Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sad times..

Hi.
Bill, Roger and myself were buddies way back in Nottingham Art school.
Dear Maggie will remember.....

All his strength was in in his face and eye, but he made you want to move mountains.

I was so sad to hear of his passing.
Maggie, my very deepest sympathy to you.
Roger Harrison

Just couldn't believe

Hi Bryden
Just couldn't believe when I read of your dad's passing, the pain will pass but the memories remain clear forever. You don't need me to tell you what a great bloke he was, you already know.

It's not often true but I think the world has lost a great man, someone who touched the lives of so many people and made their lives a little brighter for having known him.

I still remember him on our back door, errant son in one hand and belt in the other saying to Jenny "they've drank my whisky and smoked my pipe!"
wishing you and your family all the best at this sad time
Neil
(note from Bryden: Neil Middleton, Bryden's childhood friend from Downhill)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Those were the days

I worked with Bill at Redhouse for seventeen years. First as a youthworker and then Bill encouraged me to take on the role as senior worker.Not an easy task as it mean't more sessions and longer hours and as I had a young family it posed problems but Bill encouraged me and he allowed the post to revolve around my family. Bill was a good boss and I gave him 100% but I still knew when to approach and when to keep my distance.

His ideas were great but left the donkey work to his staff but we were happy to do/achieve what he wanted.He loved the presentation nights and the young people we worked with enjoyed his presentation speeches. Rewarding the young people were his thing and the young people treasured the medals,certificates,trophies and the attention they got whilst receiving them.

Bill was all for new initiatives and at Redhouse we took on volunteers and then Bill secured the funding/approval for local people to be paid whilst working in the youth centre. This continued and Interchange North was born. The company provided training for local people of all ages who were unemployed to retrain and seek new employment.

I have so many memiors that I could write a book but I just wanted to share the above thoughts and let you his family know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless

Val Willis
Senior Youth Worker
Children's Services

It was with great shock

To Maggie, Sadie, Bryden & Nearest Family,
It was with great shock we received Angie's E M re Bill passing away as we believed he had turned the corner after months of pain and suffering, it was rec. just before we left for holidays but our thoughts and prayers were with you all on the day of the funeral. Doreen & I only met Bill for the first & only time on a trip to the U K in 1996 and Maggie & Bill had kindly invited us both to spend a few days visiting them. I will always remember Bill's words of greeting at the railway station, "where is your bloody green hat " as we had told them they would recognise us by me wearing it but as they were running a bit late to meet us I had taken it off. unfortunately the few days we were with them did not give us the chance to share all of Bill's capabilities and talents which lots of people have been able to see and receive over the years, we did find a humorous man, a dedicated father, fond of cooking and sharing his views on various subjects, also his devotion to Maggie who we had not seen since we migrated to Australia in 1958. by E Ms from Angie we were able to follow the family on their various trips overseas which we are sure will remain in there memories of sharing these trips with Bill for ever. over time I have been able to show family, friends & visitors Bills talents as an artist by showing them his picture gallery on his website. our condolences are passed to all the family and be assured he will always be in our memories.

with Sadness,

Dennis, Doreen & Family.
Adelaide South Australia
P S If you see a rainbow in the sky just think Bill is there with his paint brushes

Saturday, November 11, 2006

When Maggie called

When Maggie called me I could not believe it, only weeks ago he ended his sessions with me saying all the cancer had gone.
I am deeply shocked and speechless, I never expected this.
I am pleased that I was of some help to him and send my love to his soul for his trust in me.
I shall miss him.
Thank you Lindsay for your trust and faith in my work and for bringing Bill to me.
Please pass on my love to Maggie and family.
Condolences
David

I came in from work

I came in from work on the morning bill died to find lauren and steph crying and it was hard to take in the bad news,i can't imagine how hard it must be for his family and close friends,getting over the loss of such a charachter and family man as bill undoubtedly was.I only knew bill over a period of 4yrs, as i live with his grandaughter lauren and her mum stephanie.But we got on great, he would immediately side up to me for the male bonding and the ribbing of lauren and her teen attitude,welcoming me with "Alright baldy" as only bill could ,probably on our first meeting ha ha.We shared a slightly devilish sense of humour and i loved his laugh.I never knew bill well enough to know what he had done in his life,but from the comments and sheer respect and love from around the globe it became ! obvious to me he was a special guy.He never bragged about things he had achieved or his fantastic artwork,he was more concerned about the next man.He will be sadly missed in this house,i can only express my sympathy to his family,i'm sorry i couldn't be at his funeral maggie very sorry

love steve xx

We will miss you bill....

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bill was an outstanding fighter

To Maggie and Family

Bill was an outstanding fighter for Ryhope Community and someone who will be greatly missed by everyone who kne him.

Frase Kemp M.P. Houghton & Washington East

members of Ryhope Development

I am writing on behalf of the members of Ryhope Development Trust to say how very sad we are to have lost such a valued member of the community. Bill and Ross were the founder members of Ryhope Development Trust. It was there feeling that Ryhope had been neglected by the Local Authority in the past. They were successful in securing over £250,000 to improve the main Ryhope Street and local businesses. The Trust has gone from strength to strength largely due to Bill's vision and enthusiasms. Bill will be sadly missed but never forgot.

Our Deepest Sympathies to Maggie and family

To Maggie and Family

To Maggie and Family

I have just looked in my cupboard and there’s Bills mug. Nothing special just the one I brought him back from Turkey. But it was his, when he wanted a mug of coffee and a chat (a very long chat…). He worked here for a good few years (or should I say talked his way through work).
On one of his trips to India Bill bought me a couple of carvings of a cow and an owl which I love very dearly. Every time I purchased a new carving from my travels I would bring it into work to show him. So wherever you are travelling to now bill I will be thinking of you fondly.

Love Ann ( Ryhope Community Association)

I first met bill

I first met bill in 1979 when we started the hall farm residence association to try and address the problems that always arise when a new housing estate is been built. This association was very successfully in all its endeavours and social functions that it held. This was due in no small way to bills involvement.
We next went onto building a neighbourhood centre the youth and residence for the hall farm estate. This building is still in use and a thriving as it meets the needs of the youth and residence of today, even more so today. Then Bill and I moved onto our next project “Ryhope Development Trust” as we felt that Ryhope had been neglected by the Local Authority in the past. We were successfully in securing over £250,000 to improve the main Ryhope Street and local businesses. The Trust. Has gone from strength to strength due to Bill's vision and enthusiasms.
Bill was always a great favourite with all my family and we have fond memories of his time with us. Some of our best ideas came after we had indulged in a few glasses of malt whiskey which we shared together on may occasions. One of my best memories of bill was during his last visit to our house when he shared the good new that he had the all clear from cancer. Ann was so delighted that she got a sponge cake and lit a candle to celebrate. I wish to end by sending you all our deepest sympathies and wish we could be with you on Friday.

Love Anne, Ross and Family X

Some of my fondest

"Some of my fondest teenage memories are those of the time spent in the McKinnie household. Waking up late on Saturday morning next to Sadie to hear the sound of Bill making a huge cooked breakfast with his prized Le Creuset pans. How could such a warm-hearted and fun-loving character fail to make an impression on me? I remember Sadie and I pulling the odd funny face when Bill was in the full flow of one of his 'mad half hours'. We were all trying to be cool then but we couldn't help but love that madness really. It was with this zany McKinnie perspective that I was first introduced to France and camping - needless to say it was a fantastic holiday, which I'll never forget.

A few years later he asked me to help out with the translation for a French civic delegation's visit to Sunderland, His passion for community projects was so inspiring to others that I was therefore only too happy to assist him with that one.

My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

Catherine Towers (formerly Currie)"

our deepest sympathy

Dearest Maggie, Bryden and Sadie

our deepest sympathy for your loss of a great man, Bill & Maggie have been our neighbours for many years and he and Maggie will be truly missed Bill is a great guy and he will be sadly missed by all.

We are so sorry we cannot be in Scotland for his funeral but our thoughts are with you all

Kenneth, Susan, Lee and Rick Alan Buddle

Thursday, November 09, 2006

There aren’t enough superlatives

Hi Maggie, Brydon & Sadie,

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe a guy who was a great personal friend, mentor, counsellor and ‘match maker’. My life was enriched the day I met Bill way back in 1975 and through him it changed massively for the better. I was privileged to be involved with the establishment of the D.A.S.S. shop on Downhill which improved the lives of countless families struggling too survive on benefit through the Thatcher era. I was also honoured to be chosen to launch a terrific training initiative at Interchange North – the ‘Practice Firm’, which gave trainees the opportunity to develop commercial/administrative skills in a realistic simulation of a trading company.

Through the drive, inspiration and know how of Bill McKinnie the people of the northwest of Sunderland were given economic progress, pride and a sense of purpose. The various projects he envisioned and motivated people to turn into reality provided employment and a degree of financial security for a great many people.

Bill, we’ll miss you mate – more than you would have admitted to.

If there is ‘somewhere beyond’ I bet your negotiating grants already.

Cheers mate and goodbye.


George Davie.


Love to Maggie, Brydon and die.

what a privilege

what a privilege it must have been for you to have bill as a father in law i met him soon after he came to sunderland and to red house comprehensive school. i was a pupil at the school and left then returned as a youth worker with job creation. bill was a charasmatic character who never saw anything bad in anyone if they had gone off the rails he knew they would get back on. he nurtured dreams in and i feel that he is responsible for how i feel towards people . having lost all the members of my close family in the last six years i feel keenly how you all are mourning the loss of such a wonderful man.
he was very proud of bryden and sadie but of course my contact was long before his extended family were arround. may he rest in peace and those left behind have lost a truly wonderful man no matter how long it was since you saw him he would remember . i will always remember the input he gave, his love of youthies (red house youth wing ) and the potential that he saw in everyone including myself

may he rest in the comfort of the lord and in the beautiful surroundings of blairgowrie(we spent lovely holidays there did bill have a hand) good night god bless sympathies to you all may you continue in the knowledge that you were all blessed to know such a person

Slainte Bill Nos Dar i'll have a wee dram for you on friday God bless

He was a brave and happy man

He was a brave and happy man. I could tell he was pleased with his life, it's just a shame he had to leave so soon.

he will not only be missed by me but by many people.

From Emily aged 9 x

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bill

November the 3rd 2006 was a very sad day; it is the day that we lost a
man who had a significant influence on our lives.
His very presence filled the room and it was enough to make us smile because we did not know what to expect next. It was the day we lost a man who was very passionate about life, family, friends, art in all forms, politics and it was the day that I lost my best mate, Bill. I first met Bill, Maggie and family when I fell in love with his sister in law Angie 24 years ago and it was the start of a friendship that grew over time that I will never be able to replace. Our first meeting came when
I met the family in Nottingham and was introduced to the irreplaceable Bill whose effect was immediate. Later when we went up to Bill and Maggie’s for a new year that was the start of many a Hogmanay and Bill’s legendry scotch broth.I discovered that his reputation for a laugh and a joke was infectious.He enjoyed cooking, dancing, music and for having the time of your life. It was also when I found out that Bill was a man of many talents including school teacher, artist and politician. His politics were different to mine with opinions that did not necessarily match my own and he would let you know in no uncertain terms. We would have many a discussion over the following years as to who held the high ground on almost every subject
imaginable.
Bill was so very proud of his family, and he loved them dearly. As the children grew up so did the circle of family and friends who came into contact with this infectious man. As all of our families expanded Bill and Maggie did not hesitate to take under their wing all our children and give them their love and guidance.Maggie and Bill took William and Hannah on holidays in England and Scotland in youth hostels and Euro Disney in France. These are memories that they will cherish from having had such fun. It was a pleasure to hear the stories they came home with. A trip up to Sunderland to visit Maggie and Bill was always to be looked forward to, whether we had a special occasion or a simple weekend together it was a treat and they made it so. They would look after us with hospitality par excellence.
Bill also influenced us all and the wider world through his art; many of us have his pictures that give us pleasure every time we look at them. His ability to capture people and their lives has left a legacy that he was very proud off.
Over the years we have travelled thousands of miles round England, France and India on trips that have been meticulously planned by Bill to visit the places of historic and architectural interest much to everybody’s delight. Bill’s humour and his ability to converse with many different people in the countries that were visited and the lifelong friends that he made, in particular Georges in France, Sabu in India bear testament to this.Many of these trips were also with Irene and Sid who we met through Maggie and Bill.
Our last trip together for my 60th birthday on the boat was very special because it gave us the opportunity for us all to be together.We will always treasure these memories and be grateful that we were fortunate to have the time with Bill that we did. There are so many occasions that we have sat in café’s and bar’s having a laugh and putting the world to rights.
When Bill became ill he showed us all how strong he was by going through the treatment with the belief that he would beat it and he did.
Even though many times Bill was in a lot of pain he never complained and always looked to the future.
Bill was and will forever be a very special person in our lives and we will think about all the love and happy times that we had and the joy that he gave us. We will
always remember him and miss him deeply.
Maggie,Bryden,Sadie,and grand children Lauren and Locklann. Memories that stem from love last forever and we know Bill will be forver in our hearts.
Goodbye Bill.

Stuart, Angie and William

Photos from Redhouse Youth Wing





Photos Feb 06 Bill & Maggie

Who would have thought

Who would have thought that walking into a youth club at the age of 11 would make such an impact on someone's life.

A shrinking violet who disliked being in the spotlight was transformed by a man who affectionately became known as a "B.S.B" (A phrase Bill would often speak of in terms of resect and affection.)

But that was Bill, he had this ability to see a spark inside someone and with just his passion and belief he could make that spark grow until you felt you could achieve anything. That is how he made me and the rest of our dance group, Flexibility, feel everytime we got the dance floor.

Bill had a soft spot for Flexibility which meant we got away with allsorts!! We once roped him into coming shopping for bras to wear under our dance costumes (well Bill did hold the purse strings!!) I'll never forget how much we laughed about it later in life.

As time passed Bill and Maggie became great friends to my mam and dad as well as me and the rest of my family. My children too have shared many good times with Bill and Maggie and their family. I have a painting Bill gave me of my son Marc when he was three years old and I will treasure it always.

I'm glad I stepped into that youth club all those years ago and I'm glad me and my family had the pleasure of knowing such a wonderful man.

I'll miss your grin. I'll miss your philosophy on life. I'll miss you! Thankyou for being a part of my familiy's life.

God bless you B.S.B

Sharon Tonkinson xx

where to start!!

God where to start!! 27 years of Christmases, New Years, births, holidays and celebrations.

Redhouse Youth Wing 1980 where I first met Bill when my daughters Sharon, Donna and Lisa were members of the fantastic dance groups and I, one of the dragons, mentioned by Tracy Milans previous entry. As a dragon full of fire it was inevitable that Bill and I would battle - and boy did we battle!! -all the way to the regional and National Disco Dance championships in London in 1983 when Flexibility became the National Champions and also with turbo in 1986.

It was inevitable that Bill would work his magic and a mutual respect and friendship was formed. From this the Fab 4 was formed which Bill christened Bill, Maggie, Sid and me and what a formidable force we were, sharing fun, laughter and tears, travelling near and far to places I had never dreamed I would visit, having numerous discussions and debates along the way, some of them heated with horns locked, with Bill doing what he does best-playing Devil's Advocate!

Most of all Bill made us laugh with his gaffs and through him we met alot of interesting people throughout the world, some of them becoming close friends, as Bill enjoyed and cared about people.

All my memories of Bill are too numerous to mention and I will cherish them always. I thank him for enriching my life, to believe in myself, for the encouragement and support he gave not only to me, but also to Sid, my children, their partners and grandchildren as their messages speak for themselves.

Above all I thank him for the music, laughter, support and friendship

Irene xx



Bill was my mate, my buddy, my soulmate- pure and simple! and this is one adventure we couldn't share. You've gone on ahead to do what you do best- to seek out all the best places until we meet again. You touched my life, my heart, my mind, never to be forgotten. My heart aches for the sight and sound of you. So many cherished memories. Miss you dreadfully. Till we meet again in that bar.

On Friday we will celebrate your life but for now Irene and I will raise a glass to say..."Here's our hands and hear's our hearts-cheers mate!" Until the fab 3 become the fab 4 again, see you in our dreams

Sid (Sqiggly) Tonkinson

Hotmail is evolving - be one of the first to try out the Windows Live™ Mail Beta

Bill as Mentor

To Bill’s Family

I first met Bill when I started working for the Community Education Service in Sunderland. I was the Youth Development Worker in Central Team where Bill was the Coordinator. He was my new boss and at first I was in awe of him for that reason, later I was in awe for other reasons! He was quirky alright, but soon put me at ease. Bill was a great delegator, having trust and confidence in the abilities of his staff and setting challenges that helped them to grow, develop and learn. But at the same time if things went wrong, the buck stopped with him. He was very supportive and encouraging of new ideas. He was also a very good friend and an interesting conversationalist.

I liked him very much, and although I didn’t see him these last years, since he retired, I often thought of him fondly and will, I’m sure for many years to come.

I was very sad to hear of his passing, but even through that, have discovered his website and enjoyed his paintings!

My thoughts are with you who will miss him the most.

Pauline Tsentas

It started with a phone

It started with a phone call at 8-30 on Friday morning.Irene rang with the shocking news at the loss of Bill. Along with the tears the memories came thick and fast,of a man I first met over 24 years ago when Janine and Lisa started dancing at the Redhouse Youth Wing.Memories of going to many fund raising pie peas suppers to enable us to buy material to make costumes.Attending many many dance practices where aruments, tears and laughter were the norm.Memories of traveling with Bill to a great many competions along with Turbo and the mams whom Bill nickednamed the dragons. With Bill keeping everyones sprits up along the way.Bill was a man full of straight forward talking ,disipline,integrity and fun, all wrapped up in a person who was a unique and wonderful indivdual. Over the years I remember having many conversions with Bill, whenever he visited Irene and Sid and I happened to be there. Conversions in which I always admired his knowledge in many things. Also his wit and sense of humour, with the smile of an angle and the laugh of a devil. My last conversion with Bill was at Lisa's wedding where we talked at length of many things , such has him being happy that his hair was starting to grow. But also poking fun at himself for the weight he wanted to lose. He told me I had a talent and not to be a fool and let it go to waste. Telling me how happy Maggie and he were to be moving to Scotland so they could be closer to Sadie and her family, and how they were looking forward to spending more time with their grandson.Well Maggie I think I better finish now or I won' t know where to stop. Too many memories, but not enough too forget. [ Maggie, Sadie and Bryden ] I hope this will bring you all a little comfort./ Angles sent on the wings of dove , To bring Bill up to the heavens above, Safe in the arms of Jesus, there he will rest, His strength he will restore, So he can keep watch over the loved ones he adores.

Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with you all at this painful and sorrowful time. The world will be duller and less happy place with the passing of Bill. But what the earth has lost the heavens have gained. Love Christina,Janine and Terry.xxx.

Bill is larger than life

Dear Maggie and family,

What can I say!

Bill is larger than life – sometime showman, raconteur, humorist and infuriating clown, but always with a huge capacity for compassion, friendship and deep human warmth.

I first came across Bill when we were both appointed as Informal Education Tutors in Sunderland, he at Red House Comprehensive, me at Monkwearmouth. As countless people in Red House and colleagues he worked with in Sunderland will know Bill, brought new ways of working with people to his youth and community work. His style was unique – he could see the best in people and could recognise others’ yearnings and great ideas. He would rarely admit to a new idea, preferring others to own their own projects. The testimonies for this can be found in all those projects he supported, developed and nurtured in Sunderland.

I learned a great deal from Bill and tried as best I could to emulate his skills – but how could you copy that grin or his Scottish growl of approval!

Bill was a great teacher, with a gift to invisibly enable others to grow – almost like sprinkling magic dust. He was a great community educator in every sense and I admired him because there was something about Bill that was rare. Even when he was being rude, naughty or plain silly during late night pub conversations, there was always present his clear-sighted humanity and wisdom, alongside his deep convictions about fairness and justice.

Bill has made a difference, leaving a mark upon those who came to know him. It was an honour to work with him. Even more a privilege to know Bill.

Ian Kershaw

Depuis la france

Dear Maggie,Sadie Bryden and familly

Depuis la france
what can be said in those cruels days.I would like to find words to bring you some hope and courage.Ijust can tell you all my love.Corentin and me are sincerly with you.I remember all those happy moments spend with you, in Edinborough and in france. I will keep the memories of Bill "Uncle Bill" smilling, lauthing and enjoying life.and I thanks the opportunity who had permited me to meet him. He his still with us. It is hard to let him go .ALL our love to you.
Au revoir Bill , nous t'aimons
Laurence et Corentin

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

India - Sabu

Hello Maggie,

This is Sabu from Kerala. So sad, be strong, be confident. God be with you

x

Happy memories, great loss

Hi Sadie, Maggie & Mark,

I am so sorry to hear the sad news, I know you were all very close, which makes the loss more difficult for you.

Since your wedding 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of Bill's company on a number of occasions.
Such a lovely guy, with a great sense of humour.
Happy memories, great loss.

People we love remian with us forever, because they ;eave traces in our hearts!

Love Anthony Heron x

Good bye and God Bless

To the family of William McKinnie, I would like to send my sincere condolences on the death of William, I had an email from him earlier this year, he lived next door to me in Ardrossan, and knew his family well, we were just going through our teenage years of life in the old town, with recollections of friends and family, and our old street. Good bye and God bless the family

Hendry Steel.

Newspaper Articles from Bob Milan

Newspaper Articles from Bob Milan




So sorry for your loss

Dear Maggie, Bryden and Sadie

What sad sad news, without Bill there's a big loss in all of us

See you soon

Lots of love
Brian, Liz and Hannah
xxx

Your Sad Loss

Maggie and family,
I was shocked to hear of Bill's passing, he will be a big miss to you all.
I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you - take great care of yourselves.
Lots of love
Di Storey

Sunderland Community Matters

I would like to pay tribute to Bill for all the youth & community work he did in the Sunderland area, for the support he provided to Community Associations and for his friendliness and humour. He will be greatly missed by all whose life he touched. Sincere sympathy to all his family, with thanks for the happy memories he has left behind.
On behalf of all members of Sunderland Community Matters (former Federation of Community Associations) Pat Burn.

Red House Comp

James said...
i first met bill as a 15yr old pupil at red house comp he was a easy going brilliant teacher respected everyone who met him.as for my second encounter with bill was on employment training in 1988 it was like being back at school he put us all ease still a good teacher as ever.he a mean pool player and a i will never forget him for as long as i breathe ,he was a man after my own heart its nice to know bill led avery full and forfilling life goodbye bill.

I have got no words

My dear Bill, Maggie, Bryden and Sadie,

I have got no words to express what I am feeling. My heart is bleeding, since he passed away. He was part of my life, my advisor, my dear uncle. We are all grieving here in this small plot of France, ST NAZAIRE, where he enjoyed so much away. But his memory is in our mind, and will survive in our souls,

We love you, George, Mathilde, Guillaume, Nathalie, Magalie, Valériane, Laurence, Corentin

Bill a much loved friend and mentor

Bill a much loved friend and mentor.

Dear Maggie, Sadie, Bryden and family.

It is with deep regret and sorrow that I learn of Bills' passing away last Friday.

Without Bills intervention in my life I would not be where I am today, Bill gave me the opportunity of a new career direction by employing me at DASS and Redhouse Youth Wing, we went on to become a formidable team, setting up Downhill Community Programme, Interchange North, Urbancraft Design (Wearside Success Story, St Nazaire, France) and later he helped Sister Christine and me to set up the most creative project ever Kids Kabin www.kidskabin.org.uk and had a great influence over my other projects: www.scan.ncl.ac.uk, www.madfoundation.org, www.madventurer.com

The last time we saw each other, he said my colourful experiences always brought much joy to his life, Bill as a mentor gave me far more, all the good work with people and community projects over the past 25 years would not have happened if it had not been for Bill driving me on with his endless enthusiasm and creativity.

I have too many fond memories to mention, we had some of the greatest times together, and these memories will be treasured forever.

Asel and Bob Milan

Bill – Where to start?

Bill – Where to start? We’ve only known Bill for about 2 years. He came into our lives when we needed a friend and non-judgemental support and we got both and so much more.

Bill had a happy knack of seeing people’s potential, despite their efforts to conceal them! A trip to the Alehouse with Bill may have started out as an excuse for a bevvie but it quickly became an evening of wit, entertainment and storytelling – sorry Maggie if we kept him later than we should have but there was always so much more to discuss and so many more stories to be told – there still are and reading the memories on the website is tribute to that.

He never came into the office without a smile. He had a way of laughing at his own illness and seeing beyond others’. Some may say it was a front but it put us all at ease – no need to feel awkward – and that was a big part of Bill’s appeal.

We were delighted when Maggie & Bill bought the house opposite us. Martin, especially, was looking forward to strolling to the pub on a Friday together. One of the last things Bill said to us was that we were not neighbours (or Sadie’s employee) but friends. At the time it was an aside in a more light-hearted conversation but, like so many things he said, it will stick in our minds and hearts forever.

Maggie, we can only begin to imagine the loss you are feeling. As our new neighbour we will make you welcome and hope you will come to be happy in your new home. If there is ever anything we can do to help, no matter how big or small, we’re just across the road!

Sadie and Bryden, you had the coolest Dad ever. The memories you have of him will stay with you forever. He was so proud of you and what you have achieved in your lives, and of his beautiful grandchildren.

For ourselves, the Alehouse will feel an emptier place without him. He truly will be sorely missed.

Martin and Pauline Smith

Bill A Great Mate

What can i say. First G'Day

Bill i am so glad that i got to come and see you last year, i nearly didn't. I hope that i didn't give you too much of a shock when i turned up unannounced, with the gang from down under. The week that we spent together was full of fun, laughs and late nights as it always was when we saw you. Sadly we could not see you more often as we live on the other side of the world, but you were family and never far form our thoughts. I know you are together again with nana, grandma,poppy and John telling your stories and having a wee drop of something, and trying to get them to eat that haggis and black pudding.

Our dear Maggie, Bryden, Sadie and family our deepest sympathy to you all on the loss of your beloved Bill, we will all miss him.

Love always Wendy and James Fulton Melbourne Australia