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James Bannerman

Pharmacist

Pharmacist

Born: May 24, 1935; Died: March 28, 2014

James Bannerman, who has died aged 78, was a pharmacist and former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (PSGB). In 1988, he also became the first convenor of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

He was born on the south side of Glasgow, the eldest of four children to Sandy and Jess Bannerman, who were both originally from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, and spent most of his formative years living in Jordanhill.

He was educated at the Glasgow Academy and after leaving school in 1953, he studied pharmacy at Royal Technical College in Glasgow (now Strathclyde University), graduating in 1956. He registered with The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain after a year's post-graduate experience in his father's business Bannerman's, after which he became a partner in the family business.

His national service saw him serve in the medical corps when he ran two hospital pharmacies including RAMC hospital in Hindhead, Surrey. Upon completion of his national service, he returned home to Glasgow to marry his fiancee Marjie Walker from Bearsden. Having set up home in Bearsden their family increased with the birth of a son, Grant, in 1962. Four years later, the birth of their daughter Julie made home life complete

The 1960s saw the start of Mr Bannerman's work towards benefit of the profession of pharmacy. In 1967, he was elected to council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain after holding various offices in the West of Scotland Branch which included that of chairman. During this time he was also secretary and deacon of Claremont Congregational Church. In his early years as a member of the PSGB council, he held various chairs including General Practice, Education and Adjudicating.

In 1974, he was elected vice-president of PSGB and the following year was elected for his first year as president, which was repeated the following year. In 1976, he not only presented a Certificate of Fellowship of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain to his father ASG Bannerman but also presided over the opening of the new headquarters for PSGB by the late Queen Mother.

During his presidency of the society, he also served on the Medicines Commission, the Pharmacy Panel of Council for Academic Awards, the Executive Committee of the International Pharmaceutical Federation and was admitted a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

In 1979, his devotion to his profession was rewarded with an award of an OBE by the Queen after being designated a fellow of PSGB. He had joined the governors of Laurel Bank Girl's School in 1978 and remained until 1982, the same year that he resigned from PSGB.

From 1982 he served on the Strathclyde Regional Council representing Bearsden as a Liberal councillor. Having filled his free time with a passion for fitness and distance running, in 1984 he successfully completed the New York City Marathon. This level of exercise served him well when, two years later, he joined the protest march from Gartcosh to Downing Street to highlight the issues of a disappearing Scottish steel industry.

In 1986, he was appointed a justice of the peace and, until 1992, served as a member of the NHS Drug and Alcohol Abuse Forum for City of Glasgow. In 1988 he became first convenor of the Scottish Liberal democrats. From 1992-98 he was vice-chairman of Stobhill NHS Trust.

Since 1996, he had been a member of the Panel of Fellows (PSGB), including a period as chairman. In 2000, having retired both from his profession and his business, he devoted time to his other passion, golf. He was honoured to accept his selection as captain of Glasgow Golf Club in 2004. This was a year of distinction in the history of the club as it marked the centenary of the move to the course and clubhouse at Killermont, Bearsden.

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