Obituary: Alexander McDonald Westwater, 93

Alexander McDonald Westwater
Alexander McDonald Westwater
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DOCTOR and dental surgeon Alexander McDonald Westwater has died at the age of 93.

Better known as Donald, he was a true example of a polymath. He was brought up in Inverleith Gardens by his mother Agnes, sister Louise and father Lindsay.

Educated at the Edinburgh Academy, he had a keen interest in fishing and shooting.

On leaving, he studied for a combined dental and medical degree at Edinburgh University Dental School, pausing to volunteer for the RAF in 1942.

After returning to the UK he was stationed around Avebury, Wiltshire, flying mainly on patrol, however, due to a shoulder injury, he was allowed to return to Edinburgh and finish his dental and medical degree.

As a doctor and dental surgeon, he started working at his father’s dental practice in Walker Street and once established, set up his own practice in Manor Place in the West End and practised there until his retirement, aged 75.

In 1950 Donald married Doreen Stark, also a dental surgeon. Peter, his first son, was born in 1955 and a second, also called Donald, in 1959, after which they moved to Greystones, in Trinity.

Donald was a keen salmon and trout fisher.

He was also a target pistol shot, a founder member of the Musselburgh pistol club and the Scottish Pistol Association in 1964.

He won many Commonwealth and European pistol shooting medals, representing Scotland at the XI Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, 1978.

His son Donald gained his first cap for Scotland shooting target rifle in 1985, so becoming the first father and son combination to shoot internationally for Scotland.

A similar position occurred when his other son Peter was given his first cap for Scotland as an international fly fisher in 1988, the year his father, Donald, captained the team – again the first father and son combination in this sport for Scotland.

Donald was a long-term member of the Leith Fly Fishing Association and represented Scotland at Commonwealth and World fly fishing championships, fishing in the Home Countries International a total of 13 times and receiving amongst the highest number of Scotland caps ever awarded.

A prolific artist and sculptor, Donald was also interested in gardening and created a wonderful landscape at Greystones and later at his home in Marchmont.

During his last few months he was blessed with a great-grandson and even with severe dementia he was able to recognise him, delighting in his arrival.

After a short illness Donald passed away peacefully on May 19. He is survived by his two sons Peter and Donald, his grandchildren Laura, Jennifer and Alexander and great grandson Jameson.