Former Lerwick port chief delighted with ‘out of the blue’ OBE

Sandra Laurenson
Sandra Laurenson

A former Shetland port boss who recently retired after more than 40 years’ service has spoken of her pride at being made an OBE.

Sandra Laurenson stepped down from the chief executive role at Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) on her 60th birthday last month.

She has now been recognised in the New Year Honours for services to the UK ports industry and Scottish economy.

Ms Laurenson joined the port authority – formerly known as Lerwick Harbour Trust – in 1975.

She held various roles before becoming deputy general manager in 1998, renamed deputy chief executive in 1999 when the post was created.

The businesswoman took up the mantle of chief executive in 2007, going on to oversee several major infrastructure upgrades at the harbour.

Ms Laurenson said: “It’s a real privilege to be made an OBE and I’m absolutely delighted.

“It came completely out of the blue and is much appreciated. It’s a great honour.”

Now enjoying her retirement, she is proud that LPA managed to keep pace with the “ever-changing demands” of its customers in the fishing, ferries, oil and gas and cruise sectors.

She added: “It’s a great to have witnessed how the port has expanded and will keep growing.”