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Last duty for retiring Andy
By Colin Smeeton
Ex-military staff, civilians and those paying their respects in memory of loved ones, gathered at cenotaphs around Arran on Sunday to remember the service and sacrifice made by soldiers and civilians in the two World Wars and in later conflicts.
In suitably gloomy and overcast weather, Arran residents turned out in numbers to pay their respects in the national day of remembrance on the second Sunday in November.
In Brodick, ministers of the various churches gathered at the cenotaph where they paid tribute to all of the war dead and those that sacrificed so much during the conflicts.
Following the moving ceremony, representatives from various organisations, including North Ayrshire Council, Police Scotland, Brodick Church, and former submariner Alan Milligan, laid wreaths at the memorial before a two-minute silence was observed.
The wreath-laying ceremony was particularly poignant for Special Constable Andrew Perrie, representing Police Scotland, who attended the event as his last official duty.
Andrew, known as Andy to most, has now retired from the police service after 21 years and four months of service, the vast majority of it served on Arran.
New Arran police sergeant Kevin Blackley, speaking to the Banner prior to the ceremony, commended Andy’s years of service, saying: ‘I have had the pleasure of working with Andy when I was on the island many years ago and I know that he will be a huge loss to the policing team on the island as well as the island’s residents.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his commitment and service as a Special Constable and the thousands of hours he has given to assist his community.’
In addition to The Last Post being performed on the trumpet, piper Ali Hume from the Arran Pipe Band performed the solemn, When the Battle’s O’er, at the Brodick ceremony.