CHARITY fundraiser Janie Pryde has been named Musselburgh’s Citizen of the Year for 2016.

Mrs Pryde received the accolade for her voluntary service in the community.

She was joined on the podium by Ian Blair, the town’s Christmas lights stalwart, and Lynne Campbell of the Hollies Day Centre for older people, who were presented with framed certificates at a ceremony at The Brunton on Tuesday night.

Irene Tait, chairwoman of Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council, which organises the annual event, welcomed everyone to the presentation, a “thank you” to people who have given up their own time to help others.

Mrs Pryde, now 86, an active member of St Michael’s Church, Inveresk, opened the doors of her home, organising events to raise funds for charity and helping others from around the globe.

Community councillor Cathy McAlpine said: “Janie and the Town Hall clock have one thing in common: they are well-kent faces.”

Born in Gorebridge, Mrs Pryde served her apprenticeship as a dressmaker with Gorebridge Co-operative Society on leaving Dalkeith Secondary School.

It was during this time she caught the eye of an up-and-coming football player, Willie Pryde, captain of Newtongrange Star. He was signed for Airdrieonians Football Club and won three caps for Scotland.

The couple were married and went on to have two sons, Douglas and Alan, and daughter Hazel.

They decided to move to Musselburgh in the late 60s and opened a guest house on Linkfield Road. Janie became an active member of St Michael’s Church, Inveresk, taking part in may kirk events. She was elected president in 1986, serving for four years until 1990.

On becoming a church elder in 1991, she was honoured to be the first woman to administer communion coupled with other church duties. She inherited her singing talent from her mother, and became a member of the church choir.

Mrs McAlpine said: “Janie is recognised as a superb hostess and organiser. Although her bread and butter came from the guest house, her home was also a main centre of support for all nationalities visiting her home and the church, providing them with free accommodation and, in many cases, clothing and other needs. People still keep in touch with Janie from around the globe.”

Mrs Pryde encouraged people in the community to participate in many activities, such as floral art. A display on the theme of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns sat on the window sills at Inveresk Church Hall which aided church funds.

Mrs McAlpine added: “People speak of the wonderful musical events, Burns suppers and other events held in Janie’s home which helped to support various charities. The highest accolade for her was a wonderful compliment from a South African minister preaching at a Sunday service in St Michael’s. He commented that Janie’s home was one of the best he had stayed in and she was such a delightful lady.”

She said: “Janie is a well-known member of the community and it is acknowledged that her organisational skills were always displayed with a touch of panache. She is honoured with the Citizen of the Year Award, given to those who in some form or another have helped others in a quiet and dignified manner.”

Mrs Pryde said: “Thank you very much Musselburgh and everyone who has helped to put me here. I appreciate it very much and God bless.”

She later told the Courier: “I am over the moon with it, so delighted, and so very, very humble because I didn’t expect anything like this. It is like opening up a new page. I love Musselburgh very much and the people and I have worked hand in hand.”

Meanwhile, Mr Blair, 60, from Musselburgh, received a certificate for his dedication and commitment to ensuring Musselburgh’s Christmas lights were ready in time for the official switch-on ceremony each year. An electrician with East Lothian Council, he has voluntarily helped the local community council maintain the lights for the past three years. He tests the lights and carries out repairs from a workshop under the Town Hall. When the town got Christmas lights for some of the trees on the banks of the River Esk, he went out at night to put the electricity on and ensure they were the correct colours.

He said: “I am very proud. I enjoy helping with the lights.”

Miss Campbell, 38, from Prestonpans, has been honoured by Musselburgh for her “hard work and cheery disposition” while carrying out her duties at the Hollies for 17 years. They include helping with the lunch club.

She said: “I didn’t really expect it – it was a surprise.”

She was joined at the event by family and day centre supporters, including manager Liz Shannon and actor James Martin of the TV comedy series ‘Still Game’, who is a committee member.

Mr Martin said: “Everyone at the centre really appreciates what Lynne does and we are very proud of her.”