MEMBERS of the Linlithgow Union Canal Society have been mourning the loss of one of their greatest servants after he died at the age of 71.
Colin Galloway was so committed to the society that he used to carry spare leaflets around just in case the opportunity arose to promote his interest.
He first moved to Linlithgow from Kirkliston in 1983 with his family – wife Joy and sons Martin and Douglas.
He took up a role as an accountant at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch, in Linlithgow High Street, and retired nine years later as manager.
With time suddenly on his hands, Colin launched his own business as a tradesman, turning his hand to tasks such as gardening, building fences and laying driveways.
He soon developed the nickname “Mr Fixit” for his ability to repair almost anything, something which came in handy at Linlithgow Canal Society.
He was involved from the society’s earliest days – it was founded in 1975 – and campaigned persuasively for the waterways to be made accessible to all.
For medical reasons, Colin decided to give up his firm in 1999 and further committed himself to the canal society.
His skills as a handyman were constantly put to good use, with Colin helping with boat repairs and other maintenance tasks.
As a qualified boat master, he often sailed in the very canals that he helped to look after.
Tributes poured in as news of Colin’s death spread around his hometown, and there was a full house at his funeral service at Falkirk Crematorium last month
Mike Smith, of the Linlithgow Union Canal Society, said: “Colin was so outgoing. He welcomed all guests to the canal with open arms, and was so enthusiastic with everybody.
“He was constantly laughing and smiling.
“The place is so much quieter without him, he used to brighten the place up with his laughing and joking around.”
Colin also worked hard to expand the canal centre, which now boasts three water boats, a workshop and an education centre, which now brings in an estimated 10,000 visitors each year.
When he wasn’t focused on the canal, Colin enjoyed landscape painting and also caravanning in Arisaig, a place that he had great affection for.
He was also a big supporter of the Linlithgow Folk Festival and was keen to strengthen its links with the canal society.
Tributes also came from Linlithgow Folk Festival chairman Murdoch Kennedy, who said: “I was very sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Colin Galloway.
“Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Joy and family at this very sad time.”