Nearly two years after Doric champion Sandy May was made an MBE in the 2019 New Year honours, his family have accepted the award posthumously.
Sandy of Longside, who died in July, was a tireless promoter of Doric language and culture.
Together with his wife Vi, he spent years encouraging the use of the language and its associated musical heritage.
He was due to be presented with his honour at the Palace of Holyrood on June 30 last year but the presentation was postponed because of Covid.
Sandy died on July 29 this year before a new date for the presentation could be arranged.
However, Sandy Manson, Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, travelled to Sandy’s home at Auchlee, Longside, to present Vi and his family with the MBE.
Vi said Sandy was proud to be named as an award recipient but still found it hard to believe he was being honoured.
“He felt he was just an ilky day mannie daein fit he enjoyed maist whither it wis encouraging the bairns at Strichen Festival tae spik Doric, sing, play, recite and jist dae their best, bit enjoy it at the same time,” said Vi.
Another of Sandy’s achievements was obtaining funding to help digitise the Morrison Collection of glass plate negatives that had been found in a blocked up cupboard in a house at Belhelvie.
They had been taken in the late 1800s by James Morrison and depicted rural life in the area.
Vi said: “He was always amazed at the things the bairns found to point out in the photographs of the Morrison Collection when doing the school workshops at Aden park.
“I don’t think that many people really knew just how much time and effort he put into the Morrison Collection and the success he had going all round the village halls with the photographs just to talk about the folk in the photographs, the farms now long gone or who had seen themselves in a photo 60 years ago who was now sitting beside them in the audience.
Patience and passion
“He was happy doing talks at care homes fan the auld folk wid exchange their memories or the words they used to use or the way they used to do things and he always had patience to listen.
“His abiding passion was research, digging into anything local, historical or genealogical and he would sit for hours piecing a story together.”