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Celebrating Moray's historic role in the DofE awards

By Alistair Whitfield

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A plaque to commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy through his awards scheme was unveiled today in Moray.

The ceremony took place on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Moray Council's leader Graham Leadbitter said: "As a Duke of Edinburgh participant in my teens I know how much the awards mean.

"I also know how much effort is required from participants and from staff and volunteers to guide and support them through it.

"My own experience was fantastic and I gained leadership and teamwork skills, which I use on a daily basis.

"Moray has been at the forefront of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award since its inception.

"It’s great to be marking that with a permanent feature highlighting our links with the scheme.

"And for anyone thinking of participating or volunteering – go for it! It’s a great experience."

Pupils from both Elgin Academy and Gordonstoun took part in the ceremony besides Moray Council's headquarters on Elgin High Street.

Alongside them was Seymour Monro, Moray’s Lord-Lieutenant.

He said: "This is a very special day – and it would have been HRH Prince Philip’s 100th birthday.

"It was his participation in the Moray Badge challenges at Gordonstoun in 1937 which led on to him launching the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956.

"Millions of young people around the world have participated in this wonderful scheme – and it all started here in Moray.

"Unlike Graham, I only managed to achieve a bronze award but I still remember that 48-hour walking and camping expedition to this day."

The plaque will form part of a DofE trail across Moray.

Commemorative stones designed by Duke of Edinburgh participants were unveiled in Fochabers back in 2016.

Other stones or plaques are also planned at Gordonstoun and Moray College UHI to add to another already in existence at Elgin Academy.

Helen Anderson, the Dof E director for Scotland, said: "The unveiling of this plaque is the latest in a series commemorating the DofE's rich heritage in Moray.

"It comes at a particularly significant moment, as we reflect on the phenomenal and lasting legacy of our patron and founder and also look to the future with a remarkable 330,000 young people across the UK actively continuing with their DofE activities."

Related article: Moray Badge relaunched upon Prince's 100th birthday

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