Falkirk pair honoured for helping others

Peter McQuade receives a British Empire Medal
Peter McQuade receives a British Empire Medal

Two pensioners who have spent their lives serving their communities are to be honoured by HM The Queen.

The pair both receive the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours.

70th anniversary of Wellstood Corp Company of St Andrew's First Aid, Bonnybridge Social Club'From left to right are Commandant Alexs Birse, Deputy Commandant Susan Swan receiving award for over 40 yrs service, and friend of the Company Mary Munro 'Pic by Alan Murray 16-03-13

70th anniversary of Wellstood Corp Company of St Andrew's First Aid, Bonnybridge Social Club'From left to right are Commandant Alexs Birse, Deputy Commandant Susan Swan receiving award for over 40 yrs service, and friend of the Company Mary Munro 'Pic by Alan Murray 16-03-13

Peter McQuade (78), of Grangemouth, and Susan Swan (82), of Haggs, were nominated for their unstinting work helping others.

And, despite advancing years, neither has any intention of slowing down.

A talented amateur musician, Peter is a regular entertainer at old folks’ clubs and homes, disabled groups and other organisations across the district.

Playing his accordion, he delights his audiences with his extensive repertoire of music.

Speaking from his home in Beauly Court, he said: “This is a great honour but there are many other people I know who do a similar thing. In some way, I will be accepting this on behalf of everyone and I’m very grateful to have been nominated.”

Married to Jean for over 55 years, Peter is originally from Camelon where he attended Carmuirs Primary School. Following the death of his mother, he moved to live with his gran and aunt in Braemar Drive, Falkirk, and it was they who bought him his first accordion.

He worked in insurance and with the Scottish Gas Board before spending the last 22 years of his career in the bus industry at the Larbert Road depot.

He has two sons, Brian 
and Gordon, one daughter Dianne, and seven grandchildren.

Susan Swan (82) has been a volunteer with the St Andrew’s First Aid for over 40 years and holds the title of deputy commandant.

She has also spent many years helping young people with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and is a dedicated member of the congregation at Haggs Parish Church.

In 2013 she received a long service award from colleagues in the Wellstood corps of St Andrew’s First Aid when she said that she had no plans to retire.

Originally from Dundee, she moved to Dundas Cottages, Allandale, when she married husband Stewart, who worked at Stein’s brickwork.

Tragically, he died 49 years ago aged only 49, when she moved to Haggs with her two children Bruce and Shirley. Sadly they have both also died and Susan now dedicates her life to helping others.

She worked in the school catering service, laterally at Denny High until an accident meant she couldn’t do heavy lifting.

Susan was then employed as a full-time first aider at Taylor’s foundry in Larbert before spending a decade as a GP’s receptionist, working in Bonnybridge and Banknock.

She said: “I then retired in order to do what I wanted and just got busier with first aid.”

And showing she is not ready to put her feet up yet, Susan spent Hogmanay as a volunteer first aider at the Stirling Castle celebrations.