At Random with Martin Laing

Martin Laing

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Embrace diversity

I must admit that I have enjoyed reading over the past few weeks the series on LGBTQ+ History Month, in which Oban Pride chairman Phill Dexter has been to the fore.

Oban Pride, I learned, is now a registered charity, but was only constituted as recently as 2019. I thought it had been going for longer but there you are: I’m happy to say I was wrong.

For those unfamiliar with the group, Oban Pride exists to ‘promote equality and diversity throughout Oban and the surrounding areas’. An admirable ambition; who, indeed, could argue against that aim?

Well, sadly, there are a few people who object. I remember during the inaugural Oban Pride festival in 2019 hearing a number of folk denouncing the event in no uncertain terms. They thought that somehow it would sully Oban’s reputation.

I was puzzled then and remain so that people object to a well-intentioned group that merely wants to help other people and ‘promote equality and diversity’. What are they afraid of?

In this day and age, surely we can all embrace diversity. It is, of course, the very thing that makes life interesting… and we could all do with more of that at the moment.

Wishing well

Just a quick note to say that I want to send best wishes to Kay McDonald, one of my favourite people in Oban.

Kay is, as many of you will know, one of BID4Oban’s town ambassadors, and she does a wonderful job promoting the place she loves so much.

Part of that work is through the regular weekly column in this newspaper under the label Around Oban. BID’s chief executive Andy Spence has been doing a sterling job filling in over recent weeks.

Kay has been a bit under the weather lately but is, I’m happy to report, recovering and is on the mend.

She is simply delightful company and always full of fun and high spirits. I hope she is restored fully as soon as possible.

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