John Gibson: The Rev Ian and that green jersey

Rev Ian Gilmour
Rev Ian Gilmour
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Is it true? Is it true, I asked of Ian Gilmour (the Rev Ian Gilmour, if you please) that you wore a Hibs jersey when you took Lawrie Reilly’s funeral at the St Andrews and St George’s West church in George Street?

That brought a smile. It’s his palpably ready smile that took him to Italy’s Portofino in 2007 to marry Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster (his dad had a Leith connection) and to baptise their two sons.

Ian and I first met at Leith Rotary Club, which then convened regularly at Easter Road. That was after I’d officially switched on South Leith Kirk’s floodlights (over-loaded with Leith, this, I’m well aware, and if you’ve got it up to here, look away now).

Ian, resident at The Manse at Comely Bank, answering my question: “It wasn’t a Hibs jersey, it was a green clerical shirt I happen to own and it seemed natural for Lawrie’s funeral. He was a great chap and when we presented medals to our Pillars of Leith – you’ll recall, you were at the kirk presentations to people who achieved a lot for the port – Lawrie won a gold.”

Hence Ian as first choice for the funeral. Does the Rev Ian miss ministering at South Leith? “I do indeed. I miss the people. It was an enjoyable period of my life. I’m fond of Leith and my two grandchildren are Leithers.”

Ian, 56, got a Christmas card from the Stewarts and, I told him, if ever Rod sends him an old raincoat I’ll nip up to St Andrews and St George’s West, where Ian’s in charge, to collect.

Afterwords . . .

. . . “I don’t want to sound like I’m some old fart from the past but I also don’t want to be ridiculous and try and make modern records.” Well don’t, Lulu, just don’t. You’ve put the wind up me already.