In 1981, the Auld Abernethy Association was formed, one of its aims being to encourage interest in the history of Abernethy and the local area. This, in its turn, led to the set up of a museum in the village, achieved eventually in 2000. Two of the most enthusiastic supporters of both these projects were Tib Smith and Ruby Ironside. Gifted with excellent memories, their contribution to the A.A.A. and the museum were invaluable.
Tib was on the committee of the A.A.A. until her resignation in 2006 at the age of 92!
“I’m too old to be any more use” was her reasoning. We didn’t agree, and although her name was removed from the syllabus we continued to consult her.
“We’ll ask Tib” was a regular response to a difficult question or if we failed to identify someone in a photograph. After a peaceful lunch with her cronies in the Culdees Tea Room on Tuesdays, she regularly moved over to the museum group for a period of investigation! Lunch times are just not the same now.
Ruby was not only a great source of information but also provided ‘bits and pieces’ for displays in the museum. On hearing what our new display was to be, she would have a search through her store (nothing ever seemed to be thrown out) and telephone for her contribution to be uplifted. Her ‘bits and pieces’ were always useful and seldom did she want them returned. Everything was to remain in Abernethy and, according to her, the museum made that possible.
Ruby and Tib loved their afternoons in the museum as volunteers when it was open to the public. They were up and about chatting to visitors, answering questions and providing information as long as they were able. Ruby, indeed, even managed several afternoons this past year.
We in the Auld Abernethy Association and the museum are going to miss them both so much. We’ll miss their stories, their enthusiasm, their support and their encouragement. They were always sure that we would succeed in our endeavours and told us so. We are so grateful for all they have done for us, but we would selfishly have loved to have had them with us for a little bit longer.