Cu­par woman’s warm trib­ute to for­mer teacher

‘He had a spe­cial way that made you feel you could achieve any­thing’

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG SMITH [email protected]­

A Fife woman who has raised thou­sands to­wards find­ing a cure for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease (MND) af­ter one of her favourite teach­ers was di­ag­nosed has paid trib­ute to him fol­low­ing his death.

Brynja Duthie, from Cu­par, was just 14 when she first de­cided in 2015 to or­gan­ise a fundrais­ing fun run to sup­port her Madras Col­lege maths teacher Don­ald Gre­war.

He had been a great sup­port to her aca­dem­i­cally and when her grand­fa­ther was di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer and died in 2013.

Since then, Brynja has helped raise tens of thou­sands of pounds through var­i­ous events to ben­e­fit MND char­i­ties and re­search as well as sup­port ‘Mr G’ and his wife Mindy, to whom the Duthie fam­ily have grown very close to.

News of his pass­ing on Sun­day evening was felt par­tic­u­larly keenly by Brynja and her fam­ily, al­though she said she was glad to have had the chance to not only have him as a teacher but also call him a true friend.

“From first year at Madras Col­lege, he was a mas­sive sup­port in my school life and then when we or­gan­ised the MND Fun Run.

“He had a spe­cial way that made you feel you could achieve any­thing, and to­gether we did.

“He helped me achieve grades in maths I never thought I could, he was also a mas­sive sup­porter of my Movem­ber fundrais­ing.

“I al­ways re­mem­ber him fondly as some­one who went the ex­tra mile. He en­cour­aged and sup­ported ev­ery one of his pupils and lat­terly, what was most ad­mirable was his strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion to raise aware­ness and money for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease.

“I’ll miss him and our time to­gether but for­ever be grate­ful that he was a part of my life.”

Brynja’s mum Char­maine de­scribed Mr Gre­war as an “ex­tra­or­di­nary hu­man be­ing” who will be sadly missed.

“He gen­uinely cared about his pupils and none more so than Brynja. We’ll for­ever be thank­ful for the time he spent with her,” she said.

Hun­dreds of mes­sages of con­do­lence to Mr Gre­war’s friends and fam­ily have been posted on so­cial me­dia in the last cou­ple of days and those con­tin­ued to flood in yes­ter­day.

Wil­lie Ren­nie, Scot­tish Lib­eral Demo­crat leader and North East Fife MSP, fin­ished sec­ond in Mr G’s MND fundrais­ing fun run in Septem­ber 2017 and was proud to have known such an in­spi­ra­tional man.

“I feel lit­tle but heart­felt ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the im­pact that Don­ald Gre­war made on all our lives,” he said.

Brynja de­scribed Don­ald Gre­war as “some­one who went the ex­tra mile”.

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