His shop has been described as the “heart of the community” – now Zahid Hussain has been named Leslie’s Citizen of the Year.
Mr Hussain, owner of Leslie Mini Market, was selected for the honour and, as his first duty, switched on the town’s Christmas lights on Monday.
Zahid, who has lived in the village for 26 years, said he couldn’t believe it when he was informed of the decision.
“I am very honoured,” he said. “The village has been so nice to me. It’s like a big family to me.
“When they said I had been chosen I couldn’t believe how lucky we are.
“Everyone has been coming in and congratulating me, giving me hugs.
“I’ve been here 26 years and the people have been really good to us.
“I am grateful to all the residents and all the people who voted for me.”
News of Zahid’s selection on the Leslie Community Council Facebook page prompted a welcome response, with dozens of comments and more than 190 likes.
John Wincott, chair of the communty council, explained the choice, saying: “Zahid has been part of the village for 26 years now.
“People appreciate that a shop like his can be the heart of the town. Since we chose Zahid our Facebook page has been inundated with well wishes and people commenting how valuable a member of the community he has been.”
Zahid switched on the Leslie Christmas lights, following a performance by the Leslie Primary School choir.