Elizabeth Paterson-Brown: Curler and administrator

Born: 28 January, 1929, in Edinburgh. Died: 13 January, 2009, in Edinburgh, aged 79.

WITH the death of Elizabeth Paterson-Brown, MBE, Edinburgh, Scotland and the curling world have lost one of their most distinguished and popular characters.

Elizabeth was born in Edinburgh and educated at Grange Home School and St Dennis. She then attended Denson College, London, where she took a secretarial course. On her return to Edinburgh she assisted her father in the family woollen business, where she was credited with introducing the first typewriter to the office.

Around that time while enjoying the young Edinburgh social scene to the full, she met Keith Paterson-Brown. They were married in St Giles' Cathedral in 1952 and enjoyed more than 56 years together. Their two sons, Ian and Kenneth, were raised in a lively and cheerful family home which no doubt contributed to the success they have enjoyed in their careers and family lives. Four grandchildren added to the joy of this happy family.

Elizabeth joined Ford Ladies Curling Club in 1966 and it was the beginning of a lifelong interest in and passion for the sport of curling. She served as president of her club and as the Murrayfield representative on the ladies branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, of which she was elected president in 1987.

Elizabeth was then appointed as a Scottish representative to the World Curling Federation (then the ICF). In recognition of her charm and ability she was elected vice-president in 1990, the first woman to hold this office.

Her special remit on the executive of WCF was to assist and encourage member nations to develop curling for juniors, whom she regarded as the life blood of the sport. In all her dealings with junior curlers she emphasised that the spirit of the game was fair play and respect for one's opponents.

In 1999 Elizabeth was honoured to receive the MBE for services to curling.

Her success and achievements as an administrator at the highest level were built on the solid foundations of a detailed knowledge of the game and a love of all those who participated in the sport. Those qualities were acknowledged when she was presented with the prestigious Freytag Award by the WCF in recognition of her significant contribution to the development and promotion of world curling.

Her accomplishments were all the more remarkable as, over the years, she underwent major spinal surgery and twice spent many months recovering from cancer. This demonstrated above all else her great strength of character.

Elizabeth had been involved with the negotiations to have curling recognised as an Olympic Medal Sport and she was thrilled when Rhona Martin's team won Olympic gold medals in 2002.

Elizabeth, or EPB, as she was universally and affectionately known in curling circles, was an elegant and gracious woman, although rather a daunting presence at first meeting to many a young curler. But they soon realised she was caring, interested and, above all, fun.

She travelled the length and breadth of the country and, indeed, the world, to support curling. Throughout her long association with curling she had the enduring support of her husband, Keith.

While many will remember her administrative contribution to the sport, Elizabeth also had a wholehearted career as a player. She was an enthusiastic club member and participated in many competitions. She was delighted to be chosen as a skip and secretary of the 1981 Scottish ladies tour to the United States, which she described as a highlight of her life. Her fellow tourists in turn had the opportunity to enjoy her unique personality and sense of humour and will remember her with great affection.

Elizabeth led a very full life outwith curling. She played golf with almost the same enthusiasm, enjoying her membership first at Murrayfield and then at Gullane Ladies Golf Club. Her regular attendance at Mayfield/Salisbury Church was an important part of her life. She gave willingly of her time, not least in her involvement with the Veranda Club of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, where her visits were greatly appreciated by patients and staff.

Elizabeth and Keith had a wide circle of friends and an invitation to the Paterson-Brown's home ensured an evening of generous hospitality and convivial company.

Elizabeth's legacy of dedication, her strength of will and abiding sense of humour should be an inspiration to all.