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A well-known figure in Mid Argyll, particularly in youth development circles, is taking a well-earned break as retirement beckons.
A reception was held in honour of Raymond Flanagan, youth worker for Mid Argyll with Argyll and Bute Council, as he stepped down from a role he has held for the past 17 years.
Tables groaned with food prepared by youth volunteers, and by Raymond himself, as guests arrived.
Speaking at the ‘do’ in Lochgilphead Community Centre on Friday October 4, Martin Turnbull, the council’s community learning manager said: ‘Raymond very quickly became an important part of the team after joining in 2002. Everybody knows Raymond and everyone has had support from him as well as a bit of wind-up at times.
‘But if Raymond is known for anything, it’s for tablet, football and his enthusiasm for Lego.’
He continued: ‘We are genuinely sorry to see you go, and we wish you all the best for the future, and hope you have plenty of time to make us some tablet – drop in any time – to go and see Celtic, play a bit of golf and get into the Lego.’
Colleagues and youth volunteers presented Raymond with a bonsai tree and a tea mug with stirring spoon, while the council handed over an inscribed quaich to mark the occasion.
At one point in proceedings Raymond stood as if to make a speech and, in typical style, announced: ‘Right, when are we going to get into the food? I’m starving.’
Speaking afterwards he said, in a more serious vein: ‘I’ll miss my colleagues and I’ll miss all the kids, and I’ll miss working with Mid Argyll Youth Forum. And that’s it basically.
‘But I’m also looking forward to new chapters. I have plenty to keep me going with golf and everything else.’
Raymond added, perhaps not entirely seriously: ‘I don’t turn 60 until December, so I’m open to offers!’
Raymond – ever ready with a joke – at his retirement reception. 51_a41RaymondFlanagan01
A handshake from the council’s community learning manager, Martin Turnbull. 51_a41RaymondFlanagan04
A special Lego cake for the occasion. 51_a41RaymondFlanagan05
Martin Turnbull makes the retirement presentation to Raymond, who proudly clutches his bonsai tree gift. 51_a41RaymondFlanagan06
No caption required for this photo. 51_a41RaymondFlanagan08