My Uncle Ken gathered, and kept, friends, wherever he went. Throughout his life, he remained close to his siblings, Jim and Mabel, who predeceased him.
Even at 92, he still kept in touch with childhood friends, such as Isobel McKenzie. He loved talking to people, hearing their stories and making them feel important. He was kind and generous. People loved him, including his undertaker, James Carcary, whom Ken had visited years ago to arrange his funeral, knowing exactly what he wanted - the music he loved, and roses. Afterwards, he became a regular visitor, enjoying a chat with James, and always taking along his speciality, meringues. He was known locally as ‘The Meringue Man,’ as he made them for everyone. The undertakers’ dogs were not forgotten either, with a nice bit of roast beef.
He lived his whole life in Cherrybank, where he knew and was known by everyone. He worked for John Dewar & Sons, and while he liked a dram, his passion was for music. His taste was wide ranging, but his first choice, always classical.
After retirement, he gave both of his time and finances to charity. He always said that money was made round so that it could go round. He gave his time to the Reception Desk at PRI and volunteered with Meals on Wheels for many years. He shared his life with us, his family, and with pals like Linda, a neighbour who shared his love of Dutch violinist, Andre Rieu; like other neighbours, Ken and Lorna. On occasions, both Kens would enjoy an afternoon dram. Like Mrs Martin. Everyday, for many years, Ken would drop by her house and take her for a walk in her wheelchair and they’d chat and laugh. I never once heard him refer to her as anything less formal than Mrs Martin.
Mormon boys sent from the States on missionary work, once knocked on his door. Although he wasn’t religious, he invited them in for some juice as he felt they had probably had several doors closed in their faces and they deserved a break. They continued to visit him while they were in Scotland and the friendship grew and continued even when they married and had families. Ken even made the trip to Utah for a holiday, seeing a different side of life.
I’m so sad that Uncle Ken didn’t have the funeral he had planned and wanted. There were only two of us in attendance but his chosen music accompanied the service and his roses were on display. The service was at 2 pm and, as the service started, his friends stood in their gardens in Cherrybank and applauded him, while a piper stood at the gate of his former home and played ‘Flowers o’ the Forest’. A fitting farewell for a weel kent figure.
As told by As told by Elaine Hynd