Passion for banking and golf was matter of course

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BANKER Edward Leslie Bowen has died at the age of 103.

Mr Bowen was born on June 2, 1908 in Carnoustie, Angus, the son of Edward Bowen, an engineer.

He developed a passion for golfing while he was growing up and spent a lot of his free time either playing or caddying at Carnoustie and Panmure Golf Club.

It was during his time caddying that the seeds of his long career in banking were sown.

He had been caddying for JJ Webster Baillie, provost of Carnoustie, at the Championship Links when he was asked what he intended to do upon leaving school.

Offering no reply, the young Mr Bowen was told to report to the manager of the Bank of Scotland in Carnoustie High Street on Monday, with the instruction “tell him I sent you”.

This kick-started a 45-year banking career, which saw him move to the inspectors’ branch at the head office in Edinburgh.

He remained at the branch until 1947 before moving to Arbroath and Dundee, but returned to the Capital years later after he was asked to establish a training scheme for bank managers – despite being at the age where most people would be thinking of retiring.

His method was to take managers on intensive two-week seminars at Peebles Hydro.

Mr Bowen officially retired in 1974, but worked for a further two years on the rationalising of various bank pension schemes.

Turning to Mr Bowen’s other profession, his amateur golfing career, he became a member of Lothianburn Golf Club during his first stint in Edinburgh, and resumed his membership when he moved back to the Capital.

He was secretary and captain of the seniors section and was also invited to become honorary life president.

Mr Bowen competed in numerous major amateur competitions, both in Angus and the Lothians, and was also a regular member of the Lothianburn and Bank of Scotland teams.

In 1940, Mr Bowen became a member of the congregation of Christ Church in Morningside and was a staunch attendee for many years.

He also served as treasurer for the Diocese of Edinburgh.

Mr Bowen’s 100th birthday celebrations were shared by family and his Lothianburn friends.

He was also treated to a party in Bank of Scotland’s head office, where he was presented with a £100 note in an acrylic block and was appointed a fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland. Mr Bowen is survived by his son, Stanley, who lives in Ontario, and his daughter, Jennifer.

His wife, Alice Simpson, died in 1965.

He also leaves behind three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His sister, Elizabeth Harper, 99, also survives him.

Mr Bowen died in Edinburgh on August 29.