Rev Tom Robertson
Minister; Born November 18, 1932; Died October 24, 2010.
TOM Robertson, who has died at the age of 77 after a long illness, was the longest-serving minister of St James’ Church in Broughty Ferry, known as the Lifeboat Church. It stands opposite the lifeboat shed from which the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat was launched in December 1959 in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the North Carr Lightship which had broken loose from its moorings and was in danger of breaking up. Five of the lifeboat crew were members of St James’.
Mr Robertson was an Orcadian, born at Birsay where he received his primary education, before his parents moved south and he completed his schooling at Falkirk High and then Perth Academy. He started work in the Perth base of General Accident, but when he felt a call to the ministry, he enrolled at Edinburgh’s New College in 1958. On completion of his studies he spent an assistantship with the legendary DP Thomson, the Church of Scotland evangelist, at that time warden of St Ninian’s Training Centre in Crieff.
One of Tom Robertson’s colleagues in the Presbytery of Dundee described him as “a canny conservative evangelical”. He went to his first parish, St Clement’s Church in Dingwall, in 1963. The annual convention in nearby Strathpeffer was a feature of the conservative evangelical calendar. He became secretary of the Strathpeffer Convention and also chairman of the local Lord’s Day Observance Society.
In 1970 Mr Robertson moved to Broughty Ferry, where he is remembered as a fine expository preacher and someone who gave unstinting support to bereaved families. He wrote a history of St James’ Church to mark its centenary in 1990. He played a full part in the work of Dundee Presbytery, serving as convener of several committees during his ministry. He was also elected moderator of the Presbytery. He retired in 2001 and undertook a number of locum posts within the Presbytery.
Tom Robertson is survived by his wife, Barbara, three children and seven grandchildren.