Born in Forres, Morayshire in June 1941, my early schooling was at Findhorn followed
by Forres Academy where I
Passed my Highers. This was followed by success in the National Civil Service exam.
Given a choice of a position in the Foreign Office or H.M. Customs and Excise, I
opted for the latter, thus following in the steps of the bard.
My first posting was to London Heathrow in an era when planes had propellers. I have
memories of celebrities such as Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor and Petula Clark passing
through the airport. While in London, I met my wife Dorothy and we have been happily
married for 55 years. We have three gorgeous daughters who all live in Scotland.
We are blessed with six grandchildren and two great- granddaughters.
Following our marriage we move to Scotland and I continued as a civil servant working
in Carsebridge Distillery, Clackmannanshire. After promotion in 1962, I served in
HMC&E's uniformed Waterguard Service in Leith and thence to the Northern Ireland
land boundary. Following a period in Folkestone we moved to Rosyth where I was officer
in charge during the Cod War. I boarded many famous ships during my time there such
as the Ark Royal and the J.F. Kennedy. The most poignant ships were the Royal Fleet
Auxiliaries manned by the merchant seaman who bravely volunteered to sail in such
ships as the Sir Galahad to the Falklands. Lifelong friends were made throughout
my term of office and I thoroughly enjoyed my service.A change of role following
further promotion involved dealing with V.A.T. visiting traders and training new
entrance to the service. I completed my service as the Common Agricultural Policy
Officer for Scotland, retiring in 1999.
Away from work I say for many years in the Children's Hearing Service, usually known
as the Children's Panel. I am currently chairman of Fife Forum (Cupar branch). I
joined Cupar Burns club in 1995 and became a committee member in 2000. My duties
have included assisting ex-president Bob Stewart with the Schools Burns Competitions
over the years.
My eldest daughter Sian has taken up my interest in Burns, having been initially
cajoled into attending Burns Suppers at Edinburgh Airport social club. She is now
a popular after dinner speaker, busy during January, delivering the reply to the
toast To the Lasses at home and abroad.