Obituary: Walter Douglas

Walter in his heyday
Walter in his heyday

Tributes have been paid to Airth community champion Walter Douglas who died last Friday. He was 79.

A former regional councillor and community councillor, Walter was well known and highly respected for fighting with passion for his beloved village.

As a committed socialist, he was instrumental in several successful high-profile campaigns in Airth.

This week, Falkirk Council leader, Councillor Craig Martin said he had learned from Walter when he first entered politics.

He said: “Walter was a man who was committed to fight the causes that would better his beloved Parish of Airth, both during his terms as an elected member on Central Regional Council and his long term as Community Councillor for Airth Parish, he fought with vigour and compassion for the community and took to task those who did not meet his high standard. He was a stalwart for the Labour movement, but he was a bigger stalwart for his community.

“I first met Walter in 1982 when I was a young Labour member, attending local meetings with Walter. It didn’t take me long to realise that Walter was the one to listen to, and learn from.

“Walter took me under his wing all those years ago and I will never forget the guidance he gave me.

“For all his earnest work, Walter was also a caring man, a family man whose family adored him, he will be sorely missed and I can proudly say, with my head held high,I knew Walter Douglas!”

Walter was born in December 1935 in Stockport and was one of eight children.

Walter was just nine when the family moved to the Falkirk district.

After school, Walter worked as an apprentice blacksmith at Grangemouth docks, later moving to Carron Works and, when the use of horses ceased, he became a warehouseman and dispatch foreman.

Walter married Helen in Airth in 1964, and the couple had two daughters, Lorraine and Myra.

After his family, his second love was politics.

He was active in the community council from the late 1970s, but became a member of Central Regional Council in 1981.

During this term of office, he was appointed chairman on many committees and was involved in the creation of Airth Community Enterprises and the formation of a new community council in the 90s.

He served as both convener and secretary until he retired in 2011 due to failing health.

Over the past year, his health deteriorated and he spent his last few months in Falkirk Community Hospital then Forth Valley Hospital where he died on February 6 surrounded by his family.

Walter’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 18, at 3.15 p.m. at Falkirk Crematorium.