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Albert Duffus from Forres receives Poppy Scotland President Award for extraordinary volunteers for annual fundraising efforts

By Garry McCartney

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Albert Duffus (left)being presented with the President’s Award by Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael and Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin.
Albert Duffus (left)being presented with the President’s Award by Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael and Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin.

A FORMER serviceman from Forres has been given special recognition for his fundraising efforts over the last eight years.

Albert Duffus was presented with the Poppy Scotland President Award for extraordinary volunteers by Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland president, Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin KCB CBE, at Inverness Town House on Friday, October 22, ahead of the opening of the Inverness Garden of Remembrance in the city’s Cavell Gardens, marking the start of the remembrance period, during the centenary of the Royal British Legion Scotland and 100 years of the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Albert said: “The event was very informal and relaxed but first class! It was a good day spent with my son Michael. I was honoured to accept the award from Sir Alistair, but I told him that the fundraising would not be possible without the excellent support from the Forres and military communities, as well as Forres Golf Club.”

Head of fundraising at Poppyscotland, Gordon Michie, was delighted to see Albert receive the accolade.

He said: “His determination and devotion to raising vital funds is truly appreciated. He is an inspiration and an ally to our armed forces community. Congratulations Albert we wouldn’t be able to provide the life-changing support to veterans without your unwavering dedication.”

Albert and his sons Michael and Mark served together in the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

Mark was killed at North Gate Camp, Kabul by suicide bombers while he was working for a security firm.

In his honour and aid of many charities including Poppyscotland, Albert devised and organised the Mark Duffus Memorial Golf Tournament, held annually since 2013 at Forres Golf Club. As well as golf, the occasion includes a raffle and auction, and the community pulls together to ensure the popular event’s success.

The 2021 event proved to be the most successful yet, with Poppyscotland, Erskine Veterans Charity, the Youth Golfers Group at Forres and other local charities benefiting to the tune of a total of more than £10,000.

Albert said: “Over the years, we’ve raised a total of £50,000 for charities Poppy Scotland, Erskine, Combat Stress and Veterans with Dogs. I used to send Erskine’s to their central belt branch but over the last few years it has gone into their Leanchoil project. Proceeds also go to Forres golf course for improvements. I’ll continue organising it for as long as I can.”

The new remembrance garden provides a chance to remember those who have fallen in the Great War and all subsequent conflicts.

Inverness Garden of Remembrance.
Inverness Garden of Remembrance.

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