Tributes paid to one of Motherwell’s greatest singers

Ronald Morrison being installed as president of Motherwell and Wishaw Rotary Club in 1998
Ronald Morrison being installed as president of Motherwell and Wishaw Rotary Club in 1998

Tributes have been paid following the death of one of the greatest singers to come out of Motherwell.

Ronald Morrison, of Douglas Street, died at the age of 82 earlier this month having been ill for some time.

Born in Rothesay, he arrived in Motherwell at the age of 13 following ten years in Dundee due to his father Peter’s work with the Prudential.

A talented singer in his youth it really came the fore when after graduating Glasgow University with a Classics degree he became an education officer at RAF Buchan.

Having been involved with many choral societies and choirs Mr Morrison joined the London Opera Centre and then toured with Opera for All.

In 1965 he would make his debut in Scottish Opera’s production of Kruschov and remain with the company for 10 years before returning to the classroom as a Classics teacher.

Demand for his services remained high making numerous broadcasts for the BBC and was joined by his wife Ann, whom he married in 1977, on singing engagements across the country.

He was also a keen sportsman noted as an excellent cricketer and golfer and a season ticket holder at Fir Park.

His cousin, the folk singer Peter Morrison, said: “Singing was always encouraged in the Morrison family and Ronnie was not only my big cousin, he became a role model for me.

“Ronnie worked hard to develop his craft, and it seemed whatever he turned his mind to, be it on a stage or a sports field, he excelled.”

Donald Maxwell, who worked with Mr Morrison at Scottish Opera, added: “His beautiful baritone, warm stage personality and keen intelligence delivered outstanding and memorable performances.”

Iain Fraser, who runs the Opera Scotland website, recalled: “All these years later I can still remember seeing Ronald on stage many times, he was a wonderful talent.”

Mr Morrison was also heavily involved in Motherwell and Wishaw Rotary and in 1998 followed in his father’s footsteps to become president.