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Freedom of Renfrewshire

Tony Lawler

Everyone at www.paisley.org.uk would like to say a hearty ‘Congratulations’ to Tony Lawler who today discovered that he has been granted the honour of Freeman of Renfrewshire.

The Freedom of Renfrewshire has only been granted twice to our knowledge in the last few years, the most recent being The Argyle and Southern Highlanders also renowned

Tony Lawler

Sculptor Sandy Stoddart and prior to that it had not been awarded for 50 years.

Renfrewshire Council made Tony a Freeman of Renfrewshire in recognition of him carrying the Charleston Drum and leading the parade on Sma’ Shot Day for 20 years.

Those who know Tony will acknowledge that he is mightily proud of being given this position and he continually promotes the town of Paisley to the wider public.

(Pictured right is Tony Lawler, The Charleston Drummer with Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall)

For more on Sma Shot Day 2012 click here

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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders awarded Freedom of Renfrewshire

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders awarded Freedom of Renfrewshire

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Paisley to watch the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders receive the Freedom of Renfrewshire.

400 members of the Fifth Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland marched through the town centre before being presented with the honour by Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson in front of the historic Paisley Abbey.

The soldiers were met with cheers and applause throughout the parade and presentation.

Colonel Bruce Russell MBE, Representative Colonel of Five Scots, accepted a framed scroll from Provost Lawson and in return presented her with the regiment’s official plaque and a painting called “The Thin Red Line”.

Provost Celia Lawson said: “I was extremely proud to see them all march through the town and to see the wonderful turn out from the people of Renfrewshire. They do an incredible job and the people living at home are very, very grateful. The award of the Freedom of Renfrewshire isn’t given often but the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are an inspirational to us all and very deserving of this title.”

The Freedom is the highest honour a local authority can give an individual or group. Historically the title would have provided rights such as to trade and to graze cattle, however, it is now purely a civic honour.
Following the ceremony the soldiers and their families were invited to a civic reception in Paisley Town Hall. The event was sponsored by local firms Chivas Bros Ltd and Goudie’s Ltd.

The event formed part of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations in Renfrewshire following a flagraising ceremony on Friday 17 June and a joint service in Paisley Abbey lead by the Provosts of both Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to receive Freedom of Renfrewshire

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are to be awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire.

At a meeting of Renfrewshire Council, Provost of Renfrewshire Celia Lawson backed by Leader of the opposition Labour Group, Councillor Iain McMillan, moved that the battalion’s name be added to the roll of names of those who have been admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of the area.

The move, which received unanimous support from all parties on the council, honours the contribution made by the regiment to the nation not only in times of conflict but also in times of peace.

To celebrate the honour, the battalion will march through Paisley on Monday 20th June, to coincide with a weekend of Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Provost Lawson said: “The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are the official battalion of Renfrewshire and many serving men and women are from our community. The battalion has a long and proud history. In recent years they have fought in the conflict in Afghanistan where more than 250 British service personnel have lost their lives. I am very proud to be able to bestow the Freedom of Renfrewshire on the battalion.”

The Freedom is the highest honour a local authority can give an individual or group. Historically the title would have provided rights such as to trade and to graze cattle, however, it is now purely a civic honour.

Councillor Iain McMillan said: “Renfrewshire has a strong military history with a tradition of honouring our military heroes so it is very fitting that we should award the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders the Freedom of Renfrewshire. I am delighted to support this decision and I’m sure many people across Renfrewshire will do the same.”

In 2009 internationally-renowned sculptor Sandy Stoddart became the first Freeman of Renfrewshire since 1961.

The first citizen of Renfrewshire to receive the honour was Mr Stewart Clark in 1902.

Renfrewshire will celebrate Armed Forces Day with a weekend of celebrations starting with a flag-raising ceremony on Friday 17th June.

On Saturday 18th June a joint Armed Forces Day service will be held in Paisley Abbey to honour servicemen and women from Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, followed by stalls and activities at Abbey Close and a family fun day at the British Legion at Renfrew Road, Paisley.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be officially awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire on Monday 20th June.