Queen’s Maundy Money honour for Kirkcaldy man

Douglas and Faye at Windsor Castle
Douglas and Faye at Windsor Castle

A Kirkcaldy man has had the rare honour of being presented with Maundy Money from HM The Queen.

Douglas Hamill (78), of the town’s Abbots Mill attended the ceremony, which dates back to the times of Charles II, in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle last Thursday.

He is believed to be the only resident of Kirkcaldy to have received the honour.

In the ceremony the Queen handed out Maundy Money, also known as the Queen’s Money, to 93 worthy older subjects in recognition of the work they have done in their churches or communities.

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Mr Hamill, who served in management roles with Michael Nairn and Co linoleum manufacturers for 24 years, was a Special Constable with Fife Constabulary for 40 years. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 1987.

Nairns was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1979 and Mr Hamill organised an open day to celebrate the achievement. He also contributed to a BBC documentary, The Town That Floored the World, last year, on the history of the industry in Kirkcaldy.

He later worked with David A. Hall food manufacturers in Broxburn, where he was responsible for the preparation and application for a Royal Warrant, which the company received in 1994 for supplying meat to the Queen.

He has served the Church of Scotland in various roles including as an elder, session clerk, deputy presbytery clerk and commissioner to the General Assembly on numerous occasions and is currently a member of the Judicial Commission.

In the ceremony at Windsor Castle, the Queen, accompanied by grand-daughter Princess Eugenie, handed out special coins to men and women from around the UK, including a special £5 coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

The handing out of Maundy Money is one of the oldest ceremonies still observed by the Church of England.

Christians around the world mark Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, as the day of the Last Supper. The word Maundy means command, from Jesus’ commandment to his disciples to love one another before he washed their feet. This is recognised by giving money.

Mr Hamill, who was accompanied by his niece, Faye Carruthers, said: “This was a great honour. I was recommended for it by the Dean of the Chapel Royal who I know through my work with the church.

“It was a fantastic ceremony in beautiful surroundings and the Queen spoke to me about my police medal which she recognised.

“Afterwards we attended a reception in the state apartments.”