Big day for Dame Anne

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A Brechin born MP has been made a dame commander by Prince Charles for her services to disabled people and to equal opportunities on Thursday past.

Anne Begg was born in Brechin in 1955 and attended Damacre Primary School and Brechin High School before going on to the University of Aberdeen where she studied History, Politics and English.

Anne then attended Northern College where she studied to become a secondary school teacher.

Before becoming an MP Anne taught English and History at Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir before moving to Arbroath Academy where she rose to the position of Principal Teacher of English.

While working as a teacher she was active in the Educational Institute of Scotland and was also an elected member of The General Teaching Council for Scotland.

She was born with the rare genetic condition Gaucher’s Disease, which has resulted in her bones breaking regularly.

She has used a wheelchair since 1984, the year after she joined the Labour Party and became active in local politics.

Regarding her wheelchair as her “liberator”, Anne has campaigned for people with disabilities not to be excluded from society.

Anne was elected as the Labour MP for Aberdeen South in May 1997 and was the first full time wheelchair user to be elected to Parliament.

She was subsequently re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2010.

The Prince of Wales presented Dame Anne Begg her award during an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on February 9.