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MBE for former regional press executive

Former news executive Donald Fullarton has been presented with an MBE by the Prince of Wales.

He received the honour for his contribution to the community of Helensburgh in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace after being selected for the award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this summer.

The former editorial director of the Clyde and Forth Press Group has taught practical journalism at the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies, at the University of Strathclyde, since 2000. He is also a freelance sub-editor and photographer

Donald began his journalism career as a junior reporter in 1963, at the now defunct Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, becoming editor of the Helensburgh Advertiser from 1968-83 and of the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter from 1983-92. He later went on to become editorial director of Clyde and Forth, in charge of 14 weekly newspapers.

A well-known figure in his local community, Donald is also editor and chairman of the talking newspaper, Headline Helensburgh, which he has been involved with since its creation.

Donald is also the honorary secretary of the Society of Editors (Scotland), a member of the Scottish Journalism Training Forum and a life member of the Newspaper Press Fund.

He said: “Prince Charles asked me about the talking newspaper for the blind which I edit, and I told him it was the first in Scotland when it was launched in 1975.”

He was joined in London by his wife Phyllis and their three children. But due to seating restrictions only his wife and two children could attend the ceremony itself. However, after the service the whole Fullarton family dined in style with lunch at the 28th floor restaurant in the Park Lane Hilton.

Donald said: “It was a very proud day for me and my family.”

Talking before the ceremony Donald said he was astonished to find out he had been awarded the prestigious merit. Comparing it to his eldest daughter’s wedding he said: “The whole process is nerve wracking. Everything is organised but I’ll be nervous until it is over.”