Former Gannochy Trust chairman Dr Russell Leather, 93
Dr Russell Leather, who died peacefully on Christmas Day aged 93, made an exceptional contribution to public life.
This derived from his extensive work with the Gannochy Trust, of which he was a trustee for 40 years, 17 as chairman.
After school in Edinburgh Dr Leather volunteered for the Royal Corps of Signals and saw active service in the Far East.
During his career with Ferranti, where he came up with no fewer than 25 patents, he was invited to join the Gannochy Trust, a major Scottish grantmaking trust established by AK Bell.
He was pivotal in the trust’s contribution to the fabric of Perth and Kinross with projects such as the funding and subsequent development of Bell’s Sports Centre, the leisure pool, Dewars Centre, the AK Bell Library and as chairman of the consultative committee for the extensive renovation of Perth Theatre between 1980 and 1991.
The value of the trust’s and his own involvement were recognised in 1988 when Dundee University conferred on him an honorary doctorate in law.
He served on many other bodies, including the Kincarrathie Trust, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and as a founder member of Perth Civic Trust he helped to save Perth Waterworks, which ultimately became the Fergusson Gallery.
To fulfil the purposes of the trust’s major grant to Perth Concert Hall in its building phase, he and his co-trustees insisted it should primarily be a concert hall and not a conference centre, so he paid great attention to ensure a high-quality acoustic.
Dr Leather is survived by his wife Muriel, his son Christopher and daughter Ann and four grandchildren.
A service of thanksgiving will be held at 2.30pm on Friday February 16 in St Leonards-in-the-Fields Church, Perth, the church at which he was an elder.