An Aberdeenshire woman who was made an honorary citizen of Texas by President George W. Bush has died, aged 85.
Heather Anderson, of Deeview Road, Banchory, was conferred the honour 40 years ago for her work in fostering links with Houston, after the Grampian region was officially twinned with America’s energy capital in 1979.
Born in Cardiff, she moved north to Scotland when her father took over a newsagent’s business in Banchory, in 1945.
She was educated at Banchory Academy and Webster’s College in Aberdeen.
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Miss Anderson was the founder secretary of the Grampian-Houston Association, an organisation that was established to strengthen bonds with America’s fourth largest city.
After her retirement from 19 years in the role, George W. Bush – who was Governor of Texas at the time – she was granted honorary citizenship in recognition of her work for the association.
As well as serving as the founder secretary of the twinning association, Miss Anderson also had career in local government that spanned 43 years.
She worked for both the Aberdeen County Council, and Grampian Regional Council, and went on to become secretary to the depute county clerk.
Over her career, she served as personal assistant to councillors Sandy Mutch, John Sorrie, Geoffrey Hadley and Robert Middleton.
On the reorganisation of local government in 1975, she transferred to Grampian Regional Council at Woodhill House, as secretary to the director of law and administration, before being appointed to run the convener’s office.
Mr Mutch was the councillor who put Miss Anderson forward for her role with the Grampian-Houston Association after he officially secured the twinning, due to her “cheerful and enthusiastic disposition” which won her friends on both sides of the Atlantic.
During her time as the secretary for the association, she organised five exchange visits to Texas by delegations from Grampian.
She was made an honorary member of the association, and continued to take an active interest in its activities until recent times, when health issues started to restrict her mobility.
She was an elder at Banchory West Parish Church, where her funeral service will take place on January 31.
Miss Anderson is survived by her elder sister Maureen in Edinburgh, and two nephews.