There are many honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours which were announced late last night. We are particularly pleased to hear that Billy Connolly will get a knighthood, only fitting for someone of his immense stature who has entertained us for years.

The Edinburgh Reporter met him outside in the street when he was about to play The Usher Hall a couple of years ago, and how charming he was. Even though he was obviously preparing for going on stage he was both gracious and kind, a couple of qualities which go a long way. And it has been a great distance from Glasgow to Los Angeles and beyond. The abiding memory of him skipping around in the Arctic with no clothes on is as clear as any of his gags which used to make it to vinyl LPs and which are now all over YouTube.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to more than 100 Scottish recipients in the list.

She mentions in particular JK Rowling OBE who will be awarded a Companion of Honour (CH), for services to literature and philanthropy. Billy Connolly CBE will receive a Knighthood, for services to entertainment and charity. Professor Anton Muscatelli, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Glasgow University who will also receive a Knighthood, for services to economics and higher education.

Scots receiving a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), include Alasdair Hay QFSM, for services to the Fire and Rescue Service and Nora Senior, for services to the Scottish and UK business community. Those receiving OBEs include Judy Murray, for services to tennis, women in sport and charity and Polly Purvis, for services to the digital economy in Scotland. Scots receiving MBEs include singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé, for services to music and paralympian Angie Malone, for services to wheelchair curling.

Emeli Sandé who comes to Edinburgh next month Photo John Bryden

Two Police Scotland officers will receive the Queen’s Police Medal. Three members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will accept the Queen’s Fire Service Medal and Lewis Campbell, General Manager of East Central Division of the Scottish Ambulance Service, will receive the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal.

The First Minister said:

“The Queen’s Birthday Honours list is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Scots who have shown incredible commitment to their work and communities. It’s great to give something back to those who have given so much, recognising their exceptional service across a range of fields.

“I’d also like to offer my congratulations to those in our emergency services who will receive Queen’s Fire, Police or Ambulance Service Medals for their outstanding service to their local communities and the people of Scotland. I’m sure their stories will inspire people across the country.”

Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh The Rt Hon Frank Ross

There are many Edinburgh citizens who have come to Her Majesty’s attention for a wide variety of reasons and the Lord Provost, Frank Ross is delighted by the list. He said : “Unsurprisingly for a City of Literature and a capital renowned for its outstanding higher education, the list is dominated by those from the fields of academia. This year, out of 24 honours, eight are to be awarded to professionals in the field of education.

“From university professors to early years experts, I am delighted to say one such name on Her Majesty’s list is Mrs Jacqueline Cairnie. A dedicated Council officer for almost 40 years and Unit Manager for the Council’s Greendykes Centre, Mrs Cairnie will receive an MBE for Services to Vulnerable Children and their Families in East Edinburgh.

“As our city’s famed author, philanthropist and creator of Harry Potter, I also congratulate J.K Rowling OBE who is invited to join the ‘Order of the Companions of Honour’. Awarded rarely, this recognition of Nationally Important Service will be bestowed on Ms Rowling for Services to Literature and Philanthropy.

“This is our chance to celebrate the outstanding dedication shown by people in all walks of life. Some are household names while others are famed only in their communities and industries – but every one of them has made a difference worthy of recognition from Her Majesty the Queen. And, of course, from us. Well done!”

Gillian Imery has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.

Chief Superintendent Gillian Imery joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1986 and has had a distinguished career, having served as a warranted officer for over 30 years.

As a senior woman in the police service she has consistently pushed boundaries, never content to settle for the status quo, either for the public or female colleagues. She is an inspirational leader and role model.

As the first female detective sergeant in Edinburgh and later as the first female divisional commander for the City of Edinburgh, Gillian overcame adversity and a work culture that previously did little to encourage women into senior positions in policing in Scotland.

Appointed in 2013 as the first head of public protection and divisional crime for the Police Service of Scotland, Gillian provided national leadership in critical areas of work including rape recording and investigation, and the management of registered sex offenders.

As the national policing lead for honour based violence, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation, Gillian displayed her energy and insight through the establishment of a consultancy group made up largely of third sector organisations with a focus on black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) issues. This was a groundbreaking piece of work in terms of police engagement with the often ‘unheard voices’ in our communities and those who have little contact with the authorities.

Gillian joined HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) on 11 April 2016, and is the first female officer to have held this position in the 160 years that HMICS has been in existence.

The Edinburgh honours are:

Member of the Companion of Honour


Ms Joanne Kathleen Rowling


For services to Literature and Philanthropy


Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)


Dr John Colin Adams

Lately Director of Commercialisation and Director of Informatic Ventures, University of Edinburgh

For services to Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Ms Rose Mary Fitzpatrick, QPM

Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland

For Services to Law and Order


Professor John Halstead Hardman Moore, FBC FRSE

Professor of Political Economy, University of Edinburgh and Professor of Economic Theory, London School of Economics

For services to Economics.


Ms Mary Elizabeth Scanlon

Lately Conservative Party politician

For political and public service


Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)


Professor Michael Calvert Appleby

Lately Chief Scientific Adviser, World Animal Protection

For services to Animal Welfare


Professor Polly Louise Arnold

Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

For services to Chemistry and Women in STEM


Professor William Buchanan

Professor of Computing and Director of the Centre for Networking, Security and Distributed Systems, Edinburgh Napier University

For services to Cyber Security


William Alexander Finlayson

Founder, MBM Commercial

For services to Entrepreneurship and Voluntary Service in Scotland


Mrs Linda Gregson

Head, Primary Care Transformation Team, Scottish Government

For services to Education and Social Care


Dr Patricia Denise Jackson

Lately Director, The Yard

For services to Children with Additional Support Needs and Charity


Mrs Polly Susannah Athenais Purvis

Chief Executive, ScotlandIS

For services to the Digital Economy in Scotland


Ms Emily Ramsay

Lately Head of Health and Safety, the Forestry Commission

For services to Improving Health and Safety in the Forestry and Arboriculture Industries


Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)


Miss Samera Jabeen Ashraf


For services to Sport and Diversity


Mrs Jacqueline Cairnie

Unit Manager, Greendykes Early Years Centre

For services to Vulnerable Children and their Families in East Edinburgh


Mrs Margaret Patricia Stuart Henton

Lately Non-Executive Director, Coal Authority

For services to the Environment and Professional Education


Professor Richard Mark Lyon

Consultant in Emergency Medicine, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

For services to Emergency Healthcare


Mohammad Ajman (Tommy) Miah

Chef and restauranteur

For services to the Hospitality Industry and Charity


Miss Eunice Olumide


For services to Broadcasting, the Arts and Charity


Mrs Catherine Walker

War Poets Collection Curator, Edinburgh Napier University

For services to Education, Heritage, and Public Engagement


John Melville Young

Lately President, Homeless World Cup

For services to Sport and Social Entrepreneurship


Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)


Ms June McIntosh

Deputy Charge Nurse, Edinburgh Cancer Centre

For services to Young People with Cancer and to Charity in Edinburgh


Mrs Fiona Florence Russell

Shop volunteer, Capability Scotland

For services in Charity in Edinburgh


Alexander Douglas Ruthven

Trustee, Therapet

For Voluntary Service to the Community in Edinburgh and the Lothians




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Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter.
Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist and iPhoneographer.