Tiree’s resident population increased by two recently with the arrival of Stephen Tanner and his partner, Lorna MacArthur.
Stephen has been appointed Tiree’s resident police officer, a position which has been unfilled since the departure of Kevin at the end of last year.
Stephen has seventeen years service in the police force, both as a uniformed Officer in Paisley and more recently as a Surveillance Officer in the CID based at Pitt Street, Glasgow. He was born and brought up in Kilwinning, Ayrshire and moved to Renfrew when he joined the police in 1992.
He has moved here from Erskine, where for the last eleven years he and Lorna have been spending their time doing up their house.
The couple are no strangers to the island, having been here numerous times in the past for holidays and to visit members of Lorna’s family. One of the reasons they have moved here is because of the way of life on the Island and they are looking forward to the challenges that Island life brings and to joining in with the community.
Stephen enjoys walking and running and he and Lorna have two Jack Russell dogs which will get plenty of exercise in the coming months exploring the Island.
PC Tanner is keen to develop links with the public and aims to introduce himself to everyone over the next few weeks.
As you will all recall it was announced in the New Years Honours List that Danny Lapsley was to be awarded the Queen’s Police Medal. The award investiture took place at the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh on Tuesday 30 June 2009, and this is Danny’s account of the proud day.
I was accompanied at the ceremony by Liz, my mum and my sister. We had a really wonderful time and after the medal was attached the queen spoke to me for a few minutes. She knew about Tiree and the fact that I worked here on my own for 15 years. She also asked me if all the islanders behaved themselves!! My answer, which will remain private, caused her to laugh. I originally thought she had prompts which she read prior to speaking to each individual but I have since found out that she memorises every piece of information about everyone. I found this incredible since there were 74 different award recipients including knighthoods, CBE’s OBE’s etc.
The only people I recognised were Sir Ian Wilmut who cloned Dolly the Sheep and Sir Tom Farmer from Quik Fit. I also spoke to Douglas MacNeilage, a retired school janitor from Tobermory who was made an MBE for services to education and the community.
The Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) was introduced in May 1954 as a replacement to the King’s Police Medal. It is awarded to police officers in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for gallantry and distinguished service. I have thought long and hard over my 30 years police service and I have come to the conclusion that I must have got it for distinguished service!
The Queen’s Police Medal is normally awarded to high ranking officers and only rarely to officers of the rank of constable. So to have it awarded to me makes it even more special (and surprising). Two other police officers received the QPM at the investiture, an assistant Chief Constable from Strathclyde Police and a Chief Superintendent from Lothian & Borders Police. I am allowed to use the post nominals QPM after my name but I am unlikely to use it other than to secure a table at Elephant’s End.
(The reason for the late submission was that we had to wait for the pictures from inside the palace to be sent to us.)
Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson and Convener of Strathclyde Police Authority Paul Rooney helicoptered into Tiree to spend the day with P.C. Kevin Harrison.
The morning was spent visiting the Airport and the Radar station. The afternoon plan was to rove around the island.
An Tirisdeach caught up with them before they lunched at Elephant’s End with some of the island’s invited luncheon guests.
Mr. Neilson told An Tirisdeach “the purpose of the visit is to let the people of Tiree know that they have the full support of the Strathclyde force.”
The choice of helicopter was due to time limitations as well as accomodation issues. The Chief Inspector of Oban was also due to come over, but cancelled flights on Monday 22nd June meant she was unable to do so.
Mr. Neilson also stated that there is a training package in the pipeline for Tiree for Special Constables which would bring training to the island instead of islanders having to go to the mainland to pursue such a career.