Above: Albert Thomson receives his Samurai Shogun Award from Ronnie Watt.
Aberdeen born Albert Thomson was brought up in his home town, as a young boy he attended Mile End Primary and Rosemount Secondary School. After leaving School he joined Grampian Police in 1969, winning the Baton of Honour at the Scottish Police College. His passion, devotion to the force and keen eye were obvious to many at a young age.
In 1982 Albert went on to prove this merit was justified, being awarded the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology. This was only the second in a long list of achievements, awards and recognitions to come.
For his police work in Torry, (Aberdeen) in 1983 he was awarded the ‘Chief Constables Award’ for community policing initiatives. The same year he was awarded a special “Mention in Orders” for rescuing a man from Aberdeen Harbour. Showing that there is a real human side to Albert’s police work.
In 1988 Albert founded ‘The Grampian Police Diced Cap Charitable Trust’ which raises money for local and national good causes. The trust has so far donated over £1,100,000 for charities across the UK. Albert is still a fellow of the trust which is a Registered Scottish Charity unique in the UK and believed to be unique worldwide, being run voluntarily by Police officers, support staff from Police Scotland (formerly Grampian Police) along with a number of retired officers and associates.
”Our aim is to improve the health and well being of any deserving persons, resident in or connected with the north east of Scotland.”
During his time in the Force control room Albert was involved in the response of a number of major incidents in the North Sea including the Chinook disaster (1986), a fire on oil rig Ocean Odyssey (1988) and the Cormorant Alpha helicopter disaster (1992).
Albert reached the rank of Inspector and retired from the force in 1999 but retirement from the Police was not the end of Albert’s story. Shortly after he served as a director to the Instant Neighbour Charity in Aberdeen for 2 years before moving on to other work overseas, working as a consultant on Emergency response and disaster management which took him to seventeen different countries around the world. He visited places such as Angola, Azerbaijan, Ghana (working with the Ghana Police, Ghana Military and the Ghanaian National Disaster Management Organisation -NADMO) Ireland, Portugal, Russia, the USA, Thailand and Vietnam (The Royal Thai Navy in Thailand, and The Vietnamese Police Force and Fire Service.) Albert currently works with the Stirling Group.
Above: Albert is presented with the Samurai OSS neck medal during a luncheon of the KHT Knights and the Samurai by Lord Charles Bruce (Shogun)
Albert is a Burgess of Guild of the City & Burgh of Aberdeen (one of the highest awards Aberdeen Council can bestow on a citizen) and a Burgess of Trade of the city of Aberdeen and also a member of the Aberdeen Shoe Maker Incorporation, receiving great local acclaim for two historical books he wrote relating to the trades in Aberdeen.
Albert’s awards and interests in heraldry, history, peoples, religions and his tireless charity work and compassion for his fellow man continue to inspire those around him. Albert is the Knight Commander of the “Confraternity of the Knights of the most holy trinity”, serving therefore as their Prior. The knights are a confraternity set up in Palermo 1992 with links to the Orthodox church set up to promote charitable works both in Italy and Scotland not for prestige or recognition but with the purpose of helping one’s fellow man.
A list of more recent activities and recognitions..
- A member of the Institute of Civil Protection & Emergency Management and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
- In 2012 was accepted as an Officer in the Military & Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. He was elected as a Trustee for the Dame Bede Barwiss-Holiday Memorial Trust which was formed to advance the treatment of diseases and ailments of the eyes or skin.
- In 2013 he was as speaker at the conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha Disaster.
- In 2013 the Lord Lyon, King of Arms in Scotland granted him his Letters Patent showing his armorial bearings.
- He is a member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland.
- He is Knight Commander of the Confraternity of the Knights of the Most Holy Trinity and as such is Prior of Scotland.
- In 2013 was awarded the Cross of Merit of Saint Nicodemus of Palermo by Archbishop Lorenzo of Palermo and all Italy.
- In April 2015 made an Officer of Merit in the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem.
- In May 2015 made a knight of the Portuguese Royal House – Cavaleiro da Casa Real Portuguesa.
- In June 2015 awared the Order of the Samurai.
- In August 2015, appointed as Banner Bearer for the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in Aberdeen.
- Albert is a member of the Japan Society of Scotland.
- On 5th September 2015 was made an honorary 1st Dan AS8831 by the National Karate Federation and was presented with the Scottish Samurai Shogun award.
BELOW: left to right - Lord Charles Bruce, Mike Mitchel, Albert Thomson, Ronnie Watt. Albert is presented with his Scottish Samurai Shogun Award and an honorary 1st Dan Black Belt at a special ceremony on 5th September 2015 at Cults Academy and Sports Centre for his work to the community, charities and chivalry.