Remembering a local stalwart

Kathleen Smith pictured centre of image - submitted picture.
Kathleen Smith pictured centre of image - submitted picture.

A Milngavie woman who was twice elected presiding officer of a well-known local charitable organisation has died, aged 72.

Mrs Kathleen Smith, of Ashburn Gardens, Milngavie, held the position of Worthy Matron of the Milngavie Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star on two separate occasion in the 1980s.

The Milngavie Chapter no 343 was established in 1932 but has been classed as dormant for several years. It used to meet regularly in the premises of Milngavie’s Masonic Lodge Ellangowan in Douglas Street.

Kathleen held one of her periods of office as worthy matron during Lodge Ellangowan’s centenary year in 1985.

She had celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband George only 11 days prior to her death in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

She was the eldest and only daughter of four children born to her Orcadian parents - Victor, who rose to become a Commodore in the Merchant Navy, and Molly Sinclair.

Kathleen moved to Milngavie in 1966 after marrying George and became a well-known local face through her jobs working behind the bars of The Black Bull, The Cross Keys and The Burnbrae Hotel.

A mother of two sons, she also served on the parents committee of the 1st Milngavie Boys Brigade, where she played a key role in fundraising for the Company .

She also served on the committee organising the former annual Milngavie Week festivities.

Despite declining health, over the last 15-plus years Kathleen continued to raise funds for two other favourite charities - the RNLI and Erskine Hospital - through making hundreds of hand knitted dolls, which she sold to raise funds.

Her donations were largely made anonymously but her family reckon in the region of £15,000 went to the two charities over the years as a result of her labours and she also made private donations to a number of dog charities.

Kathleen’s funeral took place at Clydebank Crematorium (Dalnottar) on Friday April 15, which was also the 14th anniversary of the death of her father Victor.

Kathleen is survived by her husband George and sons Gordon and Alan.