THE outstanding achievements of 103 Scots have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list – the highest number since 2003.
Policemen, politicians, microbiologists, cultural leaders and comic-book writers are just some of those who have been singled out for the services and good work they have done.
Scotland’s top police officer, Stephen House, chief constable of the new national Police Scotland force, will receive a knighthood in recognition for his services to law and order.
Sir Stephen said: “I am very pleased at this award and the recognition for policing in Scotland. I would particularly like to thank my family for the continuing support they have given me over the years.”
Golfer Paul Lawrie, who helped the European team to a dramatic Ryder Cup victory last year, is also recognised.
The Aberdeen-born sportsman, who won the Open Championship in 1999, is made an OBE for his voluntary service to golf.
John Carnochan, the former head of the police National Violence Reduction Unit, gets an OBE for his services to community safety.
In the arts world, Jonathan Mills, the director of the Edinburgh International Festival, is honoured with a knighthood for his services to culture.
Sir Jonathan, who took on the role in 2006 and is stepping down after next year’s Festival, said he was “very, very grateful and honoured to have been included, especially this year given that it is the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, and she has been the patron of the Festival since its inception”.
Coatbridge-born comic-book writer and film producer Mark Millar is apponted an MBE for his services to literature and drama.
On his website, he tells how he revamped the X-Men series and brought Captain America into the 21st century, before going on to create the Wanted series and Kick Ass, both of which were turned into films.
Professor Hugh Pennington is another prominent figure honoured. The emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University is made a CBE for his services to microbiology and food hygiene.
“It was a very pleasant surprise when the letter came,” he said. “It’s nice to be recognised for the work one’s been doing over the years in microbiology and food safety. It’s a top award and it shows one has been working hard.”
Prof Pennington was chair of bacteriology at Aberdeen University from 1979 until 2003. He is best known for chairing an inquiry into the outbreak of E coli in Lanarkshire in 1996.
A number of politicians are also honoured for their work, with former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
The North East Fife MP had a career as an advocate before entering the Commons in 1987and was also a successful sprinter, competing in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
Sir Menzies said his award had “come out of the blue”. He added: “I am greatly honoured to have been recognised in this way. It is as much for my family as it is for me.”
Former Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie is honoured with a CBE. He said it was a “great honour” which “means a great deal to me and my family”.
The MSP added: “I first stood for election more than 30 years ago and I have been fighting the Scottish Conservative cause ever since. I suspect this honour is in recognition of my perseverance, if nothing else.”
Another politician recognised is Alison McInnes, a Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland, who was first elected to Holyrood six years ago. She is honoured with an OBE for public and political services.
Ms McInnes said she was “both surprised and delighted to be given such an honour”.
One of Scotland’s leading breast cancer surgeons, Professor Michael Dixon, who works at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, is made an OBE.
He said he was delighted. “When I told one of my sons, he rang me back a day later and said, ‘I’m proud of you, Dad’. ”
The Queen’s Birthday Honours also reward ordinary Scots for the good work they do.
James Gauld is made an MBE for services to the Strathallan Highland Games, while Jeanie Glass, the chief executive of the Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association, gets the honour for services to the community.
Irene Hogg, the general manager of the Loanhead After School Club, is another made an MBE – for her services to children and families.
Donald Macleod, the coxswain of the Barra lifeboat, is appointed an MBE.
The same honour goes to Michael Ward, curator of the Grampian Transport Museum, for services to tourism and cultural heritage in Aberdeenshire.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “I would like to pass on my warmest congratulations to all those who have received accolades in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.”