Fahan charity worker honoured

Georgie Duncan, pictured with her son William. Picture: Bill Heaney.
Georgie Duncan, pictured with her son William. Picture: Bill Heaney.

A Fahan woman has told of her “delight” and “pride” at being honoured with a British Empire Medal for her charity work in Scotland.

Georgie Duncan was formerly Georgie Walker and lived in Fahan until her 20s, before emigrating to Scotland. She has many family members and friends still living in Inishowen and Derry.

A tireless charity worker, Georgie has long supported the Children’s Hospice, Scotland, (CHAS)for which she was awarded the honour.

79-year-old Georgie, who lives in Dumbarton, began working with the Women’s Voluntary Service in the 1960s. She “loved it” and through this, began managing the Sheriff, High Court and Justice of the Peace court tearoom working alongside the voluntary group Beanfeast. All monies raised go to charity and since 2001, Georgie has supported CHAS’s appeal to raise money to build, equip and endow Robin House Hospice, which opened in Balloch in 2005.

Alongside promoting and supporting the hospices, Georgie has raised over £100,000.

Her charity appeal was launched in co-operation with solicitor Charles McCusker from Johnstone in Renfrewshire, who started up Beanfeast with friends.

Georgie’s work has already been commended and in 2010, she was voted Dumbarton’s Citizen of the Year. She is also actively involved in helping elderly people in the community as a member of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Committee.

Speaking to the Journal, Georgie was keen to commend her band of volunteers, who have worked alongside her throughout the years, as well as her “very good friend” Philomena (Phil) Frazer.

She said she “couldn’t believe it” when she received the letter telling her about the honour and thought she’d “driven through a traffic light.”

She said: “My son, William, told me I had a letter and when I looked at it, I got a bit worried. It looked very official and I thought: “Oh dear, have I driven through a traffic light?” But my neighbour, who’s a policeman, assured me it didn’t look like that type of letter. He told me what it was and I was so shocked and delighted. I rang Phil and asked her if she knew about it and she told me she did. I feel very proud.”

Georgie told how she had been put forward for the medal by the Sherrif Simon Pender who joined lawyers and court staff from Dumbarton’s courts as Georgie was presented withthe medal by from Rear Admiral Mike Gregory, Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire.

She was accompanied to the ceremony by her son, William, her sister, Marjorie Nicol, and her friend, Desmond Armstrong, both from Derry. Georgie’s husband, Jim, has sadly passed away.