Farewell to respected Grangemouth minister

The Rev. Douglas Blair was chaplain at both Grangemouth High and Grangemouth Docks
The Rev. Douglas Blair was chaplain at both Grangemouth High and Grangemouth Docks
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Family and friends paid tribute to a major figure and long-serving member of the local church last week.

The Rev. Douglas B. Blair, former minister of Dundas Church in Grangemouth, died on January 11 at the age of 84.

The chaplain to Grangemouth High School and Grangemouth Docks for 35 years, Mr Blair was remembered at his funeral in Dundas Funeral Home - which was fitting since it was formerly the Dundas Church where he used to hold services.

Past Kirk Session members of Dundas sat together at the service as a mark of respect and appreciation to the minister and the service was conducted by the Rev. Andrew Moore, minister of Bothkennar Church, where Mr Blair was a member following his retirement.

During the service, his daughter, the Rev. Shirley Blair Warg, mentioned her father had discussed his funeral with her, telling her he wanted two things sung at his service - one being the song ‘See You Later Alligator’.

Mrs Blair Warg ended her eulogy by turning to her father’s coffin and saying “In a while, crocodile”.

Born and brought up in Dundee, Mr Blair became an apprentice radio engineer before doing his national service in 1946, when he was posted to Germany with the Royal Air Force.

In Germany he contracted tuberculosis and became critically ill but thankfully made a full recovery.

Returning to Dundee, he married May McLennan in 1959 and, although working as a radio and TV engineer, felt a calling to the ministry.

He studied divinity at Aberdeen University and graduated in 1969 with a Licentiate of Theology degree. He was ordained and inducted in Dundas Church Grangemouth the same year.

Over the next 35 years, Mr Blair’s ministry was varied and interesting in the congregation and the community.

He was one of the founder members of Grangemouth Enterprises and a director there for many years. He was also chaplain to the Dunkirk Veterans Association.

In 2004 the Moderator of the General Assembly visited Grangemouth High School and presented a long lervice certificate to Mr Blair to mark his 35 years as school chaplain. He retired from Dundas Church later that year at the age of 75.

Mr Blair had a number of interests including archaeology, doing the Scotsman cryptic crossword every day, reading and tuning into television quizzes.

His final years were spent living in Hanover Grange Sheltered Housing. He is survived by his children Shirley and Kenneth, his former wife May, his 95-year-old sister Mary, and grandchildren Hamish, Daisy, Millie and Lovisa.