Susan Kruse MBE

Susan Kruse MBE

- 24/06/2018

On Thursday 14 June, Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, attended The Goods Shed at Strathpeffer Station to present Dr Susan Kruse with the MBE that she had been awarded in the Queen's 2018 Birthday Honours.

Mrs Bowen said: Normally an MBE would be presented with all the pomp of Holyrood Palace or Buckingham Palace, but Susan has chosen to have her very well deserved award presented here in the heart of her community, amongst all of you with whom she has worked over the years.

I have to say that I find this particularly appropriate, because although the award is entirely hers, to a degree it rubs off on everyone here. I’m blessed to live next door to a couple of archaeologists and there’s no doubt that archaeology is infectious; indeed I fear I may have got a tiny bit of the bug which, as far as I can see, is without any cure! So, Susan has been infecting others with all of this and being infected right back by all of you. All of which means, as I said, a little bit of this MBE rubs off all over the place and that’s why I’m so delighted that Susan has chosen to receive this award amongst all of you.

The first thing to get straight is that Susan has a double major from Cornell in Archaeology and Anthropology, and a MA and MPhil from Durham in Anglo Saxon and Viking studies and then Archaeology and then finally a Doctorate from University College London. So, from a generation where girls going to university didn’t matter very much, I stand in awe from the outset! Her next step was a spell at the National Museum of Scotland, but then came the came the move to the Highlands and community based archaeology. And it is in community that Susan’s abilities have flowered.

She’s a mover and shaker in the Worker’s Educational Association, the WEA is the UK’s largest provider of adult education, and a Women at Work co-ordinator, and was nominated by them in 2014 as one of their inspirational women. But Susan has also worked with children too. Since 2003 she has led the Inverness Young Archaeology Club. Nearer to home, in 2009, she volunteered with ARCH (that’s Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands, not that I need to tell any of you that!) where she successfully attracted funding to deliver a range of community archaeology projects across the Highlands, becoming the Project Officer a year later.

Since then…well, I think I have entered territory which is well known, but perhaps I could just flag up her work with the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee representing Community interests.

So, thank you Susan, because, without your incredible background and enthusiasm and encouragement, the knowledge of our ancestors and how they lived would still be buried, literally. You have galvanised teams to go out in all weathers, following your example. You have galvanised teams to work with children and enthuse them in your subject. You have taught about and fought for archaeology, and you are infectious! I now have the greatest pleasure, on behalf Her Majesty the Queen, in investing you with your MBE for Services to Community Archaeology in the Highlands of Scotland.

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