Merchant Company - James Oliver Award - Presentation 2018
On Friday 2nd November 2018, Selkirk Merchant Company held their annual Winter Function,which included the presentation of the Jim Oliver Award by the Master of the Company David Heard to this years winner Jim McPherson.
The Master said that as this year is the Year of Young People, when the committee were discussing candidates for this year’s award he had suggested to the committee that this should be taken in to consideration. This year’s winner has certainly been committed to helping the youth in this town for many years now.
Since arriving here in Selkirk, Jim has been involved in many projects one of his first ones being the setting up of a very successful Canoe Club. Along with his good friend Alasdair Torrance they set up the club in 1976 with their first outing being on the 14th November on the Mill Lade. Jim recalls it was a lovely wind free freezing day with what felt like dozens of kids and only a fleet of four canoes.
In 1982 George Jack arrived as headmaster of the High School and this brought about the school exodus programme. Jim was again heavily involved with trips to Newcastleton to be bitten by the midges and various places in the Highlands and ski trips to the Ardeche in France. Next up was an invite from Ron Sutherland to head off to Kenya with the Borders Exploration Group in 1997 and 21 years on he has been on various expeditions and foreign adventures.
In 2009 retirement gave Jim the chance to get involved in other activities with school groups, these being canoeing (of course), skiing, cycling and helping with the Duke of Edinburgh award at most secondary schools in the borders.
As an overview Jim has been involved in:
Selkirk High School Canoe Club
Ski trip leader
Borders Exploration Group
The Vine Trust
Bikeability Cycle trail leader
Duke of Edinburgh as a trainer, leader, supervisor and assessor
Chief Invigilator for the Scottish Qualifications Authority
SBC Outdoor Education as a Water Sports Instructor
Jim has been on trips with children to Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Romani, Kenya, Zambia, Mongolia, Cuba and Tanzania.
In his spare time Jim is a very active member of the Rotary Club and is currently President.
There is no question that Jim is a truly worthy winner of this year’s Award. David added that "in my mind he is committed to Selkirk and the youth of today".
Jim receiving his award
Jim with his award and certificate
Milly entertaining the company