Fraserburgh man awarded BEM for services to his community during pandemic

Fraserburgh man John Anderson has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 10:59 am
John Anderson receives the BEM from Lord Lieutenant Sandy Manson Pic: Duncan Brown
John Anderson receives the BEM from Lord Lieutenant Sandy Manson Pic: Duncan Brown

John was presented with his BEM by the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Sandy Manson, for services to the community during the Covid-19 response.

The 69-year-old served as retained firefighter for 44 years of service, before finally hanging up his tunic in 2015.

Receiving the BEM was not John’s first time getting recognition from Her Majesty having been awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal for services to community safety.

He also served with the International Rescue Corps for 30 years helping areas struck by disaster and had several deployments overseas including Japan, Turkey, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Algeria, Mozambique and Afghanistan.

During this time John was also a self-employed joiner in Fraserburgh, and has been involved in many initiatives and charity work over the years including arranging the ‘Blue Light Festival’.

Three years ago he set up the Fraserburgh Resilience G roup through his involvement with the community council.

This work would prove essential as he helped coordinate a team of more than 40 volunteers to support those in need of help as Covid-19 struck.

Working closely with Community Heart they distributed hundreds of care packages to the vulnerable and those in isolation during the pandemic.

On being awarded a BEM, John said: “It’s not every day you get something like this so I’m quite chuffed.

“I really need to thank all of the volunteers from the resilience team for this award, it’s just a shame they couldn’t give out 42 medals.”

John could be set to receive further recognition in the coming weeks having been shortlisted for the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Lifetime Achievement award.

His other good deeds include being a Boys’ Brigade officer, raising funds to install defibrillators in the town and aiding pensioners during winter with the likes of clearing paths and getting shopping.

A virtual ceremony will be streamed live on August 26, with John being one of three finalists up for the award, along with The Buchan Giving Tree and Strengthening our Buchan Response.