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It is all too easy to pass judgement on our local authority, especially in these times of austerity, but it is important to remember that, despite difficulties, this is the organisation and the people, that help to keep travel, commerce, civil functionality and amenity in good running order on Arran.
The hard work and dedication shown by people who serve the community can often go unnoticed, and while appreciated by some and expected by others, they can also be taken for granted.
It is for these reasons that we pay tribute to retiring island officer Gus Macleod this week, a man whose contribution to life on Arran spans nearly three decades. 28 years of service can only be seen to go well above the standards of duty and moves towards the realms of devotion.
It is fair to say that being the representative of the local authorities, and especially in the position of having to enforce bylaws – as Gus has had to do on occasion – can make one a target for enmity, something which Gus has always dealt with, with good grace.
Not only have there been many changes over the last 28 years, both with how Council’s operate, public opinion and expectations, but the island location of Arran has also presented its own difficulties – again all challenges that Gus has overcome admirably.
We wish Gus all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service to Arran and the community.