AN Omagh scouting stalwart has said that being appointed as the new High Sheriff for Tyrone is a great way to start the new decade.
Gordon Aiken, who is perhaps best known locally for his role within the scouting movement, has taken over the honorary position from Wesley Atchison, the editor of the Tyrone Constitution.
Mr Aiken, a native of Pettigo in Co Donegal, is married to Yvonne and the couple have five children. He said serving as High Sheriff for the next year was a great honour and something he never would have expected. The role includes being invited to greet members of the Royal Family or Heads of State if they visit Tyrone, and receiving a High Court judge should they be presiding at a court in the county.
He said, “It was a privilege to be nominated. I have known for a couple of weeks now and it was a bit of a challenge to keep it quiet!
“2020 will be an exciting year and to be given this honour is a great way to start the decade.”
The adopted Omagh man first became involved with the scouts as a voluntary leader some 22 years ago, when his eldest son Andrew joined the organisation. He has held various positions within the movement, both at county and Northern Ireland level, and also has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for 20 years.
In 2014, Mr Aiken received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to young people in Co Tyrone.