A COMMUNITY activist who uses his spare time to make sure those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country are not forgotten has been honoured at the Scottish Parliament.

Matt Drennan is secretary of the Neilston War Memorial Association (NWMA), which raises funds and organises events to commemorate the village’s fallen soldiers.

Now his efforts have been recognised by MSPs at Holyrood.

Mr Drennan was invited to Edinburgh by Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur to hear a debate about the work being done by NWMA and was then presented with a copy of the motion read out in parliament that praised his efforts.

“I was gobsmacked and humbled to receive the certificate,” said Mr Drennan, who was joined at Holyrood by his wife Jaqueline.

“It was a great day. After the debate and the presentation, Tom took us behind the scenes and we got to meet other MSPs.

“We even got to sit on the First Minister’s chair.”

Mr Drennan, who works as a whisky distillery manager, has been involved with the NWMA for eight years and, in that time, has helped raise more than £100,000 for memorials.

However, he remains modest about his achievements.

“I don’t do it for the plaudits, I do it for the village,” said Mr Drennan. “I feel very humble about being put forward for this. It has made me more determined to work even harder.

“I would like to thank Councillor Paul O’Kane and Keith Fergus for the work they do as well.”

Mr Arthur said: “Matt’s passion and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the impact that the two world wars had on Neilston and the wider area ensure that all who fell will be honoured.”

He has spent hundreds of hours researching the names and backgrounds of those who lost their lives in the wars.