Saying farewell to ‘gentleman’ Provost Robin


TRIBUTES flooded in this week for well loved and respected former Provost Robin McSkimming, who passed away on Friday following a short illness.

The 73-year-old, pictured right, who was East Dunbartonshire’s second Provost from 1999 to 2003, was looked after at St Margaret’s Hospice after it was discovered he had a rare form of liver cancer just before Christmas.

His wife Anne said: “It’s a big loss. He was one of those people who liked to help others. When he retired from teaching, which he really enjoyed, he wanted to give something back to the people, and became involved in local politics. He loved the area and was very interested in local history. He was a member of the historical society and vice-president of Westerton Male Voice Choir.”

The couple married 46 years ago and moved from Milngavie to Manse Road, Bearsden in 1970, where Anne still lives.

Paying tribute to the former Allan Glen geography teacher, current Provost Eric Gotts said: “Robin was well thought of by his colleagues of all political persuasions. He was a real gentleman and will be sadly missed in the community.

“On retiring from teaching, he became involved in community politics, serving the people of Bearsden well for a total of 13 years on three separate councils and felt very honoured to be chosen as East Dunbartonshire’s second Provost after John Dempsey.

“He carried out this role with great gusto and became an excellent ambassador both inside and outside the authority.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “I had the privilege of working alongside Robin for many years. He was a man of great intellect, integrity and humour who commanded respect from everyone who knew him. His capacity for knowledge, facts and figures was immense and he could always educate and entertain with stories on seemingly endless topics.

“He remained active in the community and was never far from the thoughts of his political colleagues. Robin was a true gentleman who will be missed and I’d like to extend my sympathy to his wife, family and friends.”

Don Martin, from Kirkintilloch, who worked closely with Mr McSkimming when he was the council’s local history specialist, said: “I knew Robin on a number of levels. He was very well known all over East Dunbartonshire for his interest in local history and will be missed greatly.

“Robin was so well thought of that he was the guest of honour at the Kirkintilloch & District Society of Antiquaries 75th anniversary a few years ago.”

Robin was born in Knightswood in May 1937 and evacuated to Millport during the war. His family moved to Bearsden in 1950. He was educated at Hillhead High and Glasgow University, graduating with an MA before doing two years of National service with the Education Corps stationed in Wales.

He met Anne at a Youth Fellowship meeting in New Kilpatrick Church and married her in 1964. They had two boys - Gordon, who lives in Paisley and had two daughters, and Douglas, who emigrated to California and has a daughter.

After his school closed in 1987 Robin turned his attention to politics. He was elected as a Liberal councillor in the early 90s for the Thorn ward and also served on Strathclyde Regional Council before local government reorganisation led to him becoming a councillor on the newly created East Dunbartonshire Council.

The funeral service will be held this Tuesday, February 1 at 10am in New Kilpatrick Church and at 11am at the Crematorium, Dalnottar. People are asked not to send flowers - there will be a collection for St Margaret’s Hospice, Clydebank.