We thought there was something afoot last week at the City Chambers where one of the paving slabs was covered with plywood. Turns out this is what they were waiting for! The fourth person to be honoured by the people of Edinburgh with a special award for making an outstanding contribution to the city will receive his accolade at the City Chambers tomorrow night.
George Kerr, President of the British Judo Association, was announced last month as the winner of the Edinburgh Award for 2010, capping a year of extraordinary, internationally-lauded achievements.
Tomorrow’s event will also mark the unveiling of George’s handprints in the City Chambers quadrangle, where they have been engraved in Caithness stone alongside those of previous Edinburgh Award winners Ian Rankin, JK Rowling and Sir Chris Hoy.
Council Leader Jenny Dawe said: “The illustrious Edinburgh Award ‘club’ this week welcomes its fourth, hugely deserving member in George Kerr, someone who has arguably done more for judo in this country than anyone else. The Council is delighted to present George Kerr with the Edinburgh Award on behalf of the people of Edinburgh.”
When he learned he was to receive the 2010 Edinburgh Award, George Kerr said: “I think it’s amazing, it’s the nicest thing in the world to be honoured by your own town. You can’t get any better than that really.”
Asked what he felt about having his handprints preserved for posterity in the City Chambers quadrangle, George added: “It’ll be just like Hollywood!”
As well as landing the Edinburgh Award, George, who is nicknamed ‘Mr Judo’, has made history in the past twelve months by receiving judo’s highest honour, the 10th Dan, which has only been bestowed upon 15 people since it first began in the late 19th century.
George’s handprints were engraved in the Morningside studios of Nicolas Boyes Stone Conservation.