His National Service in Egypt gave him a
year’s break, and he considered this to be a positive
experience overall. He met Ruby after his National Service,
and they were inseparable as a couple for 56 years. Their
family was complete, when, over the years, Jacqueline,
Lesley and Colin were born and, as a family, they enjoyed
holidays at home and abroad.
Jim had a passion for music too, and this
began at an early age. Whenever he saw a band playing out
in the street, his mother had to run and take him inside the
house, as he would quite happily have followed the band all
the way out of town! Jim loved brass band music and swing.
He loved the music of Queen and anything classical. He
played the baritone with Maybole Burgh Band, Ayrshire
Yeomanry and Barrhead Brass Band, winning many competitions
along the way.
He taught himself to play the accordion and
the electric organ; and one of his favourite pieces of music
was “The Dark Island” which was played at the close of the
Jim was very proud to be a part of the fabric
of Maybole society. He was elected to Maybole Town Council
in the early 1970s and was the first chairman of Maybole
Community Association. He was a loyal supporter of Maybole
Juniors Football Club. He was also a member of the Maybole
Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland and was proud to
have played, on occasion, the bugle, sounding the Last Post
at Remembrance Services.
Jim was also a founder member of Carrick
Speakers Social Club; and he played bowls at the Memorial
Park Bowling Club for 50 years from 1961 until 2011. He had
a great rapport with the younger members at the Bowling Club
– earning the nickname, “The Bald Eagle” and a t-shirt with
those words emblazoned on it. Jim was deeply touched to be
made an Honorary Member of the Club earlier this year.
Jim was also one of the “Shore Boys”. Of all
the members of that elite group, Jim was always first to
arrive, so that he could light a fire to make tea and some
hot food! He’d always be the last to leave as well, having
first made sure that the fire was safely out and that the
chairs and tables were safely away. Many a happy Monday was
spent there amongst very good friends.
Jim also joined the OIR Walking Group. He’d
always drive the bus to the location, take part in the walk
and then drive the bus back to Maybole. When he was asked,
(after a long walk), if he was too tired to drive the bus
back, he’d just say – “Och, it’s OK, I can have a sleep on
the way back!” Not the best idea for the driver, but it
speaks volumes about Jim’s sense of fun.
Unfortunately, Jim suffered a severe heart
attack whilst walking on Arran 16 months ago. Against all
the odds, he made a slow, steady recovery, enough to
continue enjoying life, albeit at a much slower pace.
During his retirement, Jim was fortunate enough to visit
Australia twice, and Canada once. He always had a dream too
to sail up the Suez Canal, where he did his National
Service, and this was an ambition that he fulfilled in 2009.
And Jim’s proudest role in life came three
years ago, when he became a Grampa to his beloved little
Hana. We mourn his loss together today, but we’re also
comforted in the knowledge that Jim’s life was long, full,
fulfilling and very happy.
We extend our sympathies today especially to
Ruby, Jacqueline, Lesley & Colin, as they mourn a much loved
husband and father; also remembering Margaret, Jessie and
Sam, as they grieve for the brother they cherished. And our
condolences also go out to the wider family who knew Jim as
a devoted brother-in-law, uncle, great uncle and great-great
We meet today, with them, to mourn Jim; but
also to celebrate his life, and to begin to gently let go;
whilst holding on to the many happy memories that remain so
precious. And we’re thankful too for all the special
memories of Jim that can never be taken away from us, and
for the comfort that those memories will give to us today
and in days to come.”