The first ever presentation of the Oliver Brown Award was made to Tom Weir, the climber, naturalist, explorer, writer and unshakeable patriot on Saturday 19 March 1983 in the Terraces Hotel, Stirling. Over 70 guests - including Mrs Margaret Brown, Oliver's widow and his daughter Una - saw Tom Weir receive both an engraved Edinburgh Crystal decanter and a cheque for £100. Guest speakers at the Dinner were Gavin Kennedy, Jim Lynch and Colin Swan - the SIs "Agent of the Year", who received a personally inscribed copy of Tom Weir's book 'Scotland'.
Tom Weir was born in Springburn, Glasgow in 1914. The son of a locomotive engineer fitter, he belonged to the first generation of working-class outdoor men and began his career tramping the hills near the city whenever he could escape from the grocers shop where he worked. After war-time service he worked as a surveyor for the Ordnance survey before commencing a full-time career as a writer, photographer and climber.
In 1950 he was a member of the first post-war Himalayan expedition and in 1952 was one of the first mountaineers to explore the hitherto closed ranges of Nepal, east of Katmandu.
His travels have taken him to the High Artic of East Greenland, the peaks of Northern Norway, the High Atlas of Morocco and the troubled frontier of the Iran, Syrian and Turkish Mountain lands known as Kurdistan.
He won the Scottish Television Personality of the Year Award in 1978 for his programme 'Weir's Way' (still being shown). Author of many books on climbing and Scotland, his first love has always been the outdoor life in Scotland, enjoying the scenery, wildlife and natural history. His regular column, for over fifty years, in the Scots Magazine won him many friends and admirers worldwide.
Tom Weir is still a regular visitor to the Scottish Hills and set the high standard which has been maintained over the years for the Oliver Award.
Here is a small film clip of him.
Also, see an article about Weir's Way.