Callander’s Citizen of the Year award has been won by a resident who takes a keen interest in tidying up the town.
Ronnie Forbes received the honour after he received two nominations from grateful townsfolk.
The decision on who should receive the accolade is made annually by Callander Community Council and Mr Forbes was councillors’ unanimous choice at their latest meeting.
The 66-year-old was born in the town and owned and ran the popular Fiery Cross fish and chip shop for more than 25 years.
He went on to be the face of Visit Scotland’s tourist information hub in Main Street for a decade, directing thousands of tourist to some of Callander’s top beauty spots. He left his role there when Visit Scotland closed the facility in February this year.
He then had a brief spell working at the community-run visitor information centre which opened after the Visit Scotland facility closed.
A lover of fine whiskies, he has also formed the Callander Malt Whisky Society, which allows like-minded enthusiasts to get together monthly to discuss and sample their favourite tipple.
He was also recently installed as the RWM of Lodge Ben Ledi No 614.
Around 15 years ago, the grandfather-of-six began to take a keen interest in keeping the town clean and tidy.
One of the nominations read: “Ronnie Forbes has, for more years than I can remember, quietly and with no fuss, involved himself in many activities within our community.
“I will give some examples. Litter picking all over the place. I found him hoovering up the leaves in front of St Kessog’s Church in October.
“In the spring, I went up to the Red Well to strim the rough grass as locals had complained about the state of it, only to find that Ronnie had got there before me.
“For many years, while working in the family chip shop, he was the best visitor information person in Callander, long before he took it up professionally with Visit Scotland.”
Mr Forbes explained how he took it upon himself to tidy up Ancaster Square in the heart of the town ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
He said: “Leaves were scattered all over Ancaster Square. Callander’s street cleaner Colin Clark, who does a great job, was off on holiday so I decided to clean it up myself.
“I just used my lawn mower which sucked all the leaves up, chopped them up and compressed them.
“Once I did that I just decided to do the south side of the square as well.”
Speaking about his award, he added: “It’s a wee bit embarrassing. I never did it to win awards or anything like that.
“It started about 15 years ago. I would be out walking the dog and would notice litter, particularly at Callander Meadows. So I decided to start picking up bit of rubbish and putting it in the bin and eventually to take a bag out to put all the litter into.”
He will be presented with the award in the new year.
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