Home / Royal Mail / Helensburgh Advertiser archives: Our top stories from May 22, 2008

Helensburgh Advertiser archives: Our top stories from May 22, 2008

How many of the faces featured in our latest ‘Looking Back’ trip down memory lane do you recognise?

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

A REFUGEE couple whose wedding day was dramatically ruined after they fled a ruthless regime, staged a rerun in a peaceful Garelochside setting.

Cambodians Chomno In and Kim Sorn renewed their vows at Garelochhead Parish Church, 23 years after escaping the Khmar Rouge during the Vietnam war and finding love in a refugee camp.

Parishioners raised enough money to bring the couple to Scotland and, as part of their trip, decided to organise what they had never really had — a proper wedding, after their original attempt was disrupted by bombing.

Everyone in the congregation offered what they could — some provided catering, others organised the wedding reception and a professional photographer in the congregation offered his services free of charge.

Even the Minister, the Reverend Alastair Duncan, loaned his kilt for groom, Chomno, while bride-to-be Kim borrowed a wedding dress from a parishioner, both of which turned out to be a perfect fit.

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

WELL-KNOWN politician Provost Billy Petrie celebrated a red letter day this week in his other role — as a postmaster.

While many sub post offices have fallen by the wayside due to cuts and closures, Provost Petrie managed to maintain his service to the community in Rhu for 50 years – even though he initially thought he was only going to manage the premises for a few weeks.

Half a century later, his post office is still open and serving customers, but its role and that of Royal Mail have changed substantially since the heydays of the late 1950s.

Provost Petrie said: “I have managed to weather the storm and dodged cuts which have happened to other sub post offices over the years. I’m still going, although the service has changed dramatically over the years with the opening of supermarkets and more people having cars.”

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

An Arrochar ambulance driver retired after more than 30 years.

Alister Campbell clocked up more than 162,844 man hours and took only two weeks off due to illness during his exemplary 33-year career with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

He celebrated with friends, family and former colleagues recently at a combined leaving do and 65th birthday bash in the Village Inn.

“It’s important that we have a local ambulance service because Arrochar is a crossroads,” he explained. “It’s at the centre of the roads system. We get a lot of accidents in this area and some are quite serious.

“The one thing I won’t miss is being on call. The phone would go in the middle of the night and you’d just have to move. You’d only be half asleep, listening for the phone to go.

“Now I go to my bed and I don’t have to worry.”

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

Y OUNGSTERS from the Hermitage Academy Swing Band played to a sell out crowd at the Red Cross Hall.

The band took part in a fund-raising music and auction night for the Helensburgh branch of the charity, bringing in more than £650.

They were joined on stage by a pianist and violinist who performed a medley of songs for the delighted audience.

Auction lots included two nights at a hotel in Fort William, a two month leisure pass for a family of four at the Buchanan Arms in Drymen, and a professsional manicure at the home of the highest bidder.

Organiser Lorraine Scott said: “It was an absolutely fantastic night. we were packed. There wasn’t a seat left and a great night was had by all. The auction and raffle went really well and the band were fabulous.” 

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

A SAILOR’S seven years of study — much of it beneath the waves — paid off as he moved a step closer to  his goal of becoming a teacher.

Tim Berrall began an Open University degree course as part of his resettlement into civilian life after a 22-year career in the Royal Navy, which he left last year.

Now he has achieved a BA degree and has one more year of study before he can become a fully-fledged teacher.

The 42-year-old Garelochhead man is delighted at his achievement which he said “was absolutely worth the effort”.

He added: “Whilst the Royal Navy taught me lots of practical transferable skills, I felt I needed some more qualifications to achieve additional academic skills, so I enrolled in the Open University.

“I had to do various items of course work at sea, and at times I had to wait until I got back home to resolve some issues, but for the last three years I started seeing a target on site and something to work towards.”

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Helensburgh Advertiser:

PUPILS from Rhu Primary took part in a health initiative by walking to school every day.

Between 20 and 40 youngsters met at Rhu Marina for the 10-minute stroll, as part of the Walk to School Week initiative to encourage healthy activities.

Parents and teachers accompanied the children. It was hoped that the scheme would encourage parents to park their cars further away from the school and walk youngsters to classes.

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