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Sir Garth Morrison, KT, CBE, CEng, DL

June 5, 2013

It is with great sadness we report that The Trust’s former Chairman, Sir Garth Morrison, passed away peacefully at home on Friday 24th May following a short illness.  Sir Garth was appointed as a trustee of The MacRobert Trust in October 1998 and was the King George Fund for Sailors/Seafarers UK nominated Trustee on the Trustee Board for 15 years.  He became Trust Chairman in 2006.

Commissioned into the Royal Navy as an engineering officer, he served for 12 years, mostly in nuclear submarines, before retiring in the rank of lieutenant in 1973.  He then moved to the family farm partnership at West Fenton before embarking on a remarkable period of selfless service during which he was appointed as Chief Scout from 1988 to 1996.  He was a member of the World Scout Council until 2011 after which he served as Honorary President of the Scottish Council The Scout Association.  Sir Garth held many other prestigious appointments, including becoming Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for East Lothian in 2001.  He was, however, immensely proud of his work in the voluntary sector, a role which saw him awarded the CBE in 1994 and a Knighthood in the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle in 2007.

First and foremost, however, Sir Garth was a farmer and liked nothing more than to be out on the MacRobert Trust’s estate amongst the farm tenants and their families.  No matter how full or complex the trustees’ business meeting agenda was set to be, the Administrator was left in no doubt that there was always to be time set aside for an estate tour.  Travelling regularly to Tarland with his wife, Gill, he always remarked that the history, ethos, range and diversity of the work underpinning The MacRobert Trust’s operations had been “incredibly enriching for them both”.  He constantly urged trustee colleagues and Trust staff to measure up to the aspirations of Lady MacRobert, a woman for whom he had the highest regard.

Sir Garth Morrison was a man of great intellect and commitment; he was also an extraordinary and naturally gifted leader who remained modest throughout.  He relished challenge, and sought to face it head-on with humour, always encouraging agreement and teamwork.  Everyone at The Trust has been enormously fortunate to have had him at the helm during a difficult period leading us through today’s many challenges.  He will be very sorely missed indeed, as a colleague, leader and as a friend.

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