Barrmill Jolly Beggars Burns Club award their Backroom Beaver trophy to the individual within the club who has made a special mark on the club activities.

The 2021 award recipient was Kathleen Reid for her outstanding work in delivering some 3,500 Jolly Bags of Kindness between March 2020 and May 2021. These jolly bags of groceries, books and magazines were given to people throughout the Garnock Valley who had disabilities, older people over 70 and widows/widowers and club members who were shielding during the pandemic.

The trophy was donated to the club in 2011 by Hugh Ferguson, a Beithite who left the town in the early 1950s and emigrated to Canada.

He joined the ranks of the Metropolitan Toronto Police, after serving over 30 years, retiring in the rank of Inspector.

Hugh’s heart very much remains in his old town, where he served for a time as cabinet maker and he makes regular visits back to Beith. He enjoyed many years in 1st Beith BBs, which he fondly remembers. Hugh is an honorary member of Barrmill Jolly Beggars Burns Club. The Jolly Beggars are very grateful to Hugh for making the donation of this special trophy which is presented each year.

The large amount of money required to purchase the goodies was obtained by applying to a variety of funders who seemed to appreciate the practicality of the project during these covid-infested times.

The feedback received from recipients was really humbling. Many of the recipients were in tears simply because ‘they had been thought about.’ Many of them had been shielding and were delighted to receive the gifts from the club and to meet Kathleen and Donald Reid as they made the deliveries over the 14 month period, always taking time, socially distanced to talk to recipients.