Morningside elder leaves £1.3m to good causes

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A CHURCH elder has stunned members of his parish by leaving a £1.3 million fortune to his church and other good causes.

Alastair Graham died in February this year at the age of 94 after spending years building up his own accountancy firm.

In his will, he left £300,000 to Edinburgh’s Morningside Parish Church where he had served as an elder; £600,000 to the charity Capability Scotland ; and £300,000 to the Dog Aid Society of Scotland.

Mr Graham asked that his gift to the church should be used to help maintain the church and fund repair works.

Reverend Dr Derek Browning of Morningside Parish Church said: “As a rule we do not make comment on private donations. But we are grateful for this generous donation.”

A church member said: “This is a wonderful gesture by Alastair and will be long remembered.

“I don’t think anyone who knew him will be shocked to discover he was a wealthy man but the size of his donation may raise a smile.

“I would hope some sort of plaque will be put up in his name to mark his benevolence.

“He was a very private man but not standoffish or aloof in any way.”

Mr Graham’s published will revealed he left £74,000 to friends including £30,000 to his business partner of 30 years, James Brown.

But the batchelor ordered the bulk of his estate be handed over to good causes.

A friend said: “He was a kind and respected gentleman. His generosity isn’t a surprise and he will be missed.”

Capability Scotland Chief Executive, Dana O’Dwyer, said: “It was wonderful to find out that Capability Scotland has been left such a significant sum of money.

“Gifts such as this really do make an impact on what we can achieve through our work supporting disabled people in Scotland.

“Legacies make up a large proportion of Capability Scotland’s donated income.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mr Graham, and others like him who remember Capability Scotland in their wills, we can do even more to improve the lives of the many disabled children and adults who use our schools and services.”

Mr Graham’s funeral service was held at Morningside Parish Church and he was cremated at Mortonhall Crematorium.