DESTINY came calling last week for a local man named after Innerleithen's patron saint.

As the curtain drew back to reveal Ronan Caine as this year’s Standard Bearer Elect, it probably wasn’t much of a shock – you could call it a family tradition.

For this St Ronanite is following in the footsteps of four family members who have waved the banner o’er this proud town.

The 23-year-old graduate, who recently gained an engineering degree at Glasgow University, said he knew something “serious” had happened when childhood friend and last year’s Standard Bearer Jamie Boyd called him back in March.

He told the Peeblesshire News: “I had two missed calls from Jamie; he very rarely phones me and just texts.

"I texted him asking if everything was okay and he just replied with ‘can we talk on the phone’.

“I was so worried thinking there was something wrong, and when he phoned he had a serious voice.”

But Jamie was the bearer of good news and asked his friend if he would like to be the 2019 Standard Bearer.

“At first I thought he was joking,” said Ronan. “But he assured me he was being serious.”

Ronan immediately called his girlfriend Caitlin Urquhart to break the news and pop the question – will you be my Lass?

And of course Caitlin said yes to the royal blue sashed proposal.

“She was over the moon with excitement,” said Ronan.

As Ronan stood on the Memorial Hall stage after being introduced by Chairman of the Games Alan Patterson, it will no doubt have brought back fond memories for the members of his family who were given the honour.

Both his brothers have been Standard Bearer - Gregor (2007) and Lyle (2013), his cousin Dale (2004) and Uncle Bobby (1970).

“To follow in their footsteps is a real honour for me and my whole family,” said Ronan.

No stranger to responsibility, Ronan was House Captain and Head Boy at primary school, and on moving to Peebles High was also a House Captain and prefect. But Ronan will now carry out the duties of leading the town’s festivities in his appointment as Standard Bearer, a title he has longed for since he was a young boy.

A keen sportsman and a “self-confessed lover of all things Games Week”, Ronan says he is honoured to be to playing such a privileged role in Innerleithen’s historic festival.

“I am also looking to spending time in other towns with the flag party that I already have a good friendship with.”

By Ronan’s side will be his proud Lass Caitlin, who is currently studying accountancy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Although more acquainted with the festivities of her hometown in Peebles, having taking part in the Beltane for many years, she has come to love the traditions of the neighbouring town Innerleithen and has attended the Games Ball with Ronan for the past four years.

Bussing the Crozier and staves this year will be former St Ronan’s Primary School pupil and 2014 Dux Girl, Estelle Nguyen.

The fifth year Peebles High School pupil is currently working her way through exams and hopes to study medicine at university.

A talented musician, Estelle plays the violin, clarinet and piano, but still finds time to hit the ski slopes and raise a boat sail.

This year’s Principal Guest is Geraint Florida-James, who moved to Innerleithen in November 2000.

The Games stalwarts seized the opportunity to use his expertise and by hook or by crook, he was going to play a valuable role the St Ronan’s Games.

Geraint was born and raised in Limavady, Northern Ireland and is the Professor in the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University.

His commitment and accomplishment in the sporting world is impressive, but he may be known better by locals for winning the gruelling Lee Pen Hill Race.

A passion for mountain biking led to championship titles for Geraint, and also coaching elite MTB athletes.

After settling into his new hometown, he quickly became acquainted with an individual he describes as a “force of nature”, Norman Scott.

Chairman Alan Patterson said: “Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Norman saw the opportunity to involve a man with a van in assisting the Games, and our Principal Guest was only too happy to oblige.”

And once he was involved with the Games, there was no looking back for Geraint, who took over auditing the festival’s accounts in 2005.

As the gathering in the Memorial Hall joined together to sing the rousing festival song, the words of the chorus ‘On St Ronan’s On’ seemed more fitting this year than ever.

Ronan might carry the same name as the Patron Saint who "cleik’t the Deil by the hind leg" out of this Border town, but he won’t be playing that part.

For this year he will be flying the blue banner, as Ronan the Standard Bearer for 2019.