Local hero honoured for decades of service

Mitch Aitken honoured

Mitch Aitken honoured

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A local hero who spent more than four decades of his life at the heart of his community has been honoured by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Mitchell Aitken, who passed away in August 2013 aged 67, was the driving force behind the Forum Youth Club in Hillhead for nearly 40 years and helped hundreds of local youngsters access a host of activities and opportunities they might never have otherwise experienced.

I am glad that we have been able to honour him with this fitting tribute so that his legacy can inspire others in the Hillhead community and beyond.

Rhondda Geekie, council leader

In tribute to his unwavering commitment to the people of Hillhead a plaque at Hillhead Community Centre was unveiled by council leader Rhondda Geekie and his widow Mary at a special ceremony recently.

The invited guests included the current leaders and members of the Forum Youth Club, who are amongst the many to be inspired by his work in the community.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie led the chorus of praise.

She said: “Mitch’s dedication to the Forum Youth Club inspired generations of children and young people.

“I am glad that we have been able to honour him with this fitting tribute so that his legacy can inspire others in the Hillhead community and beyond.”

The community stalwart was well-known and respected throughout Kirkintilloch after serving as a police sergeant for 34 years - including 11 based in the town.

Outside of the work he did in the community, Mitch was married to wife Mary for 47 years and they had three children.

As well as being a keen gardener and fishing enthusiast, he also did tireless work for charity and worked for Sense Scotland after retiring from the police in 2000.

An active member of the congregation at Hillhead Parish Church, Mr Aitken was also given a commendation from the police and a scroll from the Royal Humane Society when in 1971 he dived into the Forth and Clyde Canal to rescue a drowning boy.

Mary Aitken added: “Mitch was a very conscientious person he was totally committed to any task that he put his mind to.

“He enjoyed working with the young people of Hillhead and the Forum Youth Club and was well respected by all of them.”