Pat proved to be the people’s Provost

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Wearing the chain from 2007 to 2017, Pat made sure he got the message out there about all the pros Falkirk has to offer – without mentioning any of the cons.

“There are no cons about Falkirk,” he laughed. “When you are attending events as Provost you have to remember to slip the word Falkirk into every second sentence. I just hope I did the job adequately and to the pleasure of those I have met and worked with over the years.

“I want to thank my long-suffering wife and family for putting up with me – being Provost did take up quite a bit of time. Now I will be able to see my grandchildren a bit more.”

There are two main reasons Pat was one of Falkirk’s best ever provosts.

Firstly he is Pat Reid – outgoing and friendly with a sense of pride about the place he comes from – and secondly he had a head start over others because he served an unofficial 20-year apprenticeship.

He said: “I was the principal administrative officer at the council and it was my job to look after the Provost, so I had a good understanding of the role.”

Pat became a councillor following a hotly contested by-election in 2004 and three years later he succeed Jim Johnston as Falkirk Provost.

“I did enjoy the social aspect of the role, meeting and interacting with people. I was surprised by the amount of respect given to the office of Provost and that includes from youngsters – Falkirk is a warm, welcoming community anyway, but the acts of kindness I have encountered in the role have been surprising.”

Pat’s popularity means it may take people some time to realise he is no longer our Provost.

“I have had one or two people ask me to attend events even though I’m no longer Provost – it’s quite humbling.”

He counts working on the committee of Grangemouth Air Cadets Spitfire memorial and the last march of the Argylls through Falkirk High Street as highlights, but one memory stands out above all others.

Pat said: “Following the sad death of Councillor Harry Constable I was asked to take one of the burial cords at his funeral. That was one of the moments that meant the most to me, that someone from another party would have me fulfil that duty – I found that very moving.”