I’m guessing now most have you have returned home from your adventure to our great country of Scotland. We as a family are hoping that your experience here has been full of fun, laughter and great insight into the agricultural world that you are all part of.
You are all journalists like my brother Joe, so please forgive me if my paragraphs and grammar are shabby as I know Joe would give me a torrid time!
We have heard the IFAJ 2014 congress in Scotland described as a Legacy to Joe, this for us was truly humbling, having been invited to join on the tours and sharing with you the Ceilidh evening that you dedicated to Joe, I can tell you I found your world fascinating and I got a true insight into the working life of my brother. I’m hoping my son Joe and Amy also have now have a small idea of the working life of their uncle also.
As we grew up as brothers it was inevitable that Joe would be involved with agriculture. You may think it was because, as you have now seen, he grew up in the North East which has a very rich a proud agricultural industry, but alas you are wrong.
I’ve heard Joe’s style of journalism and his questioning being described as being no-holds barred and packing questions that had a punch in his efforts to get to the truth of the story. Murdo and I are familiar with Joe’s punch, as brothers and growing up as boys, we continually avoided Joe’s long sweeping ‘Haymakers’ and for me, Joe managed to turn these into words, he never danced round your toes for answers, he always stood on them!
We have listened to heart-warming tributes, witnessed tears of emotion, felt compassion, admiration and above all love and respect for Joe.
We were devastated to lose Joe and its was a truly traumatic event for all the family on the night he passed away.
I cannot now express enough how much this last weekend meant for us in the healing process, we lost a dear family member and I now truly believe that your family the IFAJ have lost also a brother a son, big Joe Watson your Scottish friend.
Accepting the Silver Medal was a truly emotional experience for us and every time we look at it we will remember all that the IFAJ meant to Joe.
Many of you didn’t know my brother and we hope on your visit to Scotland and his homeland of the North East, you felt his presence.
To all of you that did know Joe and expressed and shared your stories and company with us, we pass on our heartfelt thanks to you all, you have touched us in a way you may never understand.
Our door is always open to welcome you back to Scotland, and please don’t ever hesitate in contacting us if you wish help, accommodation or just to enjoy a chat and a wee dram!
To all in the IFAJ family, Haste ye back!