A hard worker who became embedded in the community

Gerald Tait
Gerald Tait

A Northumbrian who came to make many friends in the central Borders and Berwickshire, Gerald Tait, died on Saturday, January 26, aged 66.

When he was 27, he came north to Coldstream and, in the ensuing years, left an indelible mark on the community.

He immediately joined the Cricket Club and played for the football club, before serving the latter as secretary and chairman for many years.

Probably, his overarching achievement was securing the club’s continued SFA membership, which was important in terms of Scottish Cup participation.

His efforts included obtaining substantial grant monies to meet the stringent SFA criteria.

He was also a great lover of cricket and, prior to coming to Coldstream, he was secretary, treasurer, chairman and life member of Wooler Cricket Club. A prolific bowler, he held the record for the number of wickets taken in one season. On one occasion he took 10 wickets when playing against RAF Boulmer and he perpetuated this feat through his email address of tenwickettait.

He joined Norham Running Club, where he was known as the “Galloping Giraffe” and ran in many races including the Great North Run and the Paris Marathon.

Later in life, his main sporting interest was golf and he served the Hirsel Golf Club as captain and president.

His community interests spread far beyond his sporting activities. He was a keen member of the Coldstream Burns Club and served as treasurer for 17 years. He also wrote and published a detailed history of the club.

History was another important passion and he was a long time member of Coldstream History Society.

Again, his desire to promote the town resulted in him initiating and progressing the book “Second to None” to its successful publication.

As secretary of Flodden 1513 Club, he played a major part in the organisation of the 500 th anniversary of the battle and ensured that Coldstream’s identity was kept to the fore in the proceedings.

His authorship continued by his researching and writing a book entitled “U.S. Presidents: Trends and Impact”, which was published recently.

His final, unfinished writing project was a book about the plaques which are on the walls of the Coldstream Parish Church and which one of his friends will complete for him. As a kirk elder this was a task dear to his heart.

He was also a member of the Coldstream Community Trust, where he served as secretary for many years and started Coldstream Development Trust, organising volunteers to carry out various tasks in the town.

Probably the greatest of his many achievements was the conservation of the Auld Kirk at Lennel, which involved raising substantial grant monies and the employment of specialists such as architects, stonemasons and archaeologists.

The family-loving community giant is survived by his wife Susan, and their three children, Martyn, Andrew and Stephanie. MM