Solicitor, Scout and church elder;
Born: May 11, 1925: Died: May 25, 2012.
Alistair Hamilton, who has died aged 87, was born in Motherwell and lived almost all of his life in Cambuslang.
Christened Alexander Macdonald Hamilton, but always known as Alistair, he was educated at West Coats Primary School, Hamilton Academy, where he was awarded the prize of dux in 1943, and Glasgow University. Leaving school during wartime he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and became a petty officer radio mechanic serving in Lord Mountbatten's headquarters in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). This is probably one of the reasons that in later life he remained adept at finding and solving mechanical and all types of problems.
After demobilisation he attended Glasgow University where he received a MA in 1948 and a LLB in 1951, the latter while an apprentice in the firm of Glasgow solicitors McGrigor Donald. He spent his legal career with the firm, becoming a partner in the mid-1950s and senior partner in 1977, a position he held until retirement in 1990.
Court work, arbitrations and building construction were his specialities and much of the success he achieved in these fields was the result of his thorough knowledge of the law, his skilful pleading and his meticulous preparation.
With the last, he obviously took to heart the motto of the Boy Scouts, an organisation he supported with great enthusiasm.
Many trainees (known in his earlier days as apprentices), who were under his wing down the years have much for which to be thankful, particularly those, who chose to become court practitioners or otherwise engaged in the activities of the courts. He was an outstanding teacher.
Time was found to serve his profession and also the commercial world. He was a member of the council of the Law Society of Scotland, convening a number of committees and became president of the society in 1977-78.
He was appointed CBE in 1978 for services to the legal profession. In fairly recent times he worked with great enthusiasm as convener of the bankruptcy and diligence committee, playing his part in the passing of the new Bankruptcy and Diligence Bill, by which time he was well into his eighties. In earlier days, he was a member of the courthouse committee of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow and president of the Glasgow Juridical Society.
He was appointed and served as a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland from 1978 to 1996 and was vice-chairman to Sir Michael Herries and Viscount Younger from 1990 to 1996. He was also a director of Morrison Construction.
He played his part in serving his community, being the vice-chairman of and legal adviser to Cambuslang Community Council for many years, for which he received several service awards. He was a justice of the peace and trustee of the Scottish Civic Trust.
A life-long supporter of the Scouts, he was a founder of the 150th Troop in Glasgow and its leader for many years through which he inspired countless young people. He became the district commissioner, chairman of Greater Glasgow Scouts, president of the Clyde Regional Scout Council and chairman of the Scottish committee of the Scout Association. Together with his longstanding friend, Norman Allan, he was a founder member of the Friends of Scouting Pipe Band and they played together for over 60 years.
Over time, he was the recipient of many Scouting awards including the Silver Wolf for services of the most exceptional character.
However, probably the greatest award was the number of people of all ages who, when they met him in later life, thanked him for influencing them in their scouting days.
He was a member of Cambuslang Old Parish Church where he was an elder for over 50 years and session clerk for 23 years.
Even during a time in hospital, two or three years ago, he continued to play an important part in achieving the unity of the three churches in Cambuslang to form today's Cambuslang Parish Church.
Public speaking was another of his fortes. He also greatly enjoyed his garden. Golf always produced great pleasure for him, particularly on his favourite Pollok course. He enjoyed sailing, in the early days with Norman Allan and another longstanding friend, Muir Lindsay, and subsequently with his late wife, Cathy, and members of his family.
He was a supporter of Motherwell FC and until recently seldom missed a game.
His wife, Cathy, whom he first met at the local tennis club on return from war service, and his family were he indeed his first love. He enjoyed life to the full no matter how hectic it was and was the first to admit that without Cathy many of his activities and successes would have been impossible. They celebrated their golden wedding in 2003, but after a long illness Cathy died in June 2005.
Family played a very important part in his life and great interest was shown to his five grandchildren, Andrew, Emma, Gordon, Anna and Fraser.
He is survived by his sons John and Duncan and daughter Kay.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.