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Community / Laurenson and Stickle named in New Year honours list

Awards made for services to industry and the community

Sandra Laurenson and Desley Stickle are in the New Year honours list.

TWO Shetland women are named in the Queen’s New Year honours list for 2019.

Retired chief executive of Lerwick Port Authority Sandra Laurenson is named as an OBE winner for services to the UK ports industry and the Scottish economy.

Desley Stickle will be awarded the BEM for services to the community in Unst.

Both will receive their medals at a ceremony to be announced at a future date.

Former Orkney and Shetland sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie has also been awarded an OBE for services to the community in the Northern and Western Isles. Mackenzie served as sheriff at Lerwick and Kirkwall sheriff courts for almost 12 years until early 2004, when he and his wife returned to his native Lewis.

Laurenson spent almost 44 years with LPA before retiring on 16th November when she celebrated her 60th birthday.  The past 11 years she has occupied the top job in the harbour, taking over from Allan Wishart in 2007.

She started working for the authority as a 15-year-old back in 1974 before getting a full-time job a few months later in the accountancy department.

After becoming office manager she was promoted to deputy general manager in 1998, a year before Lerwick Harbour Trust became Lerwick Port Authority.

She said on Friday that she was very surprised to be on the honours list and did not even know she had been nominated.

“It was very unexpected and I am very pleased,” she said, adding that Lerwick harbour had been in constant evolution during her time and that she was pleased the authority had “managed to keep pace with the changing needs of its customers.”

During her time with the LPA, the oil industry has boomed and declined, as did the klondyking operation that once saw up to 90 foreign factory ships in the harbour. The latest harbour developments have capitalised on and encouraged the growth in fish landings and oil decommissioning work.

Pillar of the Unst community, Stickle likewise said that she was surprised but delighted to learn that she had been nominated and her nomination accepted about a month ago.

The 47-year old, who left her job as an administrator at Nordalea Care Home on Friday (28 December) to run a pub full time, said: “It comes as a big surprise and I have to say I am fairly delighted.”

Stickle has been one of the leading lights in Unst Fest, the yoal club and the bingo club and is now looking forward to running the Balta Light full-time.

She is especially proud of having reinvigorated youth involvement with the yoal rowing club along with Heather Gary as a number of the younger rowers had grown up and drifted away from the community.

Stickle is no stranger to awards, having been winner of the “unsung heroine” award at the North Isles awards in 2016.

She said that she did not know who had nominated her but “had a good idea” and would make enquiries.