A KIRKINTILLOCH pensioner has published a fascinating account of life at the grand old age of 92.
Great-grandad Alex Morrison started to write his memoirs - ‘Before I Forget’ - when he retired.
The book captures Alex’s interesting life and talks about his different jobs, his active role in the trade unions and the Communist Party, how he was deported from Canada and when he stood just a feet away from the toppled Iraq dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Alex said: “I never intended for the book to develop into this, it was primarily for family use.
“It’s been a bit of a memory test. As you get older you do forget things.
“I dedicated the book to my father Angus who was a great reader of books.”
Alex was born in the Isle of Lewis and moved to Govan in Glasgow at the age of seven.
He was given the opportunity to train as a ships’ draftsman, which was the start of an 11-year career in the shipyards.
He married his wife Jessie in 1947 and the couple had two children Sheila and Ian.
Alex went on to work for different companies before deciding to emigrate to Canada with his family in 1957.
He got a job working for a consultant engineers firm and spent nearly two years in Toronto.
But Alex and his family were deported because he was a member of the Communist Party.
He said: “I had to be flown back the route I came and my wife and children had to be taken out by ship, they refused us to go together.
“Back in Glasgow all doors were closed to me for work because I had been deported.”
After several years down south, Alex moved back to Glasgow and later to Kirkintilloch in 1966, and later opened Morrisons chip shop in Merkland Shopping Centre.
At the age of 61 Alex decided to take a job in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. It was during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s.
He worked for a company that supervised and tested major projects, one of which was the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.
Alex said: “There was one occasion when I literally bumped into Suddam Hussein. There was a service tunnel and coming towards me were about 30 soldiers with machine guns.
“Saddam was in the midst of them all. All you got was a glance.”
Alex added: “My book is really for family and friends and anyone who is interested in social history.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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