Director of education;
Born: February 18, 1926; Died: September 9, 2012.
James Kenneth Purves, who has died aged 86, was a former inspector of schools for Northern Ireland, then director of education for Banffshire and Dumfries and later Galloway.
He was born at Winton Station House, Tranent, near Edinburgh. His father was a station master from Portobello and his mother was from Musselburgh. He was the middle child of three boys; David was five years older and George nine years younger.
At the age of 11 he was dux at Blackridge Primary in West Lothian before ging on to Airdrie Academy and Hyndland Senior Secondary in Glasgow. After leaving school he worked as a clerk at Glasgow Corporation electricity department until 1944. From then until 1947 he was in the Royal Navy but never went to sea.
Between 1947 and 1951 he studied at Glasgow University and gained an MA with honours in history. In his own words: "Life took off after that, history was not just a qualification it became a way of life."
Mr Purves met his wife, Catherine McDonell (from Drumsallie, near Fort William), at Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow, where they were both training as teachers. They married in December, 1952, and had three children, Steven, Kenna and Kirsty.
His teaching career took him to Perth, Fife, Keith and Elgin before he was appointed inspector of schools for Northern Ireland in 1964. He then returned to Banffshire where he was appointed depute director of education in 1966, then director in 1969. He was appointed director of education for Dumfries and Galloway in 1975 and held the post until his retirement in 1986.
He loved football, Hibs being his main team, although he followed Gretna from the Unibond League until their demise. He was also secretary at Lochmaben Golf Club.
He joined the board of the Dumfries Co-operative Society in 1985 and remained on the board as Dumfries Society merged with the Central Borders Society to form Border Regional Co-op, which in turn merged with East Lothian Society to create the Lothian & Borders Society. It was of this enlarged society he became vice-president in May 1997.
It was a position he held until autumn 2000, when he was elected president of what had now become the highly successful Lothian Borders & Angus Co-operative Society. This was a role in which he was actively involved in the affairs of both the society and wider co-operative movement until his retirement in the spring of 2004.
His wife died in July 2003, after that his health deteriorated and he had numerous operations.
He stayed with his family until he got himself a small house in Lockerbie. He enjoyed attending Lockerbie Music Society but latterly his health did not allow it.
He spent his last months in Lochmaben Hospital, where he was very well cared for and he was very fond of the staff.
He is survived by his son Steven, daughters Kenna and Kirsty, as well as eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
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