Souters have the rights stuff

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Selkirk Merchant Company’s Standard Bearer Andrew Anderson praised Souters’ character at its Colour Bussin ceremony.

The human rights campaigner, and brother of Provost David Anderson, first thanked the Company for their support. “I am looking forward to walking in the footsteps of my grandfather, who as you know was Merchant Company Standard Bearer in 1926 and 1949,” he said.

“1949 was obviously a big year for our family: my grandad was Merchant Company Standard Bearer, Dad was Royal Burgh Standard Bearer and my Uncle George was an Attendant.

“My grandfather’s ribbon will be on the flag on Friday, together with those of Derek Nichol and Oliver Lawson, and George Beagley, who was Standard Bearer when my dad was Master.

I am pleased to say we will also have the colours of George Douglas who is celebrating his Silver Jubilee, as well as my gang of four mentors: David, Jim, Mark and Ian.

“I am obviously very pleased that mum is able to be here tonight. Everything I ever learned about kindness, I learnt from her.” Turning to his Lady Busser - his wife Anna, and mother of their three children Laura, Elliot and Scott - Andrew added: “Anna has shown great enthusiasm for the whole enterprise since we were first approached. I literally couldn’t have done it without her. She has been absolutely brilliant.

“As some of you will know, one of my challenges has been to explain what I am doing to my friends from around the world who are working for human rights.

“But I actually think there is a kind of connection. My work is focused on providing practical support to human rights activists who are at risk because they are speaking out to defend the rights of others.

“I have had the privilege to know some genuine heroes. A common thread amongst them all is courage, and a selfless passion for their community.

“That is at the core of what has made Selkirk what it is. I like to tell human rights folk that in Selkirk we have been defending our rights in common for over 800 years.

“So, haud up yer heids, ye gallant lads, ye come frae naethin sma’.”

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