‘Absolute delight’ at Alderney Week honour

ALDERNEY WEEK stalwart Ronnie Cairnduff said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ when he found out he had been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to entertainment and culture in Alderney.

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‘I found out just over a month ago,’ he said. ‘I’m totally honoured to receive such an award.’

Mr Cairnduff came to Alderney for the first time in 1972 and immediately fell in love with both the island and Alderney Week.

Seven years later he got married to wife Lesley in the island and the couple began a relationship with Alderney that culminated in their settling down there in the early 1990s.

It was not long before Mr Cairnduff became heavily involved in Alderney Week – an involvement which lasted for 40 years, 11 of which saw him as the core organiser.

With the Covid-19 lockdown in full swing earlier this year, he announced that the week would not be taking place. But once lockdown had ended, and with staycations proving popular, Mr Cairnduff stepped in to organise a scaled-down version of the event.

Hailing from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, Mr Cairnduff worked in TV production for 22 years before he and his wife built a successful care home business in Hampshire, which was sold only a few years ago.

He used his technical skills to assist Gateway and Mencap in preparing for participation in the annual Gateway Talent Show, which was held at London’s Festival Hall.

These skills were also put to use after he moved to Alderney, where as well as helping the island’s theatre group he also set about producing promotional videos for the island.

Among the theatre group’s productions in which he has been involved was a staging of Mamma Mia on the beach. He also established a junior section of the group and has provided drama support to the school.

Mr Cairnduff has made many videos of Alderney over the years and is currently hard at work uploading his substantial archive to YouTube.

The videos feature Alderney Weeks of years past, including the big gala which used to be held on the Wednesday.

‘I’ve got something like 23 years’ worth of this,’ he said.

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