This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list has granted both a CBE and an MBE to two worthy recipients in Linlithgow.
Former Linlithgow primary schools cluster PE teacher Lesley Malone has been awarded an MBE while John Kenneth Mason, head of directorate for economic development at the Scottish Government receives a CBE.
Lesley commenced her career in education in 1976 in London before marrying and moving to Scotland, where she joined Bo’ness Academy.
After three years, she left to start her family in 1982, before setting up her own business,Tumbletots.
She returned to the education system in the late 1980s before finally retiring in 2014 after more than 30 years working with children.
One of Lesley’s highlights was her involvement in the Olympics and then the Commonwealth Games.
She told us: “Being given this award came as shock and I was told not to tell a soul, so I just forgot about it.
‘‘Sadly, my dear dad passed away two weeks ago without knowing, but I know he would have been so very proud as are my family and friends and hopefully the wonderful children I taught through the years.”
Originally from Chichester, West Sussex, John Mason graduated from Oxford University in 1978 with a degree in geography and from University College London in 1980 with a postgraduate degree in town planning.
John worked for Kent County Council as a town planner before moving to the former Department of the Environment in 1985.
He joined the former Scottish Office in 1990 and held a series of policy posts in housing, industry, tourism, culture and sport and climate change. He has been in his current post as director of economic development since 2010.
Some 15 years ago John was involved in the bidding for the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, and last year, he got to see the fruits of his labours. He said: “That year turned out to be an incredible year for me and certainly the most challenging and enjoyable in my 30 years in the civil service.
‘‘However, as I look forward to retiring next summer, it is all the wonderful colleagues that I have been privileged to work with that stand out.
“These colleagues, and the great people I worked with inside and outside the Scottish Government, are responsible for me receiving this wonderful award.”
John has lived in Linlithgow since 1990 with his wife and has two daughters and a son.
Above (left) John Mason and (right) Lesley Malone pictured receiving a special recognition award in 2014 from Provost Tom Kerr.