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Former leader ‘humbled’ by Who’s Who entry

Former council convener Lewis Shand Smith.

A FORMER convener of Shetland Islands Council says he feels “humbled and honoured” after being awarded a place in this year’s worldwide Who’s Who directory.

Reverend Lewis Shand Smith, who was an SIC councillor between 1990 and 1999 and served as the local authority’s convener from 1994, has been given a place alongside weighty global figures including Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, and a host of famous musicians, actors and sportspeople.

“It is a real honour to be included and being in the same collection of some really amazing people is very humbling,” he said.

The 64 year old has enjoyed a rich and varied career, being appointed as chief executive of the Ombudsman Service – which resolves complaints in the energy, communications and property sectors – in 2009.

Prior to that he had been deputy ombudsman for the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman between 2002 and 2007.

Rev Shand Smith has also served as a director and trustee of a host of companies and charities, serving as vice president of local government umbrella body COSLA, taking part in the Scottish Constitutional Convention and representing the UK on the European Committee of the Regions.

Who’s Who is in its 169th edition, having first been published way back in 1849. It contains 33,000 biographies of talented and influential people, who are asked to write their own biographies for the book.

Rev Shand Smith, who now lives in Chester but calls Shetland very much his home, said he had no idea who had put his name forward.

“I got an invitation from them to say they would like to include me in the next edition of Who’s Who, and was I happy to do that. I said ‘yes’, and then they asked me to do a short biography.

“It came as a huge surprise, and I have to admit that I am ever so embarrassed about it, but this is because I am Scottish, I guess.”

In his entry, Rev Shand Smith lists the gym, cooking, ballet and theatre among his hobbies – but he has not yet bought a copy of the book, owing to its hefty price tag of £295.