A Dunoon man is set to receive an MBE at just 27 years old after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Regular readers will know Dunoon student John Frace as the face behind the online corona-virus tracking site, Travelling Tabby and his work throughout the pandemic now sees him being honoured for services to Public Health Communication during Covid-19.
His website, which started as a travel blog, broke down daily coronavirus figures into an easy-to-read format which was used by NHS workers, members of the public and even media outlets to better understand the spread of the virus, locally and nationally. His site hit 7.5 million views at the height of popularity.
This involved hours of work for John, who at the time was in full-time education.
As the news breaks Travelling Tabby is once again able to travel and is currently cruising around Alaska. From the cruise ship, John told this newspaper: “I’ve still not really wrapped my head around it yet. Getting the letter was a shock, but I’m super honoured to be receiving it.
“I know someone wanted to nominate me a couple of years ago, but I assumed nothing had come from it and it was out of my mind.
“But to be receiving the MBE when I’m just 27 is really very nice. Of course, I never expected to receive anything like this in my entire life but I especially wouldn’t have expected to receive it before I’d even finished university.
“I remember when the page was first featured in the Dunoon Observer I was over the moon! I thought that was about as far as the page would go in terms of notoriety, but apparently not.”
His work has earned him a host of notable supporters, including Professor Linda Bauld, who previously told this newspaper: “What John has done by developing and regularly updating the Travelling Tabby website is exceptional.
“I hope Travelling Tabby will be able to return to his travels soon, but in the meantime, he’s a hero and I am confident he has a very bright future ahead of him.”
John will join the likes of the Great Britain curling team members, Millie Smith and Victoria Wright who are also named on the list after winning a Gold Medal in Beijing earlier this year.
Former footballer, Alan Rough will also receive an MBE.