Rotary award for Bute Museum volunteer

The Rotary Club of Rothesay President Jim Findlay presents a community service award to Jean McMillan. Photo by Ronnie Falconer.
The Rotary Club of Rothesay President Jim Findlay presents a community service award to Jean McMillan. Photo by Ronnie Falconer.

A volunteer at Bute Museum was recently awarded the Rotary Club of Rothesay’s Community Service Award at the group’s annual Scottish Night.

The Rotary Club of Rothesay held its Scottish Night on January 24 and marked the occasion with the presentation of a Community Service Award by President Jim Findlay to Jean McMillan.

The Rotary Club of Rothesay's Scottish Night. Photo by Ronnie Falconer.

The Rotary Club of Rothesay's Scottish Night. Photo by Ronnie Falconer.

Jean (65) is a volunteer librarian and archivist at Bute Museum in Rothesay.

The award was made to Jean in recognition of her work at the museum, specifically researching and recording the history of all the servicemen and women who are named on the war memorials on Bute, to mark the World War I Armistice centenary last year.

Speaking about receiving the award, Jean said: “I was absolutely thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. I have never won anything like that before.

“It was nice to be recognised for that work.

“I was surprised to win the award. It was not expected at all. It was a lovely evening.”

Jean revealed that her war memorial research for the past four years has been a real labour of love.

She said: “It’s still on-going. There are so many memorials. It’s not just the war memorials. They are commemorated all over the island and also the Buteman carried reports of the men who died.

“There is so much information and interest. Hopefully all my research will be put into a book when it’s finished.

“I have loved doing it. It’s grown and grown. I couldn’t believe how much information you could actually get.

“It’s been like detective work, following leads etc. It has been super.

“The interest we had for the exhibition at the church on Armistice weekend was incredible. We got quite a lot of enquiries here at the museum about family members who were lost. There was a huge interest on the island.”

Now retired, Jean, a former librarian at the Glasgow College of Nursing, has volunteered at Bute Museum for 20 years. She said: “We work really well together. There is a great team spirit. A lot of support for each other.”