Former Secretary to the Court and Registrar of the University of Glasgow;
Born: July 19, 1920; Died: September 7, 2012.
James McCargow, who has died aged 92, was an administrator of exceptional talent who served as Secretary to the Court and Registrar of Glasgow University.
As an Assistant District Commissioner in the post-war colonial government in the Sudan, he combined the roles of diplomat, politician, judge and administrator. They were professional skills which would prove invaluable in his later career at Gilmorehill.
Born in Dennistoun, Glasgow, his father was foreman and manager of a small foundry in the city's east end until it closed in 1924. The family faced hardship as their father, by then in his 50s, struggled to find regular employment.
James, like his twin Andrew and their older brother George, was educated at John St Secondary School, Bridgeton. After gaining his Leaving Certificate he went to Glasgow University, eventually graduating with a First Class Honours degree in French and German.
Called up for war service in 1941, he was appointed to the Sudan Defence Force where he rose to the rank of major (or "bimbashi" as it was known locally).
When the conflict ended, he stayed on in the Sudan where, thanks to his gift for linguistics, he was able to pass his exams in Arabic and become an Assistant District Commissioner.
In 1946, while enjoying his first home leave in Scotland, he renewed his courtship of Ann Dunlop whom he had known during his time as a student. They married on his next home leave the following year and he took his new bride back with him to the Sudan. They spent two more years working there, first in the Southern town of Juba and then in Wad Medani, the capital of the Blue Nile province. They returned home for good in 1949 when circumstances in Sudan became difficult.
The McCargows set up home in Polworth Street, Hyndland, and in 1950 they had their first child, a daughter Jill. A second daughter, Ann, was born in 1952. Later the family was to move to Bearsden.
On his return from overseas he had briefly taken up a teaching post at Hyndland Secondary School. However, the profession was not to his liking and he applied for a temporary job at his old alma mater which was looking for someone to help organise its 500th anniversary celebrations in 1951.
His administrative abilities and gift for organisation were quickly recognised and, when the temporary job had run its course, he was invited to join the permanent staff of the university. He spent the next 34 years there, rising through the ranks to become Secretary to the Court and Registrar of the university in 1974. It was a challenging and demanding position with a remit so broad that, two years before his retiral in 1985, the roles of Secretary and Registrar were separated into two posts.
After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Edinburgh. He took a keen interest in current affairs, closely following political and economic developments until just a few months ago when ill health prevented him from doing so. He was also a passionate crossword puzzle enthusiast.
After suffering a stroke he joined his beloved wife Ann in the Marian House care home, Edinburgh, last month. He died there after suffering a second stroke.
He is survived by his wife, his two daughters and his grandchildren Helen and Ian.
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