Cliff was born and brought up on a farm near Huntly in Aberdeenshire. He attended Drumblade School and the Gordon Schools in Huntly before joining the Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank in 1961. With the bank he moved from Huntly to Ellon, and then to Aberdeen. In 1970 he was promoted to be Bank Accountant in Lerwick where he spent 4 happy years enjoying the island life.
In 1974 he opened a new branch of the Clydesdale Bank in Stornoway as Manager and worked there for another 6 years. He met his wife Alison in 1975 and they got married in 1978. Their daughter Jennifer was born in 1979 and son Michael in 1981. In 1987 Cliff moved to the Longman Branch in Inverness. After reorganisation within the Bank he became Senior Business Banking Manager in Inverness in 1994.
Cliff left the Bank in 1996 after exactly 35 years of happy and enjoyable service and set up on his own with a small accounting, tax and consulting business. He received the Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland after he retired. Cliff also enjoyed working for a few years with Inverness and Nairn Enterprise part time, advising new start-up businesses. In 2013 he closed down his business having reached the age of 70.
Cliff has had numerous interests over the years in the many areas he has lived, including the Young Farmers’ Association, Shetland Rugby Club where he was a founder member, Inverness Golf Club, Stornoway Round Table, Easter Ross 41 Club, Loch Ness Rotary Club and he even participated in Up Helly Aa, where he was a member of the Jarl Squad. Cliff also enjoys working with wood, and is a member of Highland Woodturning Club in Munlochy.
He joined Inverness Burns Club in 1994 and soon became secretary. After 2 years as President in 2008-10 Cliff was eventually made an Honorary President. He is also secretary and treasurer of the Enthusiasts Burns Club of Inverness.
These days Cliff and Alison enjoy breaks at their holiday cottage in Banff, where they like walking and exploring the Banff and Aberdeenshire countryside. They also enjoy the odd cruise to far flung parts of the world.
Neil is Inverness born and bred and attended Hilton Primary and Inverness Royal Academy. He is a graduate of Paisley College of Technology where he trained in engineering.
He worked as a Chartered Civil Engineer in the water industry for thirty years firstly with Inverness – shire Water Board, then Highland Regional Council which later
became North of Scotland Water Authority. Although mostly based in various capacities in Inverness, he has very fond memories of his 7 year stint as Area Water Engineer for
Skye and Lochalsh.
Just as NoSWA was about to merge into Scottish Water in 2002, he jumped ship to start his own driving school which he has been running ever since.
Although he had read Burns’ work in school, his interest was really fired
by John Cairney’s one man show at the Empire Theatre in 1969. Years later he was lucky to share a table with John at a Rotary Burns Supper and was able to thank him
Neil joined the Inverness Burns Club in 2002 and served as Secretary between 2009 and 2013 so is now on his second stint.
His other interests are his four children, two grandchildren and as committee member and past president of the Rotary Club of Loch Ness.
He is also a long-time member, president, secretary and match secretary of Dalcross Curling Club (although not all at the same time).
He is never happier than when getting his hands dirty on various classic cars and motorcycles.
Fiona Larg MBE
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) in Glasgow, Fiona Larg chose to pursue a career in economic development with the Highlands & Islands Development Board and subsequently Highlands & Islands Enterprise being appointed Chief Executive of Inverness & Nairn Enterprise in 1990.
In 1998 she moved back to the private sector to join Cap Gemini to establish and head up their Shared Services operation in the Highlands where she was responsible for the outsourced delivery of a variety of processes for blue chip clients in both the public and private sectors. Fiona transferred to Vertex Data Science Ltd, a subsidiary of United Utilities, in 2001 on the sale of the business process management division of Cap Gemini to that organisation.
In June 2007 Fiona took up the post of Assistant Secretary at the UHI Millennium Institute, was appointed Deputy Secretary in September of that year and subsequently became Secretary of UHI in October 2009. In January 2013, Fiona was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of the University of the Highlands and Islands (achieving university title in Feb 2011).
Fiona also undertakes the role of company secretary to the University Court ensuring that the University complies with Company legislation and with the requirements of OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator).
A native of the Highlands, she has an extensive network of business, community and public sector contacts. She maintains an active interest in the economic/skills development of the area as a member of Scottish Council Development and Industry Highland Area Committee and previously as Chair of the Highland Employers’ Coalition. She also undertakes a number of voluntary roles in the local community in her free time.
Fiona was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2017 for services to education.
Trevor Nicol & wife Caroline
Aberdeen-born Trevor has lived in Inverness most of his life, save for when he took his undergraduate degree at Robert Gordon’s in the 1980s and then another period of 5 years in Aberdeen working for the MOD in the early 2000s. He worked for the MOD for nearly 20 years in all, before a brief spell with UHI as Facilities Manager. Following a change of direction, Trevor went back to studying and completed a Master’s degree with the University of Dundee in 2013. He is now a Records Manager with High Life Highland and works in the state-of-the-art Highland Archive Centre.
Trevor is a weel kent face in Inverness having performed for over 30 years with both The Florians and Inverness Opera Company; being a past President of the former and past Chairman of the latter. Trevor has written several pantos for the Florians over the years. More recently he played the lead in their production of “Blithe Spirit” in September 2019. He also directed the play “Harvey” for them in June 2019 to mark the club’s 75th anniversary.
Married to Caroline, who shares his love of amateur theatre, they have a son called Philip, currently studying at the University of Aberdeen.