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Provost Pat O'Brien Awarded OBE in New Year's Honours

Pat O'Brien Honoured for Services to East Lothian

Pat O'Brien has been a Councillor representing Prestonpans for as long as most can remember and he has of course risen to become Provost for all East Lothian as well. His years of service have seen great achievements and as leader and instigator of so much that has happened in The Pans we can all readily congratulate him as he becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire [OBE].

Close to home he was the Councillor who led the campaign for The Goth to be Listed, preserving it for nigh on 15 years to be available for its contemporary renaissance. His affection for the place has many dimensions but none more significant than being the venue for his Wedding Reception with Margaret more than a few years ago. He was also an instigator of the restoration of Johnnie Moat to the vertical .... and all that that implied.

Pat knew the hard times in the aftermath of the pit closures of the 60s and the collapse of the town's entire industrial base; and he has helped lead and latterly presided over its new beginnings. It's not the place it was; it never can be that again. But there are clear signs that what the future holds is bright. It is a future which those who knew the old industrial Prestonpans can readily take pride in and which their descendant families and incomers can enjoy.

East Lothian Courier explained his 'Gong' as follows:

Pat O'Brien, elected in 1977 to the now-defunct East Lothian District Council, is one of the longest serving council leaders and Provosts in Scotland. He became Provost of the new East Lothian Council in 1995.

"I am honoured to receive this award which would not have been possible without the support of my wife, Margaret, my three children and the goodwill of many colleagues and friends both within and outwith the Council," he said.

"But I am especially grateful to the people of Prestonpans and to the wider East Lothian community, who have given me their support and trust over these many years."

Pat O'Brien played a pivotal role in setting up the East Lothian Community Development Trust, which built a number of county leisure facilities, and established the Pennypit Trust in Prestonpans, his home town, [which opened its Pennypit Centre in October last year].

He used his influence to bring the new Queen Margaret University College campus to East Lothian and has been chairman of the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee for 11 years.

P.S. ... and most lately of course he has become a Trustee of the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust. Amongst all the commitments awaiting his attention after he stands down as Provost in mid 2007 this is yet another local challenge for him to help see through to fruition.

Congratulations Pat. Well done!

Published Date: December 30th 2006

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