Obituary: Alexander Scott, 66

Alexander Scott was awarded an MBE in 2001. Picture: Contributed

Alexander Scott was awarded an MBE in 2001. Picture: Contributed

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Tributes have been paid to a man who spent much of his life campaigning for the blind.

Alexander Scott – known to his friends and family as Alex – was born on September 4, 1949 in Kelso.

He attended many primary schools, one high school and Stevenson College upon graduation.

After completing his studies, Alex worked for a chocolate factory and a landscaping company, however his career was cut short when he lost his vision in 1977, being declared legally blind at the age of 28.

This development changed Alex’s life, which would later be filled with campaigns and support for the blind community.

Alex’s sister, Ann Weir, said that in many ways, “after he went blind he did better than in his life before”.

However, she admits that his original sentiments about his lifestyle adjustment were not positive.

She said: “It was an adjustment. I think it just took him a long time to adjust and find his whereabouts.”

His impairment led to many changes in day-to-day life, including the inevitable loss of his job as well as the end of his favourite hobby – driving.

Ann said that her brother loved driving as a youth, spending so much time in his first car that he was nicknamed “Jus” after the lettering on his registration plate.

Once Alex was able to overcome the original shock of his blindness, he began to seek out work and was able to find a job at the Blindcraft factory manufacturing window blinds.

He remained loyal to the company until its closure in 2011.

Away from work, he was devoted to the National League of the Blind and Disabled Union, spending much of his time on campaigns.

In 1987, Alex worked alongside the union in an effort to bring about free public transport for blind members of the community.

Alex contacted all 32 local councils in Scotland, publicising the issue and assisting in the policy change which came about in 1999, permitting all blind and disabled members of the community to travel around Scotland for free.

It was this success which led to Alex being awarded an MBE by the Queen on December 6, 2001.

Alex kept the public up to date on his affairs through his blog, in which he included links to petitions he was filing, as well as posts about concerns for the blind community in Scotland.

This blog was kept until cancer took his life on August 29 this year at the age of 66.

Alex was a voice for the blind and will be remembered, not only by his doting wife and three sisters, but by the entire blind community in Scotland for the positive impact he had representing their interests.

Ann fondly remembers her brother as being “quite a guy for other people”, always acting for his community first and thinking of himself second, and he exhibited love, kindness and righteousness in all he undertook.