Birthday Honours for Charles Skene

Charles Skene, the founder of the Skene Group, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to business and enterprise promotion: an honour and privileged recognition after decades of dedicated work in Aberdeen.

He’s best known for founding the Skene House Apartment Hotels in 1979 (its Whitehall branch has been number one on Trip Advisor for five continuous years), he also established the Skene Business Centres and Inchmarlo Continuing Care Retirement Community which recently received “The Most Outstanding Continuous Care Community in the UK” awarded by the UK’s over 50’s Housing Awards. But his commitment to enterprise education and promotion is something he’s been passionate about for over thirty years.

As far back as 1986, Mr. Skene was one of five area chairman in Scotland charged to promote the RSA’s Industry Year Initiative to young people highlighting the importance of industry in creating wealth and employment. He also introduced The Skene Young Entrepreneurs’ Award to encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout Scotland: its National Awards were hosted by the prestigious Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Mr. Skene has strong connections with Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, going back to 2002 when he was appointed a Governor. He chaired the Estates and Buildings Committee and the Audit Panel. He was appointed a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship in 1996 where he taught case studies centered around his very varied business career, based on the Harvard case study style of teaching.

Mr. Skene has been President of the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and is the longest serving elected member of CBI Scotland. He’s a Price-Babson fellow of Babson University, Boston, the leading university in the teaching of entrepreneurship. In 1996 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland to the Task Force to Investigate Under-Achievement in Schools. He was later appointed to The Scottish Executive’s Review of Education for Work and Enterprise Group in 2001.

Charles Skene is looking forward to visiting Buckingham Palace to accept this latest honoured recognition, and he will continue to work to further Scotland’s entrepreneurial skillset. He concludes, “New successful businesses, entrepreneurial skills, and enterprise are the lifeblood of Scotland’s economy. We need to maintain a strong position in the UK and alongside other members of the EU. I have been trying to persuade politicians and educationalists that if we wish to improve our economy it is essential that all young people in education – primary, secondary and tertiary – must have the opportunity to take part in enterprise education.’

‘I have experienced a reluctance among some educationalists and politicians that encouraging wealth creation was giving some young people an unfair advantage over others. If everyone is given an equal chance then those who succeed should be lauded and not criticised. The old Scottish attitude about someone who has succeeded and risen above their expected station in life used to be “Fa dis he think he is – I kent his Faither”. I believe that regardless of the economic and social background into which young people are born they can succeed in adult life if they are given encouragement in early years. Young Scots are our future and I passionately support their zeal, drive and innovation.”

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My goodness I have always given you the impression how popular I am, well clearly, it’s not just me because mummy, daddy and I have been walking in Hazelhead and at the beach and we keep bumping into other very clever and sensitive people who also have bulldogs.

We were at Hazelhead recently and Daddy spied in the distance the shape of which he was familiar, we went over and yes it was another bulldog called Harry.

On another day, we were down at the beach and there was yet another bulldog called Sophie.  To show all my readers just how handsome we all were, here are photographs of myself and my new-found friends. 

“The Most Outstanding Continuous Care Community in the UK”

Well my goodness, what a busy time I had on Wednesday night. Inchmarlo had been recognised by the UK’s over 50’s Housing Awards as “The Most Outstanding Continuous Care Community in the UK”.

Daddy decided that we should have a celebration so all the Home Owners were invited to come to Inchmarlo House at 6.30pm for 7.15pm for supper which was Gordon Ramsay’s Cottage Pie and a selection of the four most popular desserts we serve.

They gathered with a glass of bubbly in the Picture Gallery, the Red Drawing Room, the Bar and also mingled outside on the lawn. The weather was very, very nice, warm and sunny.

As before, scaffolding had been arranged and the photographers arrived.  Daddy invited all the Home Owners to come out for a group photograph on the steps. A super photograph was taken with Daddy, Mummy, Jennifer, who is the Deputy Chairman, and of course Julie Mackenzie, the Director of Inchmarlo, and on the extreme right hand, David Pratt, Head of Security.

Naturally I was included in the photograph in my rightful position – dead centre in the front!

After the photographs, everyone moved into the Dining Room or the Marquee to have supper.  Of course, as usual, I was not allowed inside when food is being served. 

This doesn’t particularly bother me, because Head Chef Colin is very kind and saves for me spare food that he knows I like.

Everything went extremely well and the desserts particularly were wildly applauded, some people had more than one including Daddy, who has a very sweet tooth.