Ivan’s commitment to Jock Neish Centre

From left - Stewart Duff, Ivan Laird and North Angus District Commissioner Willie Bell.
From left - Stewart Duff, Ivan Laird and North Angus District Commissioner Willie Bell.

Senior Scouting figures from across Angus and beyond gathered at the Jock Neish Centre, near Tannadice to honour Ivan Laird.

For almost half a century Ivan has shown an outstanding commitment to the movement and to the rural centre as a member of its management committee.

Over that time he has helped lead the development of the complex which is now a year-round facility for Scouting, as well as youth and adult organisations from across the country and abroad.

Mr Laird’s involvement began when his sons, Andrew, Neil and Ewan, were members of the 22nd Tannadice Scout Group. After they left the movement he remained as part of the support group set up in the wake of the death of Major Jock Neish to run the Angus base.

He served as support group chairman for a number of years and was then chairman of the Angus Area Scout Council prior to Angus becoming part of the movement’s east region, when Mr Laird became involved with the new body set up to manage the centre.

At that time there were only two ex-Army huts. now the centre can cater for up to 300 campers, has a toilet block, cooking shelters, altar fires, and lots of opportunities for traditional Scouting activities.

There is a good supply of wood and water, with several taps situated around the site for campers’ use.

There is a warden’s cottage within 200 yards. Up to 45 can use the indoor accommodation which has good catering facilities. It has a dormitory for up to 50, washrooms, showers and toilets, special needs facilities, a main hall, dining area, fully fitted kitchen and utility room.

Mr Laird’s long-standing service was also recognised with Scouting’s Medal of Merit some years ago and in 2007 he received the Silver Acorn from the Chief Scout at a ceremony at Blair Castle.

He has retired from the committee and is succeeded in the chairperson’s role by Jacqui Laird, assisted by Anne Shand as vice-chairperson.

South Angus District Commissioner Stewart Duff, making the presentation on behalf of the Jock Neish Scouting Centre management committee, said: “Ivan has been one of the stalwarts for Angus, in particular the Jock Neish centre. If we could get a few more people like Ivan as volunteers, the movement would be all the better for it.”