A FORMER Evening News apprentice journalist has died in Australia at the age of 70.
Brian Gregor was born in Perth on March 17, 1943, to Marion and journalist John. He joined older brothers Gordon, Jack, Alastair and Roy, and was soon followed by Ross and only sister Morag.
When Brian was seven, the family moved to Glasgow after John landed a job at the Daily Record, only for them to relocate to Edinburgh two years later when he switched to the Daily Mail.
Brian attended Bruntsfield Primary and then Broughton High School, before leaving school at the age of 16 to begin work as a copy boy at the Evening News, where he went on to serve a year-long apprenticeship as a reporter.
He moved on to work for the Daily Express, living in Falkirk, Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen over the next seven years.
Brother Roy, 73, who still lives in the Capital, said Brian had always dreamed of following his dad’s footsteps.
He said: “I remember that he always knew he wanted to be a journalist, it was something we discussed among ourselves. He also used to love going swimming at Warrender, though it wasn’t something he wanted to do competitively, he just enjoyed it.”
It was while living in Falkirk that Brian met Joyce, who became his first wife. After the couple married, they jumped at the chance to emigrate to Australia in 1967.
Brian joined the Sydney Morning Herald soon after arriving Down Under and worked his way up to medical reporter, a position he retained until his retirement at the age of 69.
He and Joyce became parents to Lesley, now 45, twins Neil and Jill, now 43, and another set of twins David and Scott, who are now 41. The couple later divorced, but Brian remarried 17 years ago and became step-father to second wife Teresa’s two daughters from her previous marriage – Erin, 33, and Alana, 27. Brian also had 14 grandchildren.
Brian’s niece, Juliet Lawler, 49, who teaches English at Edinburgh College, said: “I have few memories of my uncle from when I was a child, but we were reunited in the late 1980s when I lived in Australia. From the moment I stepped off the bus in Sydney, I knew I’d found not only an amazing uncle, but a great buddy, too. He introduced me to Sydney life at the favourite pubs of the Sydney Morning Herald journos – and introduced me to Sydney Harbour when I nearly fell.
“We enjoyed 25 years of similar sessions, in Sydney and in Scotland. He was great fun, a joy to be around. He was gentle and generous, courageous and selfless – a true gent who will be sorely missed.”
Brian died on Saturday after a 15-month battle with stomach and liver cancer.
His funeral will be held in Australia on Friday.