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Former North Star editor to receive lifetime achievement award

Former North Star and East Ross Herald and Post editor Willie Morrison is to receive an award for lifetime achievement in journalism.

The Durness-born Gaelic-speaking reporter, who recently retired after a 40-year career, is to receive the prestigious Barron Trophy at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards.

First donated in 1950 by the late Evan Barron, a former editor of the Inverness Courier, the award recognises excellence and outstanding service to journalism in the Highlands and Islands over a long period.

Willie, (66), began his journalism career with DC Thomson at the company’s Sunday Post office in Glasgow in 1966.

Soon after, he returned to the Highlands as the Inverness-based reporter with the People’s Journal, where he remained until 1981, when he moved to Edinburgh to work in Public Relations with the National Trust for Scotland.

Willie (pictured) also worked at the Alloa Advertiser and Lothian Courier before the late Willie Wilson, editor of the North Star, offered him the chance to return to the Highlands in 1984.

He joined Aberdeen Journals in 1989, to set up and edit the Dingwall-based East Ross Herald and Post, and became the Press and Journal’s reporter in Dingwall in 1991.

He edited the North Star for three years from June 2002 to May 2005, and ended his career with the Inverness Courier before retiring last January.

He still occasionally provides holiday cover for local newspapers and undertakes public relations assignments.

Willie’s other main interest has been serving with the Territorial Army. He joined in 1960 and retired as a Major in 1992, spending his final 13 years in TA public relations.

Gordon Fyfe, chairman of the Highland Media Awards, said: “In his 40 years as a journalist in the Highlands, Willie has covered the full range of stories – from the MOD to Madonna.

“He is known as a stickler for detail and accuracy, qualities which have earned him the respect of politicians, sheriffs, procurator fiscals and other prominent community leaders.”

Willie will receive his award at the Highland and Islands Press Ball at the Newton Hotel in Nairn, on February 2.

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