Always smiling in front of the lens and a real talent behind

Selkirk Rugby Club’s flag flew at half-mast from the Philiphaugh grandstand last week to pay tribute to Bryan Johnstone, one of the club’s most enthusiastic and loyal supporters, who died In the BGH’s Margaret Kerr Unit on August 5 at the age of 65.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 12:32 pm
Bryan Johnstone of Selkirk, who died on August 5.

Bryan was equally passionate about following Scotland’s rugby team. Rarely missing a home international at Murrayfield, he regularly travelled to Dublin, Cardiff and London to cheer on the national side.

Accompanying him on these trips would invariably be his close friends George Wilson, Ross Thomson and Gordon Munro.

“Bryan was brilliant company,” said Mr Wilson.

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“He had a great sense of humour, and left behind some wonderful memories of our trips together. In fact you rarely saw Bryan without a smile on his face.”

Mr Johnstone took an equally keen interest in photography, and at the time of his death was Selkirk Camera Club’s serving president. He joined the club at the same time as ex-president Jon Fair, and the two men combined their talents each June to capture stunning images of Selkirk Common Riding.

Selkirk Camera Club vice-president Ali Johnston said this week that Bryan could turn his hand to any photographic subject.

He said: “He regularly won the club’s Spectrum Shield, awarded to the camera club member who has amassed the most points in the club’s competitions throughout the year.

“Bryan was particularly good at sports photography, which of course allowed him to combine his photography skills with his passion for rugby.”

Mr Johnstone was also a keen bowler, playing in Selkirk Bowling Club’s Border League team and serving a term of office as the club’s president.

Born in Edinburgh, Bryan attended Knowepark Primary and Selkirk High School. In 1989 he married Shiona Bruce at Selkirk’s Congregational Church, having met her for the first time, fittingly enough, aboard a rugby supporters bus heading to Murrayfield for an international.

After a spell working in a local mill, he joined Exacta Circuits (later taken over by Viasystems) as a plating line technician.

On Viasystems’ demise in 1999, Mr Johnstone became a care worker for the Brothers of Charity (Scotland) Care Home Service, which has its head office in Gattonside.

He is survived by his wife Shiona and his three sisters - Elma, Eileen and Mandy.

A private funeral service will be held at the Borders Crematorium on Thursday, August 13.

However, the hearse will be driven past Selkirk Camera Club’s High Street premises at around 12.30-12.45pm, then on past Selkirk Bowling Club, so that friends and fellow club members can pay their respects.