Obituary Andrew Duthie

Andrew May Duthie, Andy, passed away on Saturday, August 25.

Andy – originally from Fraserburgh – came with his wife Jean and their young daughter Ruth to Galashiels in 1958. Their family was complete when David was born in 1959 after they had moved to a house in Waverley Place.

His first career choice had been as a joiner and he served his time with Hall & Robertson in Fraserburgh. Subsequently, he pursued his passion to work with young people and attended a teacher training college in Aberdeen to become a teacher of technical subjects.

He taught PE at Cairnbulg Primary School for a short time and it was there that he was reaquainted with Jean Findlay and they married at Fraserburgh Baptist Church on July, 28, 1956.

Andy spent the rest of his teaching career at Galashiels Academy. He was promoted to principal guidance teacher, which allowed him to focus on helping pupils make career choices and work through challenging and sometimes difficult social situations.

Andy would often be seen with his briefcase in hand hurrying from one part of the school to another – this earned him the nickname Speedy. He continued to work as a technical teacher and was involved in setting up the ROSLA (raising the school leaving age) courses, an initiative to provide vocational input for pupils who were not attracted to academic subjects.

Andy, a Scout, set up a troop at the academy, giving his own time to get the 4th Gala Troop operational. Every year he organised a Scout camp at places such as Loch Goilhead, Loch Earn and Arran where Andy would supervise constructional projects such as raft and bridge building.

He was a key personality in Borders Scouting and was District Scout Master before retiring after many years of service.

Scouting principles and the Scout law were very important factors in Andy’s life and this, along with his Christian faith, did much to make the man he became.

Andy took his work as a Scouter very seriously and held to the view that the activities provided an environment that afforded those involved, opportunities for character building and being more effective team players.

Jean and Andy worshiped at the Victoria Street Baptist Church where he was a deacon for many years. He was involved in the merger of Stirling Street and Victoria Street Baptist churches. He gave his time to help maintain the church building.

Andy retired in 1994, four years after Jean. Their home, Craigpark House in Galashiels, where they lived for 35 years, was a setting for many church house group meetings and barbecues. The cellar was converted into a workshop where Andy did many projects. He also enjoyed playing the piano accordion and painting water colours.

In 2003 they decided to relocate to Bridge of Don, Aberdeen to be nearer their family, including four grandchildren. Their new home was within easy distance of the Bridge of Don Baptist Church which they attended, making a group of close friends with whom they enjoyed regular excursions.

Andy was a keen traveller and this resulted in many holidays including camping holidays in Europe, the US and Canada. On a back-packing trip across the USA by train and bus they made contact with family members and visited locations where Jean’s ancestors had settled in the early 1900s.

Travel inspired Andy to learn foreign languages, including French and German and later he attempted Polish.

Despite some health issues and his deteriorating hearing, Andy maintained a healthy interest in everything around him and was always happy in company, especially family gatherings.

Andy passed away suddenly and peacefully at home with Jean and members of his family close by.

He will be sorely missed by Jean, the immediate family and his many friends but his memory will remain a source of comfort for all who knew him.