THE annual reflection on the year which is ending never fails to prompt recollections of those who have gone the way of the passing months and become but memories in our hearts and minds.
This year has seen some particularly notable losses from Edinburgh’s public life, but death is the great equaliser and leaves all of those who have lost a loved one facing the empty place at the table this festive season or one fewer glass of whisky to fill come Hogmanay.
Here, we take a look at some of those whose passing made headline news.
JOHN BELLANY CBE, RA, artist. Born: June 18, 1942, in Port Seton. Died: August 28, 2013, aged 71.
HE died with a paintbrush in his hand in his studio.
There was no more fitting way for Bellany, one of Scotland’s greatest modern artists to die, and his funeral, too, was entirely appropriate for the man who never forgot his fishing community roots. The funeral procession left Port Seton, stopping at the main harbour on the way to Edinburgh and a service at St Giles’ Cathedral, where some of his paintbrushes were placed on top of his coffin. Painting and the sea were two of Bellany’s greatest loves.
IAIN BANKS, author. Born: February 16, 1954, in Dunfermline. Died: June 9, 2013, aged 59.
IAIN Banks was one of Scotland’s seminal modern authors who was so prolific he wrote a book every year and saw his work regularly adapted for stage, screen and radio.
He passed away just weeks after announcing on his website that he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer, and just days after he married long-term partner Adele Hartley.
Born in Dunfermline, he studied at Stirling University before taking a series of jobs in London. The success of The Wasp Factory, published in 1984, allowed him to write full-time so he came back to Scotland.
In total he wrote 29 novels – The Crow Road and Complicity perhaps most well known – and was named as one of the 50 Greatest British Writers since 1945.
LAWRIE REILLY, footballer. Born: October 28, 1928, in Edinburgh. Died: July 22, 2013, aged 84.
THE final member of Hibs’ fabled Famous Five, and the man whose catchphrase was “I was born a Hibee, I’ve always been a Hibee, I’ll die a Hibee”, was laid to rest in July this year.
Reilly, who scored 238 goals in 355 matches for Hibs between 1946 and 1958 and was the most capped player to emerge from Easter Road, died from bone cancer in the Western General Hospital.
Hundreds of fans turned out for his funeral, lining the roads from Leith to St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in George Street. His passing closed the final chapter on that famous group of players who together helped Hibs to three league championships.
DAVID McLETCHIE CBE, politician. Born: August 6, 1952, in Edinburgh. Died: August 12, 2013, aged 61.
“ONE of the Scottish Parliament’s most formidable intellects and finest debaters” was just one of the tributes paid to David McLetchie, who died after a battle with cancer.
A lifelong Hearts fan despite being a Leith Academy pupil, he went on to attend George Heriot’s School and study law at Edinburgh University. He was leader of the Scottish Conservatives for six years after the Scottish Parliament was created in 1999 and represented either the Lothians or Edinburgh Pentlands from then until the end of his life.
TOM BUCHANAN, politician. Born: January 30, 1958, in Lanark. Died: April 3, 2013, aged 55.
Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011, Councillor Buchanan continued to serve at the City Chambers while he fought the cancer. He first came to Edinburgh to study at Napier College of Commerce and Technology in 1978, gaining a degree in commerce and marketing. Elected to the city council in 2007, representing the Liberton/Gilmerton ward, he quickly established himself as a leading figure in the coalition formed between the Liberal Democrats and the SNP to run the city. He had been tipped as a future leader of the city’s SNP group.
MARION MORTON, former deputy lord provost, politician. Born: October 31, 1934, in Glasgow. Died: September 11, 2013, aged 78.
A Quaker, a committed internationalist socialist and a feminist, Marion Morton was also very involved in visiting prisoners at Saughton.
Brought up in Greenock, her career began in teaching, before she was later elected to the council as Labour member for Fountainbridge in 1995. She became licensing convener and the city’s deputy lord provost between 1996 and 2003. Among her duties, she received the Millennium Flame when it arrived in Edinburgh in December 2000.
MARY RIGGANS, actress. Born: July 19, 1935, in Clydebank. Died: December 2, 2013, aged 78.
AS an actress, Mary Riggans touched different generations of Scots, from the adults who loved her as the gossip Effie Mcinnes in long-running soap Take the High Road to the children who adored her as Susie Sweet in Balamory.
She began her acting career in 1946, when she did a voiceover at the age of ten, and she starred in productions including Taggart, Still Game and Rab C Nesbitt. She suffered a stroke in April last year, and she died holding daughter Samantha’s hand.
LORD FRASER of Carmyllie, lawyer and politician. Born: May 29, 1945, in Zambia. Died: June 22, 2013, aged 68.
Peter Fraser was educated at Loretto School in Musselburgh and went on to study at both Cambridge and Edinburgh universities. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1969 and became Conservative MP for Angus in 1979.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appointed him as solicitor general for Scotland, and after he lost his seat to the SNP in 1987 he was made a life peer and became Lord Advocate. As Scotland’s top prosecutor, he had ultimate responsibility for the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. He was minister of state at the Scottish Office from 1992 to 1995 and presided over the inquiry into the building of the Scottish Parliament.
JOCK DEMPSTER, Arctic Convoys campaigner. Born: April 20, 1928, in Montrose. Died: May 5, 2013, aged 85.
HE campaigned for nearly 20 years for the government to formally recognise the heroics of the Arctic Convoys with a medal – but he died just days before it was finally presented to 30 of his colleagues.
Mr Dempster joined the Merchant Navy aged 16 in 1944 and carried vital supplies to Murmansk in Russia as it fought Nazi Germany, before serving in the RAF for 28 years. Some 3000 servicemen from across the UK took part in Arctic missions, which Winston Churchill described as “the worst journey in the world”, to support the Russian war effort.
SISTER MARGARET DUNCAN, motorbike-riding nun. Born: June 29, 1917, in Stoneyburn. Died: November 28, 2013, aged 96.
Sister Margaret worked with the charity Edinburgh Direct Aid for around 20 years – almost as long as she spent at the Holy Family Convent in Leith. She became involved with the charity when it was set up in the 1990s, before staff had secured an office, and along with a team of nuns from the convent would assist the charity with unpacking and sorting through donations.
She received an Unsung Hero award at the Great Scots People of the Year Awards for her tireless devotion to the people of Bosnia in 1998 and made several trips to Sarajevo with the charity when the war ended. Even in her nineties she continued to raise money for the cause.
Other public figures who died this year included:
• Doctor and former organiser of Drum Riding for the Disabled MARY BARLEE MBE, aged 86
• Director of sport at George Watson’s College and former SRU committee member Iain Brown, aged 55.
• Translator and campaigner MARY COWAN, aged 99.
• Former art teacher and rugby coach ALASTAIR CUTHBERTSON, aged 86.
• Pioneer in diabetes care DR IAN ALLISON, aged 84.
• Surgeon who assisted in first ever kidney transplant in UK BERNARD NOLAN, aged 87.
• Footballer and champion pigeon fancier CHARLIE DICKSON, aged 79.
• Author and librarian JOAN FERGUSON MBE, aged 84.
• Former teacher and chair of the Samaritans LINDA JONES, aged 66.
• Scientist, entrepreneur and canoeist DR STEPHEN CHURCHER, aged 46.
• Vice Admiral Sir CAMERON RUSBY, aged 87.
• Military Cross winner and pioneer in neonatal care of babies, PROFESSOR JOHN FORFAR, aged 96.
• Physicist and leading member of the Saltire Society DR DAVID WILKIE, aged 85.
• Artist, lecturer and first artistic director of the Craigmillar Festival Society JOHN NELSON, aged 79.
• Former consultant physician DR JOHN MUNRO OBE, aged 80.
• Former Hearts footballer JOHNNY HAMILTON, aged 78.
• Actress of stage and screen RONA ANDERSON, wife of actor Gordon Jackson, aged 86.
• Former soldier, banker and triathlete ANDREW McMENIGALL, aged 47.
• Former Spitfire pilot JOHN BOYDE, aged 90.
• Pioneer of TB cure and George Orwell’s doctor, Professor JIMMY WILLIAMSON, aged 92.
• Former senior prison inspector ALFRED SMITH, aged 83.
• Eminent economist KENNETH LYALL, aged 64.
• Musician and member of The Rezillos ALASTAIR DONALDSON, aged 58.
• Internet visionary JONATHAN JOYCE, aged 41.
• Journalist and author DOUGLAS MIDDLETON, aged 71.
• Former General Secretary of the Overseas Council for the Church of Scotland BETTY WALLS, aged 99.
• Musician and songwriter NICK KEIR, aged 60.
• Former General Secretary of the Church of Scotland Guild, ALISON TWADDLE, aged 63.
• Former secretary of the Scottish Marriage Guidance Council JOHN WATT, aged 92.
• Writer FREDERIC LINDSAY, aged 79.
• Former Lord Lieutenant for East Lothian SIR GARTH MORRISON, aged 70.
• Pioneer in leukaemia research DR GEORGE STOCKDILL, aged 66.
• Esteemed academic Professor MIKE PORTER, aged 66.
• Master of the Merchant Company KENNETH DUNBAR, aged 65.
• Former Royal Botanic Garden botanist RICHARD PANKHURST, aged 72.
• Orthodox Church minister Father JOHN MAITLAND MOIR, aged 88.
• Pioneering child psychiatrist DR JAMES ROGERS, aged 98.
• Former GOC at Edinburgh Castle, General Sir MICHAEL GOW, aged 88.
• Bafta-nominated costume designer DAVID BEETON, aged 60.
• Mountaineer ARCHIE HENDRY, aged 93.
• Nuclear engineer and mountaineer DONALD BENNET, aged 84.
• News photographer IAN PORTEOUS, aged 84.
• Longest-serving keeper of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery ROBIN HUTCHINSON, aged 90.
• Bletchley Park code-breaker ANN MONCRIEFF, aged 87.
• War hero and accomplished golfer JIM ROCHE, aged 87.
• Former sheriff principal Sir FRED O’BRIEN, aged 95.
• Fashion photographer COLIN JARVIE, aged 50.
• Distinguished historian Professor JIMMY BURNS, aged 90.
• Dancer, choreographer, theatrical agent PAT LOVETT, aged 67.