Businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist;
Born: October 30, 1942; Died: June 30, 2012.
Donald Storrie, who has died at the age of 69, was one of Scotland's most remarkable businessmen and entrepreneurial pioneers.
The only son of William and Sadie Storrie, he was born in Motherwell and educated at the town's Knowetop Primary and Dalziel High School and later at the Scottish Police College.
He showed promise at primary school and despite qualifying to be admitted to Hamilton Academy opted to go with his friends to Dalziel High with which he maintained a link for the rest of his life.
As a boy he loved football, later rugby and going for long adventurous rambles in the Clyde Valley.
After school he joined Hamilton Burgh Police Force before moving south to take up a post with Buckingham Constabulary in 1964.
He subsequently served as a Detective Sergeant in their regional crime squad until 1969. Prior to moving to England he had the good fortune to meet and marry the woman who would be his wife and lifelong loving partner, May Samson.
He decided to move back to Scotland to take up a post with the company Dylon International where he rapidly progressed from sales representative to regional and latterly divisional sales manager, and it was here his passion for business came to the fore.
In 1974 he and May jointly acquired what would become The Donald Storrie Estate Agency Ltd, which, through their flair and hard work, developed into Scotland's largest estate agent with more than 35 branches.
In the late 1970s and 1980s estate agent groups began to thrive, particularly in Scotland where the legal profession had traditionally held sway in house purchase.
It was not long before Donald Storrie Estate Agents became the target for acquisition by large UK companies. The firm was ultimately acquired by the Nationwide estate agency, based in London, with him appointed as its new UK chief executive.
Following his time in London he returned to Scotland and promptly re-opened a series of offices under his own name and then subsequently sold them on to Clyde Properties in 1999.
It was over this period he became active within the National Association of Estate Agents, serving as its national president from 1986–1987. He was elected chairman of the College of Fellows in 1997 and of its Scottish Home Affairs Committee until 2005.
A series of company directorships followed his UK national success. He was particularly interested in promoting employment in Scotland and his beloved Lanarkshire and was a director of Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire and vice-chairman of New Lanarkshire Ltd.
This led to further work with Scottish Enterprise and he became a founding director of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, set up to promote a new culture of business enterprise in Scotland. He was elected chairman in 1996 and chief executive in 1999.
The Exchange – originally with a membership of 75 – subsequently grew under his leadership to over 200 at the end of his term of office. The Exchange membership now exceeds 400 and is generally recognised as one of the foremost organisations of its kind in the UK.
His government and business interests included being a member of the Secretary of State for Scotland's working party for multiple surveys during 1984-1985.
Following financial success the lifestyle of Mr Storrie and his wife changed, but not dramatically. A typical Sunday in the Storrie household would consist of May ironing his business shirts with him preparing a Sunday roast or perhaps getting ready to host a small gathering later on in the day. He was always a generous host, regardless of the number of friends or colleagues present.
With success came the realisation that here was an opportunity to use money, organisational skills and contacts to the benefit of those less fortunate.
He served on the David Livingstone Memorial Trust fundraising committee, was a trustee for The Neuroscience Foundation at the Southern General Hospital, assisted his wife for over 10 years in organising the annual Noel Lunch for Quarriers and was deacon of the Incorporation of Coopers of the Trades House of Glasgow from 1992-1993. He was recently appointed a director of the Merchant's House of the City of Glasgow.
His greatest single charitable achievement was when he was asked and agreed to spearhead the Marie Curie Cancer Care Capital Appeal Committee for its Big Build in Glasgow in 2004.
He ably surrounded himself with like-minded colleagues and friends and through their combined efforts raised over £16 million for the construction of the new Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow, opened last year by Prince Charles.
In 1998 he received a letter sounding him out about the possibility of becoming an aspirant for one of the branches of an ancient order of chivalry, the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.
He was persuaded to let his name go forward and was elected and rose through the ranks within the order to become bailiff and latterly Grand Prior of Europe, serving until 2011.
He greatly valued his friends, who came from every strata of society, whether they were from his childhood or his wider business, professional or charitable circles, and there was nothing he enjoyed more was having a convivial evening with those he had gone down life's path with.
He fully lived up to his old Dalziel High School motto of "Summa Petenda" (aim for the highest). He will be very sorely missed.
He is survived by his beloved wife May, his sons Grahame and Stuart, daughter-in-law Kathryn and grandsons Jack and Bruce.
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