Penicuik man to join Nelson Mandela as a freeman of Midlothian
Professor Geoff Palmer, from Penicuik, is to be made a freeman of Midlothian, councillors have decided.
Professor Palmer will join Nelson Mandela as one of a select band of people who have received this honour. A special ceremony will be held later this year.
The Heriot Watt university lecturer and brewing expert is a prominent anti-racism campaigner.
The honour was proposed by Adam Montgomery, Provost of Midlothian Council, and Les Thacker, another councillor.
Cllr Montgomery said:"Professor Palmer has done a power of work nationally and internationally, both in his brewing career and in his anti-racism work, and remains the chair of the Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau. We are fortunate that he chose to make his home in Penicuik in 1977 and I am delighted that we have cross-party agreement that he should be honoured in this way."
Other Freemen of Midlothian, alongside former South African president Nelson Mandela, include the late Mr Josef Rick, former convener of Kreis Heinsberg, Germany, one of Midlothian's twin areas, Mr David R Smith, for his service to local government in Midlothian and Mr Sam Campbell, also in recognition of his service to local government in Midlothian.
Professor Palmer said:"I'm extremely delighted by this honour, which is a honour not just for me, but for all the communities in Midlothian with whom I have worked since 1977."