In Memory of William Paterson
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William Paterson

6th. Jan 1931 - 19th July 2011


Maybole lost one of its most popular characters when William Paterson died recently. Some called him Billy but he was most commonly known as “Willie P” and most folk who knew him had their own favourite story to tell.


Last week, Masonhill Crematorium was full to hear Rev Tom Bogle’s affectionate eulogy as he told of Willie’s life and achievements. Willie P was born on January 6, 1931 in a house in Drummellan Street. He lost an eye during his National Service in the Navy and on his return home finished his time as a monumental mason. Frightened of doing a poor job due to his eyesight, however, he moved to work at Wallacetown Engineering.


He met his first wife Jean at the dancing in Maybole; they married in 1952 and had two children, son Jim and daughter Rhona. Jean died in 1983 and Willie married Reah in 1987.


“Willie P was a real live character,” said Rev Bogle, “and no one I’ve known had a bad word to say about him. Rev Bogle commented on Willie being a Rangers fan, a member of Masonic Lodge St John No. 11 and training as a football referee. “He could have easily have been thought sectarian but Willie P was friends with everyone and could have spent time talking with His Holiness.


“He was a member of Maybole Pipe Band, playing for General, later President, Eisenhower when he visited Culzean Castle. “He was also, I believe, a founder member of Carrick Speakers Club, now Carrick Sports Club.” Willie was later a committee member of the club for several years.


For a number of years he was a member of Maybole Community Council and this was marked by his coffin being draped in a flag bearing the Council’s coat of arms. He often remarked that he never won a vote at council meetings and indeed it was just before he finished him time on the community council that he was in the majority.


Rev Bogle remarked that he had been told by whoever introduced him to Willie that he was the Provost of Maybole. “I believed that for a good while,” he said, “and he should have been for he was a character and a credit to the town.”


Willie P, however, was perhaps best known for his love of the poetry of Robert Burns. He loved attending Burns Suppers and could perform any task from proposing the Immortal Memory, giving any toast, reciting poems, and singing. He also had a vast collection of jokes which had his audience in stitches many a time. He could even take on every role and often was invited to do just that.


Maybole is a poorer place with the passing of Willie P and everyone’s sympathies go to the family at this time.