Shetland’s new Lord Lieutenant will be Burra man Bobby Hunter, it has been announced. Mr Hunter will succeed John Scott in the position of Queen’s representative in the isles when Mr Scott retires on 30th November.
Mr Hunter, 62, has been one of several depute Lord Lieutenants for some years, standing in for Mr Scott on occasion. He was nominated for the position and “kind of surprised” to be chosen, but he still does not know the full extent of his duties.
Mr Hunter said: “It’s a great honour but I’ll have to wait and see what’s involved. All I’ve had is one side of A4 saying I’ve been appointed. It’s an honorary position and not paid. The appointment comes from the Prime Minister’s office on behalf of the Queen.”
As the royal representative Mr Hunter, who said he is “excited” about the appointment, will have to organise any royal visit to the isles. He will also have to be seen to be involved in important events in the community and at citizenship ceremonies, when he will have to wear his ceremonial robes (still to be acquired) and sword.
Paying tribute to his predecessor, who will step down on his 75th birthday, he said: “John has been a very good Lord Lieutenant. He has done a lot of work behind the scenes that folk doesn’t hear about. He was very active the island games and Tall Ships visit, and will be a hard act to follow.”
Apart from his new role which he can occupy until he is 75, Mr Hunter is “pretty much” retired. He is still a director of Shetland Livestock Marketing Group and involved with the local outdoor centre, but has stepped down from other interests including the community council.
Being Lord Lieutenant would not preclude him taking other occupations or even standing for the council, although Mr Hunter said this was not a “material consideration”.
After studying at Strathclyde University, Mr Hunter worked in shipbuilding and electrical equipment supply, and also spent some time with Shetland Islands Council and the fish processing industry.
He is married to Mabel and has three children and five grandchildren, and is well known in the Althing debating society and the Windfarm Supporters Group.
Every county in the UK has a Lord Lieutenant and the positions have been established in Scotland for more than 200 years.