Friends of Bob help fund defibrillator for Selkirk

Wilma Gunn, Matthew Burgess and Marjorie Lawrie with the new defibrillator at Selkirk Bowing Club.
Wilma Gunn, Matthew Burgess and Marjorie Lawrie with the new defibrillator at Selkirk Bowing Club.

A new potentially life saving piece of equipment has been donated to the town.

The 24-hour access defibrillator was unveiled at Selkirk Bowling Club on Saturday morning.

Lorraine Tait, Marjorie Lawrie, Matthew Burgess and Wilma Gunn unveil the new defibrillator at Selkirk Bowing Club.

Lorraine Tait, Marjorie Lawrie, Matthew Burgess and Wilma Gunn unveil the new defibrillator at Selkirk Bowing Club.

The machine was paid for by money raised at the funeral of Bob Burgess, the former Selkirk journalist who died last May, and a donation from Selkirk-based charity Scottish HART.

Bob’s son Matthew Burgess joined members and guests to unveil the plaque at the club’s coffee morning on Saturday.

He said: “When we were deciding what to do with the money raised at my dad’s funeral there was no doubt in my mind that it should go to HART. 
“Kenny and Wilma have been long time friends of my dad.

“It wasn’t just that dad adopted Selkirk as his home but Selkirk adopted him. After his death it was obvious that became quite clear. You almost thought that Selkirk had lost one of their own.”

The defibrillator was put in place by Kenneth and Wilma Gunn’s Scottish HART charity which put forward the other half of the funds from part of a £12,500 donation they received from the Weir Charitable Trust last year.

The trust’s manager Lorraine Tait, said: “We work to find suitable causes to support so the it’s great that Scottish HART has used some of this money for the defibrillator as it’s a close fit to our health-orientated criteria.”

It was a difficult day for the town’s bowling club, who last week lost former president Tommy Reilly, 42, who died suddenly last Thursday.

On the same morning Selkirk Bowling Club president Marjorie Lawrie presented a £175.50 cheque to Scottish HART which will go towards maintenance of the new machine.

Mrs Lawrie said: “This was the charity Tommy picked last year when he was president. I had intended for him to hand over the cheque today, but in his absence I give you this from all of us, and especially Tommy.”

“Every time we pass the new defibrillator we will see the plaque and remember Bob but we will also now think of Tommy.”

He had also been instrumental in choosing the bowling club’s new flag which went up for the first time at the weekend, sadly at half mast.

The club held a minute’s reflection before their first game on Saturday and cancelled that evening’s disco as a mark of respect.