Remembering a colourful Lanarkshire charater

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BOTHWELL man Alister Baird died at the age of 72 last week after a yearlong battle with Burkett’s Lymphoma.

Born in Carntyne, Glasgow, his first job on leaving Eastbank Academy was appropriately enough in a bank, but he quickly decided it wasn’t for him and he joined Airdrie Council as an environmental health officer.

It was at this time that he met and married Lynne Robertson. In 1976 he became director of environmental health with Hamilton District Council and chairman of the Institute of Waste Management Scotland.

Ten years later he was promoted to chief executive of the council where he saw the importance of promoting Hamilton District as a good place to live, work and start up a business.

An interest in heritage was part of his enthusiasm for art, architecture and antiques and the keen opera fan also sang with the choir Glasgow Grand and later Hamilton Singers.

After he retired his experience in running national and local elections in Hamilton District led to him working as an election supervisor and adviser in a number of countries new to democracy and was especially proud to be involved in the first South African elections to enfranchise the majority black population.

He also helped broker twinning arrangements between Hamilton District Council and Blantyre in Malawi.

Alister enjoyed sport, particulary sailing and golf, becoming captain of both Bothwell Castle and Shiskin Golf Clubs.

For over 35 years he was an enthusiastic hockey player and held the position of president of Uddingston Hockey Club.

He also became president of both Hamilton Rotarians and Hamilton Burns Club, and served as a Justice of the Peace from 1992 until he retired at 70 from the Hamilton Courts.

A devoted grandfather to his three grandchildren, Jodie, Ben and Gary, Alister is survived by Lynne and their two sons Scott and Iain.

Full obituary in April 14 edition of Times & Speaker