Obituary: Gentleman Jim’s lifetime of service to helping others James McKellar MBE May 3, 1947-October 3, 2017

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James McKellar, who has died at the age of 70, was a scouting stalwart who used every minute of his life to help 

The Sauchie-born man, who was always called Jim, also worked with the Seagull Trust and in his role as a civilian with Central Scotland Police, was awarded an MBE.

But Jim was a quiet man, a gentle man, who grew up in Alloa, moved to Kincardine at the age of 12, when his father started working at the power station, and after leaving Dunfermline High School worked at Kilbagie Paper Mill.

He moved on to Maclays Brewery as a stocktaker before joining Central Scotland Police, where he spent the next 35 years until his retirement in 2007.

He started work as a senior clerical assistant, in 1972, based at Falkirk. He moved to Stirling HQ in 1978 to take up the post of assistant chief clerk.

Latterly he was Business Services Manager, responsible for setting up and operating the Business Services Unit. Jim earned the MBE for his work there.

He will be remembered for providing supplies and food for the officers on duty at major incidents such as Dunblane, the miners’ strike and the fuel strike at Grangemouth.

Jim’s selfless, caring work ethic ensured officers had all they needed to do their job and he worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone was looked after. If officers were unable to return to HQ for food, Jim arranged for packed meals to be made, then loaded up his car and delivered them.
When he retired an article in the police magazine described him as Mr Central Scotland 

Jim, who lived in Morar Place, Grangemouth was also chairman of the Falkirk Branch of Seagull Trust Cruises and a national director of this organisation. Seagull Trust Cruises exist to provide free canal cruising in Scotland to disabled people and people with special needs.

This voluntary organisation carries around 13,000 passengers each year and fittingly, just hours before he died, Jim chaired the monthly branch meeting to organise the two-week Santa cruises in December for children with special needs.

Jim would typically do many of the small tasks essential to keep the organisation running.

But Skipper Jim’s lifelong calling was to the Scout movement.

He held a number of current appointments, including chairman of Falkirk District Scout Council, District Scout Active Support Manager and he was part of the Forth Region Training Team.

Throughout his life he held posts at group, district, Scottish Headquarters and UK levels. He supported local scouting extensively within Grangemouth District, the Forth Valley Area as well as Forth Region. He also served as Assistant Chief Commissioner at Scottish Scout Headquarters responsible for the support and strategic direction of national scouting. In addition he wrote regular articles for the monthly Scouting magazine.

Jim gained many awards during his years scouting and in 2001 was presented with the highest accolade, The Silver Wolf.

This is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout and is only awarded for service of a most exceptional nature.

In 2015 he gained his Chief Scout’s 50 years’ Service Award. He would do anything to help without thought of reward, his maxim in life was to serve and support everyone and he lived by the principles of Scouting which are, “to do your best” ... “and to be cheerful” in all of your endeavours.

He was also a man of modesty, humility, humour, but most of all, he was a gentleman. His wish to get on quietly and not make a fuss made him an inspired and inspirational leader.

He lived by the principles embedded in the old Scout Law: Trusty, Loyal and Helpful, Brotherly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Smiling and Thrifty, Clean in thought, Word and Mind.

His funeral took place on October 12 at Tulliallan and Kincardine Church, Kincardine, thereafter Falkirk Crematorium.

He is survived by his brother Terry and sister-in-law Jan.