Tribute paid to South Queensferry’s Rotary Club founder

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Rotary Club of South Queensferry – Honorary Member, Founder Member, Past President, Paul Harris Fellow

It is with deep sadness that we mark the death of Ronald Ainsworth, the last Founder Member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry,

Ronald passed away on Saturday September 22, aged 81 years.

Born in the Clyde Coast town of Saltcoats, Ronald studied pharmacy at Paisley Technical College and the Heriot Watt in Edinburgh.

In 1963 he married sweetheart Sheana in Prestonpans.

Ronald managed one of the key chemists in Glasgow, namely Boots shop in Argyle Street,

Enterprising Ronald then struck out on his own – by relocating and opening his own chemist’s shop in Queensferry High Street in 1968.

And 20 years later he moved to the pharmacy in Winchburgh and Sheana ran the Queensferry shop as a hardware store.

Ronald’s working life came to a close when he retired in 1999.

It was in the Queensferry Chemist’s shop that Ronald was visited by John Calder, Rotary Expansion Officer District 1020, Lesley O’Mea of Linlithgow Bo’ness Rotary Club and Bill Jackson Bass, a Rotarian keen to start a club in South Queensferry.

Ronald set about sounding out likely prospects including his neighbour and friend Alex Laughlan.

The Rotary Club of South Queensferry was chartered in July 1977 and Ronald proved a valued and committed member from the start.

He held many positions within the club and was its President from 1979 - 80.

Ronald had a deep knowledge of the club and a dedicated approach to it.

And over the years, was a respected source of good advice to established members and newcomers alike.

He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, one of the highest honours in Rotary.

And to recognise young people, who made notable personal achievements or performed outstanding service to the community, Ronald donated a cup to Queensferry High School.

Outwith Rotary, Ronald was an elder at Queensferry Parish Church.

He was also treasurer of The Balfour Ball.

This was held every January for many years in the Hawes Inn.

Ronald was well known as a devoted family man, and proud father and grandfather.

The club extends its sympathy to Sheana, son Russell, daughter Gill and grandchildren Robyn and Lewis.

Contributed by Stewart Hutchison of Rotary Club of South Queensferry.