On Monday 23rd February at Perth Crematorium a large gathering of people bid a last farewell to Alexander Gordon Morren (Sandy) a weel kent figure in the village.
Sandy spent the first 9 years of his life in Tarland, Aberdeenshire together with his five sisters who have all predeceased him apart from his youngest sister (my wife) Alison. After school in Abernethy he became an apprentice joiner and over the years perfected his skills. Sandy in those far off days was full of the joys of life - always singing and smiling. Sport was one of his early passions, particularly football, tennis, cycling and (in the Army) boxing. He played football for Newburgh Juveniles winning several trophies with them. When he played he must have been a coaches nightmare as he endeavoured to win each game “single-handed”. He was a wee hard man on the pitch and seemed to be everywhere. He also played for Abernethy Tennis Club when we played in the Perth and District League. How many of us remember him playing at the net in matches endeavouring to cover the court and often getting away with it! Sandy did his National Service in the Army where he represented his battalion in both football and boxing, winning medals in boxing.
It was about 1952 when I really got to know Sandy and we used to on occasions go for a long cycle run on Sundays. Sandy had bought himself a real up market Claude Butler racing bike and we decided to try it out one Sunday. This excursion took us to Loch Tay down through Glen Ogle and home through Lochearnhead and Crieff. A memorable day indeed. Not only was the weather perfect but during that journey we decided that once I had finished my apprenticeship in the building trade we would go to Canada for a trial period.
Dinah in her notes for the Minister to read at Sandy’s committal referred to him as a reluctant traveller. This wasn’t always the case because in 1954 Sandy and I set sail from Southampton to Halifax, Nova Scotia. So began 2 years filled with exciting experiences. After a year we bought a car and within 2 weeks we had passed our driving test and we zig-zagged our way through the USA. To our ultimate destination Vancouver. Sandy was an excellent companion, never moody always cheery with a very positive approach. With Sandy what you saw was what you got.
Little did I know then that further down the line we would enter into a business partnership in a Dairy business - Double M Dairy. We were to operate the business together successfully for 35 years until we retired in order to make way for the “young ones”
By and large we never had many cross words and if we did we certainly never held any grudges. We sometimes would agree to disagree but at the end of it all we had a mutual respect for each other that can only be gained by shared experiences.
Ever since school days Thomas Ramsay has been a constant friend and Tom, Ruth, Sandy and Dinah had many memorable holidays together. Sandy and Dinah have sons Andrew and Alan. In latter years Andrew would take Sandy to Skye on some of his business trips which he thoroughly enjoyed. Over the years Sandy has renovated several properties with some excellent help from Alan. Or was it the other way round? Alan’s prowess with tools always delighted his Dad and he would proclaim to me - Alan has a guid pair of hands on him you know.
My own family thought very highly of Uncle Sandy. My daughter Audrey recalls him taking her to see Aberdeen play Dundee United. He really impressed her at half time when he produced a flask and sandwiches. She came away from the match feeling 10 feet tall because Uncle Sandy had remonstrated with a chap behind for using foul language in front of a lady.
Sadly Sandy’s last few years were blighted by dementia and it is to Dinah, Andrew, Alex, Alan, May-Britt and Sophia we convey our heartfelt condolences.
You will have many happy memories.
Alison and I certainly have. Rest in Peace Sandy.