IN MEMORIAM - THE SOCIETY ROLL OF HONOUR

DAVID R ROSS: 28th February 1958 - 2nd January 2010


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LACHLAN McCANN: 11th July 1959 - 19th June 2013


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DUNCAN FENTON: 5th July 1956 - 25th May 2014


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ANDREW HILLHOUSE: 17th April 1964 - 15th April 2018

 
Andrew Hillhouse beside his masterpiece

It's with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Society announce that our committee member and artist in residence Andy Hillhouse passed away on Sunday Morning at 8.30am. It's such a loss not just to the Society and Scotland but also to his wife Vicky and his son Gus. Andy's work is such an inspiration but it wasn't just that, he was one of the nicest guys I have ever met who did so much work behind the scenes for the Society especially the Bell O' The Brae with the official design for which there was no charge and also the coins he designed with any profit not going to himself but to the Bell O' The Brae cost.

On the 10th year anniversary of the Walk for Wallace it's Andy's work, called the Spirit of Wallace, which is on the Invitations that David sent out.

I remember phoning him one day and admiring a picture he had drawn and he didn.t know which one I was talking about, so I sent it to him only to discover it was drawn by Mark Churms - LOL, he never let me forget that one. He has his drawings at Falkirk and also London on plaques and the Bell O' The Brae monument, so he has left a lifelong legacy that his family and friends can remember him by. It's for all the work Andy has done for the Society that he was presented with the David R Ross Memorial Quaich Award in 2015.

I've known Andy for 15 years and first met him through David R Ross and I was blown away with his art work talent. I remember in a bar discussing the Bell O' The Brae with Andy and him with a blank bit of paper and a pen then 5 minutes later this monument was drawn, it was like watching Tony Hart again. I have no embarrassment in saying I am crying writing this, I got to know Andy and classed him as a good friend and he was a major help in the background, helping me calm down when we were getting messed about by the council. He also knew me well so no chance he would speak to me on a Friday night after a few beers LOL.

Gutted so goodness knows how Vicky and Gus are feeling. Thank you also goes to Vicky to letting me speak to Andy on Saturday night in the hospice as I was supposed to be going to see him on Sunday, glad I got to speak to him one last time. RIP my friend, it was a pleasure to know you but glad you out of pain and up with your fellow fallen patriots in Tir Nan Og, till we meet again my friend, Gary
The East Lothian Courier also published a tribute to Andy here.
 
CHRIS CHALMERS: 28th August 1967 - 15th April 2018

 
Chris (left) beside his creation

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Society announce that Chris Chalmers passed away on Sunday. Chris was one of the sculptors who carved the Bell O' The Brae. We first met Chris's partner Roddy when we were trying to get Andy Hillhouse's tremendous drawing of the Bell O' The Brae accomplished in stone. Roddy said he could do it and said he would get he and his partner Chris to attend the Rutherglen church plaque unveiling and we could discuss further. Chris's passion for Wallace was there for all to see and he said he would love to be part of it as it was his life's ambition to build a Wallace monument.

I am sure you will all agree what a wonderful job they both did completing the monument and most of you will know I am an emotional type of guy but when we put the monument up the day before the unveiling Chris shed more tears than me. I am truly grateful for the effort and talent that Chris had as the monument is unbelievable and I know Andrew Hillhouse was over the moon with it as was the Society. It was the Society's pleasure to have been involved with so many talented people on the Bell O' The Brae who are sadly no longer with us.

Rest easy, Chris and I'm sure you're telling William Wallace it was you that built his monument in Glasgow in Tir Nan Og. You got your wish to build a Wallace monument and what a legacy you have left for your friends to continue to remember you by - Gary.
 
WILLIE DOUGLAS: 29th November 1940 - 16th April 2018

 

Lovely words from the First Minister of Scotland regarding our late convenor Willie Douglas

It's with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Society announce that our ex Convenor and secretary for over 40 years, Willie Douglas, passed away yesterday morning at 2am. With losing Andy and Chris on Sunday this is not a great time for the Society. Willie was also a committee member of the 1820 Society for over 40 years and knows where the two Societies would be without him, and for that alone I take my hat off to him.

Even although Willie had taken a back seat at The Society he was always at events, especially Wallace Day, and it will never be the same again not seeing Willie there with his wee glass of red wine and his Society T-shirt on having a great time. He may have retired from the Society but his passion for all things Scottish never left him.

I was having a wee chat with him last year when he just said, "nothing major Gary, but you're doing a great job". Now for me coming from a man I had the utmost respect for meant so much to me. When Willie retired and Davy took over with Duncan as Vice Convenor it became very clear to all the amount of work that Willie had been doing to keep the Society going. It's all the back ground work that people don't see and take for granted.

Will miss you at Wallace Day my friend and sure you're up with all your fellow fallen patriots having a cheeky wee glass of red in Tir Nan Og, rest easy my friend till we meet again, Gary.

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The Society of William Wallace is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registration number SC045959