Obituary: Ian Swanston, 80
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former East Lothian Yacht Club commodore and North Berwick Rotary Club president who has died aged 80.
Ian Swanston, passed away on September 21 due to heart problems, it is understood.
Born in 1932 in North Berwick, as a young man he was an active members of The Scout Association playing the bass drum for the North Berwick Scout Pipe Band.
He began playing golf during his schooldays, a passion that would be reignited later in his life.
Mr Swanston started sailing as a teenager and, in the 1950s, went on to race GP14 dinghies which he built himself.
He became commodore of East Lothian Yacht Club in the mid 1980s and was part of the team that established it a major host venue for UK and international regattas.
He was also an active member of the RNLI for North Berwick for many years.
At the age of 14, Mr Swanston started work as an apprentice for Brown and Grazer Joiners in Gullane.
Following national service in Germany, he returned to his trade but left for London in 1958 to start a new job as a qualified estimator.
He later married his wife Pam and had two daughters Fiona and Morag. The family moved to Newcastle, where he continued to work as an estimator.
The family returned to North Berwick in 1967 and Mr Swanston launched his own roofing business, Guardian Roofing, which he ran for many years.
He ended his career with a move to Edinburgh council, where he worked as an energy conservationist.
He also built the current family home in Ware Road where they have lived since 1980. After retirement, he and his wife Pam ran a bed and breakfast for 15 years.
Mr Swanston loved golf and was a member of several clubs, while also being was a prominent figurehead in country curling circles. He was also a member of other town clubs, including Rotary, serving as president between 1996 and 1997.
Described as a quiet, unassuming but well-known person, Mr Swanston was said to be good humoured and possessed a dry wit.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years Pam, sister Vera, daughters Fiona and Morag and grandchildren Adam, Milli and Jackson.
James Main, current president of North Berwick Rotary Club, said: “Ian was always very supportive of the club and very welcoming to new members.
“Over the years Ian participated enthusiastically in all of the club’s activities and was always very positive in his views as to the direction the club should go.
“We will miss his wise counsel.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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