The CBE’s have been awarded to pay to tribute to their service to the Scotch whisky industry, as well as the charitable work that they have conducted in Moray.
In the brothers’ comments, they pay tribute to their late brother David, as well as acknowledging the support of the Gordon & MacPhail staff throughout the years, as well as those at Johnstons of Elgin.
Ian Urquhart commented: “It is an honour and a pleasure to receive this award in her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year.I have had the privilege to lead two successful family-owned Moray companies. They are two very different businesses – single malt Scotch whisky and Scottish cashmere – yet they share a commitment to producing the highest quality iconic products, now exported to over sixty markets throughout the world. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family and the wonderful staff at both Johnstons of Elgin and Gordon & MacPhail who I have worked with over the last fifty years.”
“As the president of Johnstons of Elgin I continue to play a pivotal role in many local and national charities and organisations and remain a Deputy Lieutenant of Moray. I was delighted recently to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University and continue to do what I can to promote Scottish business throughout the world.”
Michael Urquhart continued: “I am delighted to receive this honour in such a special year for Her Majesty. I like to think this is not mine alone, but recognises the Urquhart family as a whole and our role in building a grocer’s shop in Elgin into a thriving business which exports around the world and is now the owner of two distilleries. Ian and I are only sorry our late brother David is not here to see the family honoured in this way. "
None of this, of course, would have been possible without the support and hard work of our wonderful staff at Gordon & MacPhail over the years. And of course I also have to thank my wife Ailsa and our four children for putting up with my almost non stop travelling over the years."
“While I may have retired from the family business, I seem to be as busy as ever in the Scotch whisky industry, as Chairman of the Scottish Committee of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and previously in my role with the Keepers of the Quaich and as Chairman of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry in the Highlands and Islands. Combined with my Non Executive Director role at the National Theatre for Scotland and my involvement in the Moray Growth Deal, I seem to find plenty of things to do. All of these roles have involved working with some wonderful people who have supported me on a journey that has been fascinating, occasionally challenging but always rewarding.”
The brothers are joined in esteemed company in the honours list, with actor Damian Lewis, Professor James Durrant and Chair of the Royal British Legion Una Cleminson among those awarded with CBE’s.