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Former editor to host Highland games

Former North Star and East Ross Herald and Post editor Willie Morrison is to be the chieftain of the Scottish highland games in Durness.

He will oficially open the 2007 Durness Highland Gathering and act as a figurehead for the event which is held annually on the last Friday of July.

Willie, (66), recently retired after a 40-year career and in January received an award for lifetime achievement in journalism at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards.

He was invited to act as chieftain by the games committee, and after meeting the members of the pipe band at 12 noon he will march on to the Games Field to make a speech and declare the games open.

He will also meet and greet visitors and judge the tug of war contest, before presenting trophies to the winners of field, track and heavy events.

It will be held at Shore Park, Durness, North West Scotland on July 27.

Willie said: “It is quite an honour. The games are held less than a mile from where I was born and the first event I can remember was in 1949.

“It is a very spectacular part of the world and I never tire of going back.”

Willie was born in Sangomore — just three houses south of where John Lennon spent his holidays.

He began his journalism career with D C 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.

He also worked at the Alloa Advertiser and Lothian Courier before return to the Highlands to the North Star 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 year.