Bowling club says farewell to popular pair

Jimmy MacGregor was a stalwart of Oban Bowling Club.

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Oban Bowling Club has paid tribute to two of its stalwart members who died this month.

Former electrician and Rockfield Primary deputy head teacher Jimmy MacGregor who lived at Glencruitten died on May 17 and Norrie Etherson from Tigh Na Speir, Connel, passed away on May 7 after a long battle with cancer.

Bowling club greenkeeper, pal and past pairs and triples partner Donald MacLean said Mr MacGregor, who was 90, had enjoyed a successful career in the sport with ‘great hand-eye co-ordination’.

Mr MacGregor’s bowling honours included winning the Harry Gordon singles tournament in Dunoon in 1984 and in 1990 winning the pairs title at the Helensburgh Bowling tournament with John Jackson.

He represented Argyll and Bute at county level, earning more than 30 caps and also represented his county in the David Marshall international fours tournament with representatives from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and other Scottish counties represented which his fours went on to win.

Mr MacGregor also reached the National Finals at Northfied in Ayr twice in the pairs with John Jackson and Robert Dairon in 1988 and 1992 and was part of the Oban club top 10 team which went on to win the county top 10 competition also winning numerous other West Argyll titles over the years.

Mr MacGregor taught at Rockfield Primary School in the early Seventies, before that he was an electrician, working in Aldo’s the bookies during the college holidays when he was still a student teacher.

Rockfield colleagues remembered him for his sense of humour and his interest in computers when they were first introduced into primary schools.

‘Even after he had retired Jim would come into the school and work with the pupils on their computing skills,’ said former colleague and Rockfield Primary head teacher Jack Degnan.

Mr MacGregor, who was also a keen photographer, loved going to the Highland Show at Ingliston with the P7s for their class trip and as well as bowls  had a passion for golf, playing and helping out at Taynuilt Golf Club.

Bowling club secretary Anne Stewart said: ‘Jimmy was a stalwart of the bowling club but was unable to bowl in recent years.  Latterly he acted as scorekeeper for our club competitions and always had a wee quip about your progress as you handed in your scorecards.  We have missed him on the green and in the clubhouse in recent years. Our thoughts are with Ella his daughter, Andrew his son and their families at this sad and difficult time.’

Mrs Stewart said Mr Etherson  was also ‘a huge character on the green’ and ‘we will all miss him too.’

Mr Etherston was a long-serving member of the club’s committee and ‘a great, great’ organiser of evening competitions, said Bowling Club President Ian Boyd, adding the two recent deaths so close to each other were ‘a tragedy’ for its members.