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His Majesty The King has appointed Donald Martin, DL, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in His Majesty’s first New Year Honours List.

The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. The present monarch, King Charles III, is the sovereign of the order, and its official day is 20 June. There is no limit on the number of individuals honoured at any grade, and admission remains at the sole discretion of the monarch, with each of the order's five grades and one medal with three levels representing different levels of service.  

Harris-born Mr Martin lives in Plasterfield, Stornoway.  He was appointed Clerk to the Lord Lieutenancy of the Western Isles in 1997.   In 2002 he was made Deputy Lieutenant and and then Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the Western Isles, before serving as Lord-Lieutenant from 2016 to 2022, in succession to Sandy Matheson. 

Mr Martin has worked in a variety of posts within the Civil Service, Highlands and Islands Development Board and Western Isles Islands Council.  From July 2010 to September 2011 he was interim Chief Executive for Bòrd na Gàidhlig and earlier served as Chief Executive of Comunn na Gàidhlig for many years.

Donald Martin, pictured left, at the official centenary Iolaire service in January 2019

A native of Bunavoneader, Mr Martin was Chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority from 2007 to 2013 and Chairman of Acair Ltd, the publicly funded Gaelic bilingual publishing company, from 2008 to 2019. 

He has been a Trustee of the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust since 2008.  He has participated in local, national and European seminars on minority languages, especially during his time as Secretary of the UK and Scottish Committees of the European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages.  Mr Martin is a fluent Gaelic speaker and regular contributor to Gaelic radio and TV programmes.

The official statement says: "This is a well deserved recognition of his extensive and highly regarded 25 years combined voluntary service in various roles to the Western Isles Lieutenancy.

"Donald undertook Clerk to Lieutenancy duties and responsibilities from 1997 to 2016, Deputy Lieutenant 2003 to 2013, Vice Lord-Lieutenant 2013 to 2016 and Lord-Lieutenant from 2016 to 2022.

"In addition, he has a sterling record of unpaid service to the voluntary sector in the Western Isles community over many years."

These include:

  • Member of the Western Isles Children’s Hearing (1976 to 1979)
  • Trustee of the Harris Tweed Authority (1997 to 2013) Vice Chair in 2002, Chair (2007 to 2013).
  • Volunteer member of the Stornoway League of Friends (1982 to 2009) including hospital radio and library service, retiring as Chair in 2009
  • Trustee of Lews Castle College Board (2008 to 2014)