Freedom of Argyll and Bute for ‘Wee Donnie’

Published Date: 

8 Dec 2022 - 16:04

‘Wee Donnie’, a councillor for almost four decades, has received the Freedom of Argyll and Bute for his decades-long service to local communities in mid-Argyll.

Donald MacMillan BEM, or Donnie as he is more commonly known, represented the residents and communities of Argyll and Bute as a local independent councillor for almost 40 years. Often cited as one of Scotland’s oldest, longest serving elected members, he was 94 when his service as a councillor concluded in May this year.

Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said:

“The Freedom of Argyll and Bute only goes to those who have given matchless service to their community and to local people. To those who have tried to make local life even better. To those who have helped to shine a light on Argyll and Bute. Donnie has without any doubt, done all three.

Donnie’s given over four decades of service to the people of Argyll and Bute, from his time on Strathclyde Region and Argyll and Bute District Councils in the early 1980s, right up until May of this year.

There is a single driving force behind Donnie’s service - to help local people. If we were to invite every single person who has been helped by ‘wee Donnie’ here today, we would need a much, much bigger room, if not a football field. 

I cannot think of a more deserving recipient. Congratulations Donnie.”

Provost Maurice Corry added his congratulations:

“Donnie is an Argyll man through and through. It would be impossible to capture just how much difference Donnie has made to the lives of local people.

His service to the area was recognised of course with the British Empire Medal in 2019. And his dedication to service goes back even further with the time he spent serving his country in the Royal Air Force.

The Freedom of Argyll and Bute is another most richly deserved recognition of the dedication and commitment Donnie has shown to this area and its people over his whole life.”

Accepting the Freedom of Argyll and Bute, Donnie said: "I am truly humbled to be given the Freedom of Argyll and Bute today. In all my time as a councillor I tried my best to help local people and to put them first. I have always considered myself answerable to them. Getting the Freedom of Argyll and Bute is a privilege, but so is being able to help people in any way that I can.

"The Freedom of Argyll and Bute is a tremendous honour. I am grateful to have been nominated and grateful that you have decided to give this to me today. I could not have done it without the support I have received over the years from my own family and friends, and of course from councillors and council officers, past and present."