Obituary: Ronald Brownlee, former police officer, 101

Former senior policeman and keen golfer Ronald Brownlee died earlier this month, aged 101.

Born in 1909 in New Zealand, Ronald Brownlee moved to Scotland at the tender age of seven. Setting out from the sleepy settlement and temperate climate of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, Ronald spent six weeks on board a ship called the Canberra during a sea voyage to his new homeland.

Although the journey would have been a dangerous one - the ship set sail during the middle of the First World War, it didn't curb his obvious interest in the sea. Mr Brownlee served in the merchant navy as a radio officer when he was in his twenties and developed skills he would later use to help install the police's first communication equipment in south-east Scotland.

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He joined Edinburgh City Police in 1936 and remained with them for 30 years until he retired as Chief Inspector in May 1966.

It was during his time as a policeman that he met and married Margaret Hornby. They had two children, Elizabeth and Campbell.

The family settled in Ladysmith Road in Blackford, where they christened their home Canberra after the ship that first brought Mr Brownlee to Scotland.

In 1993 Mr Brownlee lost his wife aged 83, and in 1997 his son Campbell died, aged 57.

Father and son shared a passion for golf, with the two enjoying success in the sport. One of Mr Brownlee's proudest moments in golf was watching Campbell win the Lothians Championship at Luffness New in 1961.

Serving with the Merchant Navy allowed a young Mr Brownlee to play many foreign golf courses, but it was the Craigmillar Park Golf Club which he had the most significant relationship with, spanning 60 years.

He was club captain from 1961-64, and it was during this time that he obtained sponsorship to start the Open Tournaments at the club.

He has also been secretary of the SE District Golfing Association, the East of Scotland Golfers' Association and the Scottish Alliance of Golfers. He spent a year as captain of the Dunbar Golf club between 1976 and 1977.

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Ronald attributed his long life to starting and giving up smoking as a schoolboy, by "doing as little as possible", eating lots of vegetables and enjoying the occasional shandy.

On his 100th birthday Lothian and Borders' Chief Constable David Strang presented Mr Brownlee with a special certificate and two commemorative tumblers.

He also paid tribute to Mr Brownlee's hard work with the force, saying: "For 30 years, Ronald served the police force with pride and distinction and continued to be a pillar within his local community on his retirement."

He is survived by his daughter, grandchildren Ronnie, Gary, Anne and Michael, as well as extended family in Scotland and New Zealand.