On Thursday November 29, Mostly Ghostly Investigations were thrilled and honoured to be awarded the accolade of Tourism Championat the Dumfries & Galloway Life People of the Year Awards 2012. In this week’s blog, you can read all about our memorable day at the glittering awards ceremony…
Well folks, it’s been a crazy, tense and exciting couple of months and when it was announced we had been shortlisted as finalists for the DGLife Tourism Champion award, we felt over the moon! To reach this stage was a huge privilege in itself and we could only imagine how good it would feel if we were to achieve the actual title. It only began to sink in properly when we read through the December Issue of DGLife and saw ourselves listed as finalists, along with the fabulous Mull of Galloway Experience.
Now to the big day! After a restless night, the team were up sharp to get organised for the ceremony which was to be held at the Easterbrook Hall. We got dressed up in our finery, complete with butterflies in the stomach and set off to the event. Upon arrival, the guests were greeted with a striking purple carpet and were piped into the venue. Photos were taken in the main foyer before we were shown into the beautifully decorated auditorium and served Bucks Fizz or fresh orange juice; Kathleen and John went for the alcoholic option in an attempt to calm the nerves – it didn’t work! We caught up briefly with Writer and Commissioning Editor, Andrea Thompson and a few other friends and supporters including Dumfries Provost, Jack Groom and his wife, Kate. The atmosphere was buzzing and when the screens were pulled back so everyone could take their seats, an array of immaculate purple-themed tables came into view, each set up with individual menus, a glossy event programme and gift for each participant. Dumfries & Galloway Life had pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone felt really special and the Easterbrook staff did a marvellous job in turning this vision into a reality.
We were seated with Paula McDonald, Regional Director of Visit Scotland and finalist in the Young Achiever category, Tammy Davidson and her family. Tammy is an up and coming young star who is a creative and sought after self-taught magician. Bruce McKenzie, MC for the day, announced lunch and we enjoyed a good catch up with Paula whilst tucking into the first of three truly scrumptious courses; we started with Criffel Cheese Tartlet before moving on to Pan-Fried Breast of Chicken, marinated in zesty lemon and thyme. For dessert, we were served creamy, refreshing and seriously yummy Lime Posset with homemade gingerbread cookies followed by coffee, teas and homemade shortbread. Feeling pleasantly full (and not so pleasantly nervous!) the awards ceremony commenced…
During the opening speeches, attendees were introduced to the esteemed judging panel, consisting of; Dame Barbara Kelly, Tricia Hunter, founder of Minerva People, Jeff Brown OBE and Jennefer Tobin who received the 2011 Special Award. DGLife columnist Gilly Fraser then led us through each category with professionalism and flair. We heard about many amazing individuals and groups who are making a tangible difference to the people of Dumfries and Galloway and beyond including Anne Barclay, a dedicated fundraiser for Cancer Research UK who won Volunteer of the Year. Following the Young Entrepreneur Category which was won by Alex McQuiston, our moment had arrived. By this stage, it is fair to say our collective hearts were beating loudly out of our chests! Each finalist had their picture projected up onto large screens and Gilly gave a description of their projects including comments from nominees. Nervous tension turned to elation as Gilly announced Mostly Ghostly Investigations as outright winners of the Tourism Champion Category – what a feeling! We collected our gorgeous purple glass award from category sponsors, Brodies Restaurant and Wine Bar and had a photo taken before returning to our seats with an obvious spring in the step!
Next up, Zoe Bestel, who had performed two of her songs earlier, won Artist/Maker or Performer of the Year and Graham Main of Big Burns Supper took the Culture Champion title. Margaret Harvie received a Special Commendation for her 37 years as the Dumfries Choral Society accompanist and The Special Award was given to Patricia Hobson of Positive Response Communications. Patricia, who also won Business Person of the Year was given a rousing applause and the ceremony finally drew to a close. Winners were invited for photos and following this, we had a chat with Gilly, Andrea and Jack and Kate Groom, who congratulated us on receiving the award.
Mostly Ghostly would like to extend our warmest, heartfelt thanks to the many people who supported and promoted our project by nominating us for the DGLife People of the Year Awards. With nominations flooding in from an eclectic group of people including writers, teachers, colleagues, artists, business owners, Dumfries Guild of Players, the Aston Hotel , family, friends and ghost walk and theatre tour participants, it was clear to see that our work is truly valued by the people of Dumfries and Galloway and beyond (one nomination came in from Canada!). We were deeply touched by the comments people sent in and the ongoing positive evaluations which we’ve gathered from the Dumfries Ghost Walk and Haunted Theatre Tour. This award is not only for us but for the people who continue to support and believe in our work – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
For a full list of the highly talented award winners, please see the January edition of DGLife which will be on sale mid-December.
The current festive edition features Kathleen’s paranormal column and a cracking Halloween Ghost Walks Out and About page with first class photography by Allan Devlin.
Last but definitely not least – our special thanks go to the wonderful Andrea Thompson, Writer and Commissioning Editor with DGLife Magazine; a superb advocate for our beautiful region, committed Mostly Ghostly supporter and above all, a lovely friend.
© Mostly Ghostly Investigations, Dumfries 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved