Tributes to journalist and PR man Brian McGuire

Tributes have been paid to journalist and PR man Brian McGuire, who started his career on the Evening News, following his death at the age of 82.

Brian McGuire's professional skills and his commitment to the church made the Kirk's press office a "natural" place for him to work.
Brian McGuire's professional skills and his commitment to the church made the Kirk's press office a "natural" place for him to work.

Born in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge area on October 1, 1939, the youngest of five children, Brian was educated at Bruntsfield primary and Darroch and Boroughmuir secondary schools.

He started work as a copyboy on the Evening News in 1958, later joining the reporting staff. He moved to the Glasgow Herald in 1962 and then to the Scottish Office as an information officer in 1964, where the opening of the Forth Road Bridge by the Queen was one of his first jobs.

He switched to Edinburgh Corporation (soon to become Edinburgh District Council) PR department in 1970, later adding tourism to his remit and ending up as acting director before taking early retirement in 1990. During that time he was responsible for Edinburgh's relations with its twin cities, Nice, Florence, Vancouver, San Diego, Dunedin, Xi'an and Kyiv. He was the officer who had to tell the Chinese authorities of the council's decision to freeze the Xi'an link after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

He then went to work in the Church of Scotland press office, where his expertise in computers helped the Kirk make the most of new technology. He also did work for the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Ann Davies, who headed the Church of Scotland press office at the time, said Brian’s love of journalism and his own faith and commitment to the church made it a natural place for him to work towards the end of his career.

She said: “He was a very popular and helpful colleague. He really valued old friendships and loved making new contacts too.”

Former Evening News deputy editor Hamish Coghill said: "Brian's whole life was media-related and he had very wide experience inside and outside newspapers. Everything he did he tackled in a very professional style.”

Brian and his wife Frances were about to celebrate 60 years of marriage when his life was cut short by cancer. He also leaves behind daughter Rhona, son Douglas and grandsons Gabriel and Jacob in Scotland and Euan and James in Australia.