With the passing of Anne Younger last week – she died peacefully after a long and difficult struggle very bravely borne – the Borders has suffered a great loss.
In Anne’s early days, she trained as a nursery nurse and worked at Simpson’s Pavilion in Edinburgh for two years before accompanying her husband David on his military career through Germany, Singapore and other parts of the world.
On their return to the UK, Anne continued with her active life-long interest in public affairs and community activities.
An accomplished pianist, Anne, pictured below, taught music to the children at Broughton Primary School, was a member of Broughton Choral Society, supported Biggar Music Club and played the organ in Broughton Church.
She was a director of the Rowan Tree Theatre Company and was a member of the Netherurd Girl Guides Advisory Group.
Anne was the first chairman of Upper Tweed Community Council; was chairman of the Scottish Borders Tourist Board; was a member of the Board of Borders Enterprise, and was elected as an independent councillor to Tweeddale District Council in 1992.
In 1995 she was elected to represent Upper Tweed on the newly-formed Scottish Borders Council, a position she held until her retiral in 2003.
But it is not just in these public positions, important though her work there was, that Anne will be best remembered. Rather, she will be remembered for her calm dignity, straightforward manner, and her unceasing selfless concern for others – as she looked you in the eye and said “How are YOU?” (rather than the more commonly-asked “How ARE you”) – and still asking that from her hospital bed, thinking more of her visitors than herself.
Slim, energetic and elegant, Anne had such a deep understanding of the things that really matter in life – duty, personal conduct, relationships with others and a wonderful loving relationship with all of her family.
Of the many good causes to which she devoted herself, none was closer to Anne’s heart than the creation of the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre in Peebles.
She was the driving force that transformed a run-down Victorian Church into the multi-million-pound state-of-the-art facility enjoyed by so many today. As chair of the Eastgate Board (and latterly honorary president and active volunteer helper), it was Anne’s vision, determination, and drive and many long hours of sheer hard work, unstintingly offered, that made it happen.
And as wife and companion to David, of whom she was so proud, Anne was the perfect complement to him, both at home and on official occasions. Her modest infectious enthusiasm and incisive humour inspired many, and there was always laughter when she was around.
And for those privileged to enjoy it (and there were many who did), who could ever forget the warmth of hospitality whether in the informality of their kitchen table or on more formal occasions.
Her loss will be greatly felt by many people who were touched, in so many different ways, by a gracious Christian lady.