An Aid Worker from Ayr has shared his pride for being appointed as the honorary consul to one of the youngest nations in the world.

It has been publicly declared that Roy Trivedy, a resident of Midton Road, will be formally assigned the title during a prominent flag-raising event conducted in his home garden.

Roy has graciously accepted the role of Honorary Consul in Scotland for Timor-Leste, an island nestled in south-east Asia and adjacent to the northern edge of Australia.

At 64, Roy spent half a decade on the island after venturing on a mission for the United Nations aimed at fostering the development of the nascent country.

Roy conveyed his joy for the appointment, remarking, “It’s an astounding honour and I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s the first ever Honorary Consul post made in the entirety of Europe.

“I have been designated as the Honorary Consul for Timor-Leste, in Scotland. Accordingly, their Embassy planned for a flag-raising ceremony but then the UK General Election was announced and thus we had to delay.”

Roy had to patiently await as planning consent was needed for the installation of a six-metre flag pole in his domestic garden.

Now that planning permission has been given, the official ceremony to celebrate Roy’s nomination as honorary consul is anticipated to occur later this year.

Going forwards, a small part of Midton Road will forever be interlinked with Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste (East Timor), home to roughly 1.2 million inhabitants, holds the distinction of being one of the newest countries globally. The country remained a Portuguese colony from the 16th century up to November 28, 1975.

But just days after Portuguese withdrawal, the territory was invaded and annexed by Indonesia.

The occupation was characterized by harsh brutality and violence up until 1999, when the responsibilities for the nation’s transition towards sovereignty were handed over to the UN.

In May 2002, The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, achieved its independence. It was accepted as a UN member state in the month of September that year.

During December 2012, the peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste carried out by the UN was terminated, yet the UN continues its presence, facilitating the country’s sustainable development.

Roy’s invaluable contribution to aiding the fledgeling nation towards independence has not been forgotten by the people of Timor-Leste.

Reflecting this, in 2022, President of Timor-Leste, His Excellency, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, conferred upon Roy the prestigious Order of Timor-Leste, equivalent to France’s the Legion d’honneur.

The award recognized Roy’s ‘outstanding services and contributions’ to Timor-Leste during his tenure as the country’s United Nations Resident Coordinator.

His association with the country will now deepen even more, after his nomination as Honorary Consul.

Roy has already begun his preparations for the new responsibility, seeking counsel from MSPs and other noteworthy dignitaries.

Roy disclosed, “We visited Edinburgh to meet with the Scottish Government’s MSP Angus Robertson. He also connected me with the Diplomatic Corps in Scotland, and Christoph Crepaz, the Honorary Austrian Consul in Scotland. He educated me about fostering constructive relations between Timore-Leste and Scotland.

“I intend to promote good associations between Scotland and Timor-Leste in domains such as sports, culture, and the like. Liaisons with educational institutions like universities, veterinary schools, and colleges; these will all be crucial.”

“I believe there are around 200 Timorese residing in Scotland. I aim to ensure they receive the required support from the London-based Embassy. We hope that many of them can attend the flag-raising. We also plan to invite council representatives, the ambassador, the newly-elected Ayr MP, representatives from the diplomatic corps, and the Timor-Leste press.”

Roy, originally from Kenya, moved to the UK with his family as a young boy and made his first home in London.

During his professional career, he worked for the UK Government as a civil servant.

Some of his international assignments took him to countries like Papua New Guinea and Tanzania.

Following his employment in the Department for International Development, Roy and his wife Teresa shifted up north and settled in Ayr in 2008.

Roy is optimistic that the little nation of Timor-Leste will continue to prosper in the future.

The environmentalist shared, “It’s a small nation and it’s been severely affected by climate change. This year, they experienced an El Nino event, which caused a dry spell of weather, almost resembling a drought. A joint effort by the government, the UN, and other partners has been made to assist the people. They’re making noteworthy progress.

“Timor-Leste is on the verge of entering the ASEAN (trading bloc) along with other southeast Asian countries. It’s expected to bring about a significant change in terms of trade and investment.”

Amidst his limited leisure time, Roy plans to stay active.

He stated, “I’m doing a lot of mentoring work with students, assignments with the UN, and I’m also serving on the board of Action Aid UK. Additionally, I’m volunteering as a trishaw rider for Creggan Bhan Care Home, escorting residents on outings around the streets of Ayr.”

“One must contribute to their local community, and I’m extremely pleased to be able to do that.”

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