THE record-breaking reign of Queen Elizabeth II has been marked with a tree-planting in Luss.
On Wednesday September 9 the Queen had reigned for 63 years and seven months, making her the longest reigning monarch in British history — overtaking her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Luss Estates, Luss Community Council and Luss and Arden Community Development Trust planted a commemorative Red Oak tree (quercus robur), surrounded by an inscribed stone circle, at the entrance to the Loch Lomondside village.
Luss Estates chairman Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, said: “This is an extraordinary and significant milestone in our history, and one that deserved to be marked.
“The Queen has devoted herself to this country for more than six decades, and has shown exemplary dedication, courage and strength which we feel it appropriate, as a community, to acknowledge.
“The Red Oak will grow to be a magnificent tree, one that will still be there in perhaps hundreds of years time, and will be a reminder to posterity of this landmark achievement."
Designs for the scheme were created by Fiona Robertson Landscape Design. Public subscriptions was invited, with the names of 150 subscribers engraved on the stone circle.
For residents of the Luss and Arden district, the cost was £10 per person; subscriptions from those living outside the area it was £100 per person minimum.
After a service at Luss Kirk, conducted by the Rev Ian Miller, the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band led the procession of guests through the village to the unveiling ceremony, which was carried out by the Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, Rear Admiral Michael Gregory.
Iona Dowager Duchess of Argyll, Jackie Baillie MSP, and local councillors were among the dignitaries who gathered to mark the occasion.
Aaron Hamilton, the youngest pupil in Luss Primary School, was called on to undertake the symbolic tree planting before Mr Miller gave a blessing and dedication.
Luss Children’s Choir sang Gaelic songs and a stirring rendition of Scotland the Brave. Choir members Aaron Hamilton, Isla Gillan, Rhys Gardner, Rose and Travis Colquhoun were trained by Dorothy Kennedy, assisted by Christine Buchanan.
The Lomond School Junior Choir, whose members had travelled from Helensburgh and further afield, also sang at the ceremony.
After the unveiling Lady Colquhoun presented the Lomond School choir with a commemorative plate and the Luss Children’s Choir with commemorative coins.
Christine Buchanan said: “It was a very happy and memorable day with the local people, as well as visitors to the village who experienced a true Scottish welcome.
“It was an historic event and our grandchildren will be able to tell their children about this wonderful day in history.”
All subscriptions were channelled through the Luss and Arden Community Development Trust, a registered charity, and qualified for gift aid.