Trio's achievements celebrated at Investiture Ceremony

Thursday, 1 December, 2022

Three people from across Dunbartonshire were honoured at an Investiture Ceremony in Bearsden by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, Mrs Jill Young MBE last month.

The special ceremony was hosted in Kilmardinny House, Bearsden by East Dunbartonshire Provost Gillian Renwick and the following people were invested:



MBE (Ordinary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)

Mr Daniel (Don) Martin from Kirkintilloch for services to libraries and heritage in Scotland

BEM (British Empire Medal)

Mr Ah Yee Shek (Johnny) from Kirkintilloch

BEM (British Empire Medal)

Ms Melody Whitley from Alexandria

Here's some background on the recipients:

  • Provost with Don Martin and Jill Young MBEDaniel Martin - or Don as he is known to friends and former colleagues - is a local historian of great note and authority who worked for East Dunbartonshire Council and Strathkelvin District Council before it, for many years. His work has ensured that the history of Kirkintilloch is recorded and assessable to all.  He has long been the leading figure in local studies in Scotland and the library he created in Kirkintilloch is both the envy of many contemporaries and a model to emulate; his personal images formed the core of the renowned local studies collection there. He has penned 10 local history publications. He is central to the research on the legacy of Thomas Muir and an integral member of the national committee set up to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.
  • Ah Yee Shek (Johnny) is a Community Champion and was recognised for services to the Chinese Community Provost with Ah Yee Shek (Johnny) and Jill Young MBEin Scotland. Since his arrival in the UK nearly 60 years ago, Johnny has run businesses in the hospitality industry and has devoted much of his non-working time to running an organisation for people who share his Chinese heritage and faith.  Every year he organises Chinese New Year dinners and Respect for the Aged dinners in the Chinese community and has served for many years as president of the Kut O Buddhist Association, founded in 1982. He established a Woman’s Association to support Chinese women in the community and is also focused on inspiring the younger generation to keep their heritage and traditions alive, introducing a youth lion dance group.
  • Melody Whitley is a Community Champion and was recognised for services to overcoming food poverty and supporting the homeless in Glasgow. Melody became involved with the homeless over seven years ago, initially by making sandwiches which quickly grew to Provost with Melody Whitley and Jill Young MBEcooking hot meals for over 170 homeless people, all funded from her personal resources.  She now heads up a team of 50 volunteers with two ‘street teams’ working in Glasgow. During lockdown, she and her teams provided hot food, pastoral care and emergency accommodation for the homeless to keep them safe. She also supports individual families undergoing challenging times, setting up a ’food cupboard’ in her local hub and helping to furnish accommodation for those who have been allocated a local authority house. She is rightly regarded as a Guardian Angel.

Lord-Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, Jill Young MBE, presented the honours on behalf of His Majesty the King. She said "Meeting Don, Johnny and Melody and hearing of the dedication each of them has to their own personal causes was truly inspiring. They have lead very interesting and full lives in the service of others and their hard work continues. It was my pleasure, on His Majesty’s behalf, to carry out this Investiture Ceremony. They are an example to us all about the value of community and acts of selflessness. My hearty congratulations to them all on their achievements and more power to their elbows as they continue on their respective missions!"

Provost Gillian Renwick added, “This was my first time hosting an Investiture Ceremony and I felt privileged to be in the company of such special people. It is right that individuals are recognised for their commitment to their community and I was proud to be part of this important event. I know of Don through his many years of dedicated service at the Council and wish him, Johnny and Melody all the very best as they remain active in their chosen fields."

The Investiture was also attended by:

  • Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire Linda Moffat RD DL
  • Commander James Leatherby Deputy Lieutenant RN Retired
  • Anne O’Hagan, Deputy Lieutenant CA
  • Pat Steel, Deputy Lieutenant.

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