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Carrie Gibson – Citizen of the Year


Carrie (2).jpgAN Inverclyde woman who has become an inspiration to thousands after climbing Mount Everest has been awarded Citizen of the Year by local Freemasons.

Scout Leader Carrie Gibson became only the 5th Scottish woman and the 14th British woman to conquer Everest when she reached the summit on 16 May 2007. Carrie (35) who works at James Watt College in Greenock, was part of the Scottish Scouts Seven Summits Expedition that tackled the world’s highest peak.

Now her efforts in reaching the summit and her contribution to the Scouting movement in Inverclyde have been recognised after being made Inverclyde Citizen of the Year by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West. The award has been made annually since 2003 in recognition of a significant contribution to the community within Inverclyde. It can be given to any individual or group for a specific achievement or long-standing contributions that have been made to benefit the community.

“I am very humbled to receive this award,” said Ms Gibson. “The last year has been an incredible experience and I am delighted at the profile it has given Scouting in Inverclyde.”

Greenock District Scout Commissioner David McCallum added: “ All 1000 or so of our young people and adult leaders here in Greenock District, are immensely proud of Carrie, who achieved this great goal during our Centenary year. Carrie is a ‘real’ hero to many, we salute her. My personal thanks to local Freemasons for recognising both Carrie and Inverclyde Scouting in this way ’’

Ms Gibson was given her presentation at the annual dinner of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West – the body that oversees Freemasonry in Inverclyde.

Alex Galbraith, Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire West, said: “Carrie is a great role model and an inspiration for members of all voluntary organisations and the people of Inverclyde.

“Her magnificent achievement together with her selfless contribution to youth work should be recognised and we were delighted to honour her in this way.

“Not only is she the fifth Scottish woman to climb Everest, she is now the first woman ever to win our Citizenship Award – so that is another achievement for her.

Carrie trains regularly at the Lady Octavia Sports Centre and can bee seen running around Inverkip and Greenock. Her Scouting life began in 1988 when she became a member of the 1st Inverkip Venture Scout Unit. She gained her Queen Scout Award, working on Community/Conservation projects with the Rangers at Cornalees Bridge Centre, and sailing as a representative of Greenock District Scouting on board the Sail Training Associations Tall Ships. She has been a Scout leader for 15 years, District Scout Leader for three years and a member of the Greenock Gang Show.

Her day job is as a Project Manager at James Watt College working in the Centre for Employability and Funding Initiatives.

The previous recipients of the Citizen of the Year Award were Douglas Rae (2003) for his contribution to the local economy through his very successful confectionery manufacturing business and his timely rescue of Greenock Morton Football Club when they were within 24 hours of extinction.

In 2004 the award was won by Reggie Scorer for his unstinting service to youth and amateur football for the last 25 years in Inverclyde. Many boys and parents are indebted to him for his commitment and hard work ensuring the continued success of youth football in Inverclyde.

The 2005 award went to Eddie McClusky who has worked as a volunteer with the Port Glasgow Otters Swimming Club for more than 20 years. The club, which caters for swimmers of all ages with physical and learning difficulties, has Special Olympics gold medal winners among its members.

The 2006 award went to Boys Brigade Officer Ian Armour who was integral in the formation of the Stedfast Silver Band and in helping more than 200 pupils through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

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