Citizen of the Year accolade for Leslie’s David

David Roy was named the Leslie Citizen of the Year.
David Roy was named the Leslie Citizen of the Year.

For more than 50 years he has been spreading the joy of Christmas to those who need it most in his local community.

Now David Roy (84) is the one who has received a present during the festive season – he’s just been named the Leslie Citizen of the Year.

David received the honour for putting together and delivering Christmas hampers to locals since 1957 as part of the Nursing Association.

He was stunned when he heard he had been selected.

“It was a very great honour,” he said. “I didn’t expect that one bit. Over the years you just do things and you don’t think of any accolades or medals.

“I was very excited about it. It’s just one of these things that you do and you don’t expect to be awarded for it.”

Having been apprenticed to his uncle’s licenced grocery shop D.G. Roy in the High Street in the town, David took over the business in 1957 and ran it until his retirement 24 years ago.

But even after retiring, he continued to provide the Christmas hampers, distributing them to the elderly and disabled around the Leslie area.

A few years ago the Nursing Association started providing gift vouchers instead of the hampers but David, feeling gift vouchers would not suit all, decided to continue making hampers.

While being named Citizen of the Year doesn’t require David to do too much, he did have the honour of switching on the Christmas lights in the town, something that was a proud moment.

He said: “It was all very exciting. There were children from the local primary school there singing carols, and the whole event was nice.”

Jan Wincett, chair of Leslie Community Council, who chose David for the accolade, spoke highly of him.

“I think he’s a very deserving recipient,” she said. “He’s 84 and saying ‘they want me to retire but I don’t want to’.

“He knows everyone in Leslie. It’s a lot of work and he’s so enthusiastic about it all. He’s very unassuming – he doesn’t think he’s done anything exceptional. That’s one of the nice things about him.”

David, a church-goer, has lived in Leslie all his life. He’s married to Isobel (81), has a daughter, Aileen, two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters.

He is the fifth Leslie Citizen of the Year.