Short Biography

by David Kemp

Billy was born in Balloch, Dunbartonshire on 26th June 1947. He moved with his family to Old Kilpatrick in June 1953 after completing Primary 1 in St. Mary's Alexandria. From primary 2 he attended St Mary's primary school in Duntocher where “He was the best cloakroom attendant the school had ever had.” After passing the eleven plus exam (the Qually) he continued his education at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic High School for Boys in Dumbarton. On leaving school,Billy joined the civil service in 1964 where he remained for 31 years in a variety of posts.

Billy was married to Liz on Tuesday, 29th April 1969 at St. Cuthbert's Roman Catholic Church in Slateford Road, Edinburgh. Their first son, James Matthew, was born in 1972 and was followed by David George (1975), Michael William (1979) and Robert Andrew(1981).

Billy was always involved in community affairs such as the Community Council and the Gala Committee,but his biggest contribution to the village of Old Kilpatrick was the founding of the Old Kilpatrick Summer Camp (OKSC) in September 1982. The OKSC took children aged 8-12 away for 5 days in June every year to the Scout Centre in Lochgoilhead to take part in activities such as canoeing, abseiling, rifle shooting, archery, hillwalking and generally to have lots of fun. The inaugural camp was in 1983 and is still going strong today, quarter of a century later!

Billy stood as an Independent candidate in the Clydebank District Council Elections in 1992 against the sitting Provost and won with the largest majority in the district. Due to council reorganisation, the following elections took place in 1995 which also yielded a victory. He resigned from the seat in autumn 1996.

On his retirement from the Civil Service in 1995, Billy held a number of part-time jobs including working in the Glen Lusset pub in Old Kilpatrick, as a market researcher, mystery shopper and a visiting officer for Argyll and Bute Council. His favourite post-retirement job was as a tour guide on the Glasgow open top bus tour,where he educated people with his vast knowledge of Glasgow and surrounding areas. Billy also took great delight, in Spring 1999, in organising trips around the country for his friend's family on holiday in Scotland from Australia. In turn he was invited to Sydney for the Olympic games the following year, but sadly died a few months beforehand.

Billy became a Grandfather in September 1999,when his Granddaughter Nicole was born.

Billy fell ill in April 2000 and after 3 weeks in the Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria, he died at 2.40PM on Sunday, 14th May 2000, less than a mile from where he was born.

Billy's funeral was held 3 days later in a full-to-capacity St. Patrick's Church in Old Kilpatrick. He is buried in Old Kilpatrick cemetery.

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