The vice lord lieutenant of Banffshire has been made an MBE for her services to arts and community in the area.
Patricia Seligman, who lives in Aberchirder, said she was “very, very surprised” to find out the news a few weeks ago.
“I’m grateful for all I’ve been allowed to do, and I’m overwhelmed by this, it was so unexpected,” she said.
“When you’ve loved doing everything you’ve done, you don’t expect any reward.”
The 74-year-old was involved with the Friends of Duff House committee from its conception and spent three years as chairwoman, widening the appeal of the property to the public.
Over the years, she was involved in organising a number of concerts and art exhibitions, including an annual Friends exhibition which adopted a different theme each year.
Another highlight in her career was the “unbelievably busy” Coast Festival which brought art exhibitions and workshops to Banff and Macduff.
‘It’s been a huge joy’
Mrs Seligman said her interest in preservation, as well as the arts and music, grew throughout her time working with the North East Scotland Preservation Trust and the Banff Preservation Society.
“It was a delightful experience. I got to visit properties all over the north-east and learnt so much from very clever people,” she added.
Her role as Banffshire Vice Lord Lieutenant will come to an end when she turns 75 in October, but she says the experience has allowed her to meet lots of “wonderful” people.
“I’ve been able to visit people for diamond anniversaries, 100th birthdays and openings. It’s been a huge joy.
“I’ve had such a lovely time, but it will be good for some new people to come in and bring their knowledge of other areas. You can’t hang on to wonderful things.”
The grandmother-of-six said the news of her MBE has not sunk in yet but she is looking forward to celebrating later this year with her husband, Nigel, and their two children when her son is able to travel over from New Zealand.