The Herald

Alexander Prentice

- REV BILL FERGUSON

Former treasurer of British Rail (Scottish region); Born May 29, 1917; Died February 7, 2008.

ALEX Prentice, who has died aged 90,was a former treasurer for the Scottish Region of the old British Rail and board member of Glasgow’s East Park Home for Infirm Children.

He was born in Dudley Drive, Hyndland, Glasgow, in 1917, the younger of two sons, and had one year at Hyndland Primary School then completed his schooling at the city’s Hillhead High School.

On leaving school, he started work in a law office in the city but that careerwas interrupte­d by the outbreak of war. From 1940 to 1946, Prentice served with the Royal Engineers. For three of his six years in the army, Prentice served in Britain with a bomb disposal unit and for the last three years he served in Europe with the 12th and 1st Corps Troops of the Royal Engineers. Prentice was remarkably reticent about this period in his life.

When the war was over, Prentice returned to civilian life and pursued further study which led him to becoming a fellow of the Certified and Commercial Accountant­s Associatio­n. With such a qualificat­ion he joined the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company. When he retired from British Rail in 1977 he had given conspicuou­s and distinguis­hed service as treasurer of the Scottish region.

Though baptised in Broomhill Church, Prentice – in time – became a member of the Tron Church (later to become St George’s Tron) and for a time was a member of Partick United Free Church. Through these church associatio­ns a great deal of his life was spent in voluntary youth work as a Sunday school teacher, a youth club leader, a Boys’ Brigade officer and Scout leader.

In 1974, Prentice was invited to join the board of East Park Home for Infirm Children, where he spent 19 fruitful years, becoming a greatlylov­ed figure in the lives of many disabled and disadvanta­ged children. When he retired from East Park in 1993 he had become vice-president and was honoured for his ser vices to the disabled in Glasgow by being awarded the MBE.

Throughout his long life Prentice travelled extensivel­y and kept up with friends in Belgium whom he had first met during his wartime service. He was a keen Scottish coun- try dancer and regularly joined up with country dance groups who combined their passion for dancing with cruising in the Mediterran­ean. On numerous occasions he packed his kilt and dancing pumps, and flew to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.

Prentice returned to Broomhill Church as a member 10 years ago. He will be long remembered and greatly missed.

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