Tribute has been paid to Bill Spence on his retirement as Orkney’s Lord-Lieutenant.
A reception at the weekend provided Orkney Islands Council Convener Harvey Johnston with the opportunity to thank the outgoing Lord-Lieutenant on behalf of the Council and local community.
“Bill has been an exemplary Lord-Lieutenant and has made a tremendous contribution to Orkney over many years of service,” Councillor Johnston said.
“The Queen can have had great confidence that her representation in Orkney was in the safest of safe hands.”
Bill Spence was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant of Orkney by the Queen in February 2014 and was the 20th holder of this ancient office, which was established in Orkney by King George I in 1715. He had acted as Lord-Lieutenant since May 2013, following the death of his predecessor, Dr Tony Trickett.
He appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in December 1988 and Vice Lord-Lieutenant in March 2011 and supported four of his predecessors in the work of the Orkney Lieutenancy.
Councillor Johnston said: “Bill’s tenure as Lord-Lieutenant coincided with a period of unprecedented civic activity in our community.
“There were the many centenary commemorations marking Orkney’s links with the First World War. These included the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, an event of global importance which brought the President of Germany, the Princess Royal, the Prime Minister, the First Minister, ambassadors and senior military personnel to our islands.
“The Magnus 900 events were attended by Norwegian Royalty and a remarkable gathering of Bishops and Archbishops which drew nationwide interest – as did the never-to-be-forgotten unveiling of the Poppies at the Cathedral.
“Bill had a pivotal role throughout and played his part with his customary finesse and aplomb.
“I know he will look back with great fondness as well on the less high profile but equally important work of the Lord-Lieutenant. He has great interest in Orkney’s people and history and thoroughly enjoyed visits marking 70th wedding anniversaries or 100th birthdays. I was very pleased to be able to offer thanks on his retirement on behalf of our community.”
Bill Spence added: “It’s been a great privilege to represent the Monarchy in Orkney - the county of my ancestors, my birth and my education. There can surely be no greater honour; I’ve enjoyed my time as Orkney’s 20th Lord-Lieutenant and I wish my successor good fortune and the same satisfaction I’ve had in the post.”
An announcement on the appointment of Orkney’s next Lord Lieutenant is expected soon.