David MacPherson – sadly missed

David MacPherson – sadly missed

We are sad to report the passing of David MacPherson, who died on 6 November 2021 at the age of 73.

David was born in Haddington on 22 March 1948.  The son of a rag and bone man, David soon became a familiar face in the town as he accompanied his father on his horse and cart.

David was well known in his community throughout his life.  When in a café or out walking, someone would always want to speak to him.  David loved that.

David’s early learning about getting rid of unwanted household goods also stayed with him.  If he got fed up with something, he would say it was “cheerio”.  This meant that the item was destined for the bin, which was fine in some circumstances but a bit of a problem when something new or valuable disappeared unexpectedly.  When a brand new pair of glasses went missing, ELCAP staff hunted high and low for them before David eventually said they were “cheerio”.  David’s farewell to the glasses was final, as the bins had been emptied that day.

David remained very active until late in his life.  He wasn’t one for sitting around and he always had to be up to something.  Quite often, this something was best described as “mischief”.

David had a sense of fun and liked to keep everyone on their toes.  Derek Mack, who supported David between 2015 and 2018, said:

“I would often describe him as being like a naughty little brother.  He had that kind of humour.  David would often try and see how far he could push you.  He liked to test out staff, but you couldn’t help but love him and do everything you could do to protect him.  He just had that way about him.”

David liked it when ELCAP staff were doing things around the house or in the garden.  While he wasn’t keen on housework, he liked to lend a hand with other tasks.  David had a large garden with various fruit trees and enjoyed spending time there.

Reflecting on the time he spent with David, Derek said:

“As a keen gardener I often spent many hours with him doing various jobs around the garden.  On a nice day, we would just sit with a cuppa and have a chat.  Once you got to know and understand David’s ways of communicating, you could have a good wee blether.  I found out all about his dad having horses for the cart he once had and that his dad used to go shooting.  Many other stories cropped up.”

David had a great relationship with his neighbours.  They always spoke to him and looked out for him, enquiring how he was doing.  Derek said:

“I was told by them on more than one occasion the difference ELCAP had made to David’s life.  It is always very satisfying and humbling to hear that from members of the public.”

Music was one of David’s great loves.  He regularly attended the accordion clubs at MacMerry and West Barns, where he would be up dancing.  His hand clapping was always the loudest and most enthusiastic in the hall.

David also liked his food.  The pie he got at MacMerry and the cake he had at West Barns were an added bonus on great nights out.  He also looked forward to having a wee dram while he was there.

On Tuesdays, David would to go the pub, while on Thursdays he would play bingo at Nungate Community Centre.  On Sundays, he attended services at St Mary’s Church.  David enjoyed socialising and being among people meant a lot to him.

As well as these regular events close to home, David liked to go for a run in the bus or car, especially if the trips involved stopping off for a cuppa or lunch.

David funeral was held at Seafield Crematorium on 30 November.  The service was attended by a good number of current and former members of ELCAP staff, who came to pay their respects to an individual who had played an important part in their lives.

Among the mourners was Jacky Mein.  Looking back on her time supporting David, Jacky said:

“I’ve got so many good memories of working with David.  Our happiest times were walking with his dog, Lucky Riley.  We would get the bus to Dunbar If the weather was good and walk from Belhaven, along the cliff top trail, back to the harbour, then stop for fish and chips on the way home..

I worked with David for roughly a year and a half.  He was a kind and gentle man.”

David will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.

Thanks to Isobel Dowie, David Drummond, Kathy Fairgrieve, Shirley Henderson, Carol Kay, Carole McCaldin, Derek Mack, Tracey Malcolm, Jacky Mein, Ritchie Peyton, Keith Rudyj, Paul Smiles and Nicola Stewart for their support for David.  Thanks too to the colleagues – too many to mention – who supported David when he was first involved with ELCAP.

Special thanks to Derek and Jacky for sharing their warm memories.