A GRANDFATHER’S lengthy connection with an international charity has been recognised at a special presentation.

John Wood’s links to Christian Aid date back more than half a century and he has now been presented with a certificate to mark his commitment to the good cause.

The 82-year-old, of Haddington’s Herdmanflatt, was taken by surprise at a recent quiz night in St Mary’s Parish Church for the charity, which works to support sustainable development, stop poverty and provide disaster relief.

He said: “I suppose after receiving the certificate I felt quite humbled about it really.

“It was a surprise and I was pleased afterwards.”

The certificate reads: “Christian Aid presents this award to John Wood in recognition of his 50 plus years of outstanding commitment in transforming the lives of the poor, marginalised and vulnerable.”

Mr Wood first got involved with the charity in the early 1960s when he was instrumental in setting up the Haddington branch of the organisation.

It has grown considerably since then, raising thousands of pounds for the international charity each year.

The grandfather-of-four said: “A chap from Edinburgh came out, Jimmy Hodge, who was the sole organiser of Christian Aid in Scotland at that time, and spoke about Christian Aid in the West Church.

“That was the start of Christian Aid in Haddington.

“The first big event was a sponsored 25-mile walk.

“All the churches in Haddington were involved and walked to North Berwick, along the coast and back to Haddington.”

Since then, various events have been organised for the charity, with the annual focus on Christian Aid Week.

Members from Holy Trinity Church, St Mary’s Parish Church and West Church join forces for the house-to-house collection, which takes place each May.

Mr Wood, who stepped down from the town’s Christian Aid committee earlier this year, remains involved with Holy Trinity Church, where he has been a minister for a number of years.

Graham Coe, who is a member of the town’s Christian Aid committee, handed over the certificate to Mr Wood, who also worked with the Courier for almost 50 years; firstly, as a compositor and then as a proof reader.

Janet Chrystal, Christian Aid organiser for Haddington, said: “John has been a mainstay in Haddington for a number of years.

“The churches in Haddington have worked together for Christian Aid and we have had a joint committee and John represented Holy Trinity Church.

“He stepped back at the end of August and his place has been taken by two people, which tells you his level of commitment.

“He did not know he was getting the presentation, it was a surprise, but, of course, he was there as he always supports Christian Aid events.”