A Highland Council press release from this afternoon:
Following the sad news that Mr Ronnie Watson, former Councillor and Provost of the Royal Burgh of Nairn had died, the Council’s Area Leader paid tribute to his years of service and commitment to the community.
Mr Watson was presented with the Freedom of Nairn during a special ceremony in the town held on Saturday 6 December 2008 which included a March Past by the Nairn and District Pipe Band. This prestigious honour, which is rarely presented, was granted by The Highland Council in recognition of his many years of service to the community of Nairn.
Chair of the Area Committee, Councillor Liz MacDonald who was Provost of Nairn in 2008 and took part in the Freedom ceremony said: “I have known Ronnie for many years and I was delighted when he was given the Freedom of Nairn and few years ago. Ronnie and his son Alan are represented in Nairn Museum in a terrific painting by Jason P Walker in 2008. It is with deep regret that I note his passing, he was a stalwart and ambassador for Nairn.”
Mr Watson was first elected as a Town Councillor for Nairn in May 1953 and participated in the Moray and Nairn Joint County Council, becoming Provost of the Burgh in July 1973.
As well as representing his community in local government, Mr Watson was president of the Nairn Pipe Band for over 30 years and holds the record of being the town’s longest serving Justice of the Peace.
As a mark of respect and in recognition of Mr Watson being a recipient of the Freedom of Nairn, The Highland Council Convener, Councillor Jimmy Gray has given his special permission for the flag on the council offices in Nairn to be lowered for the funeral tomorrow.