THE WINNER of Burntisland's Community Award for 2003 has spoken of his pride at receiving the prestigious accolade.

Ian Kilgour (64) of 7 Grange Road, said he was initially "flabbergasted'' when informed on New Year's Day he was to be given the award for his services to the town's twinning committee.

Speaking to The Fife Free Press he said: "It's fair to say I was somewhat taken aback and completely flabbergasted when I found out about this, as it was genuinely unexpected.

"However, now I've had time to take it in, I feel very proud to have been chosen to receive this award, especially as it's given on behalf of the community of Burntisland.''

Mr Kilgour's association with the town's twinning committee is a long-standing one, stretching back to 1953 when he first visited Burntisland's Norwegian twin town of Flekkefjord as part of an early exchange trip.

Since then he has held various roles on the twinning committee including that of chairman and was also part of the delegation which visited Norway in 1974 to sign an official twinning agreement with Flekkefjord on behalf of the old Burntisland Burgh Council.

"When I first went on an exchange trip,'' he added, "it was at a time when going abroad was a real privilege and an honour usually only available to royalty or if you were in the forces.''

A teacher during his working life, Mr Kilgour started his career in 1968 at Woodmill High, Dunfermline before spending 20 years at Dunfermline High School teaching Business Studies. He then took early retirement in 1989.

Also active in swimming circles, over the years he has coached Burntisland Amateur Swimming Club and the Fife Schools' Swimming Association.

Praising Mr Kilgour, Margaret Macdonald, secretary of Burntisland Community Council said: "We felt as he had been connected with town twinning for so long, in a whole number of ways, commitment such as that deserved recognition.

"He is a fitting recipient of the award on the grounds of the work he has done for the community of Burntisland.''

The Community Award will be officially presented to Mr Kilgour by Alex McDonald, chairman of Burntisland Community Council at its meeting on February 14 in the town's Burgh Chambers.