Kinghorn woman’s honour for community work

Norma Haggarty from Kinghorn who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours
Norma Haggarty from Kinghorn who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours

A Kinghorn pensioner who works tirelessly for her community has been honoured in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Norma Haggarty (79), is there every morning seven days a week to open up Kinghorn Community Centre in time for the first shift, and she’s the last one to leave every night after locking up – and that’s in addition to her regular working hours.

And the sprightly great-grandmother of three says she was “overwhelmed” when she found out she was to be awarded a British Empire Medal in the Honour’s list announced at the weekend.

She said: “All the work I do, and did, was because I loved doing it and just wanted to help out - not for any honour.

People say if there’s a problem go to Norma because she can help fix it, and I usually do because ‘can’t’ is not a word in my vocabulary!”

Over the years Norma has helped her local dance school by making up costume designs and showing the parents how to make them, fundraise for an extension to the current primary school, been a member of the Kinghorn Gala Committee, set up a local youth club and volunteered in the Community Centre before becoming a member of staff.

She worked for Fife Council when the centre was opened, but was forced to retire at 65.

However, after seeing how keen and able she was to continue working, the management committee asked her back on board.

“I just love working with all the organisations and people who use the centre, particularly the youngsters who I get on really well with,” she explained.

“The good thing about this award is that I get to promote the centre which is a great facility for the town. Although it is well used, we need more people to support it and use it regularly.”

Norma is also heavily involved in fundraising for the centre, which relies on its income from bookings to survive.

“I set up a 50/50 club to help with fundraising, and we regularly hold events.

“It helps keep me young and active - I just love all my work, I wouldn’t be without it.”

Since news of her honour has become known, Norma and her daughters Linda Temple and Loraine Walker, who both live locally, and Lisa Oakes who lives in Cornwall, have been inundated with messages of congratulations.

Norma said: “Linda put something on her Facebook, and she has had loads of ‘likes’ from people I haven’t heard from in ages. I have had several cards and people keep stopping me in the street and at the community centre to say congratulations. It’s just amazing.”

Norma’s husband Joe said: “Although I hardly see her, I am very proud of her being awarded this. She deserves it as she always goes the extra mile to help.”