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Jean Gillon

Gaelic supporter;

Born: October 5, 1938; Died: October 28, 2012.


Jean Gillon, who has died aged 74, was a vice-president of the Association of Gaelic Choirs and had a deep love for piping, music and drama as well as Gaelic. For many years, she also served the Highlanders' Institute as a committee member and served one term as president.

Mrs Gillon was also secretary of the Glasgow Gaelic Drama Association and her skills were invaluable in organising drama festivals which required many hours of careful planning, which was always carried out with great attention to detail. Having had training in speech and drama, her knowledge of theatre and stage craft was always most welcome.

Although not a Gaelic speaker, Mrs Gillon endeared herself to audiences in Glasgow and elsewhere when she participated in the Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association's Gaelic comedy show, Oidhche Chaluinn. She would play any English-speaking part from a very posh "Kelvinside" accent to a broad Glasgow east end vernacular. Her portrayals always resulted in great hilarity.

Govan Gaelic Choir, of which she was a loyal and committed member, was another of her many interests, and her time and talents were applied to ensure the continuance of the choir.

The secret of her success was her ability to get things done and never boast about her own achievements. She was the perfect organiser, making sure any event she was involved in would always be the best it possibly could be.

Away from the spotlight, she was also a member of The Samaritan Society of the Western Infirmary. Her involvement with the society reflected her lifelong attitude to assist all who were in need.

Although her ancestry originated in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, there was nobody who could have been more involved with the Highland and island events in and beyond Glasgow.

In latter months ill health began to take its toll yet she continued as best she could. The greatest loss is to her immediate family: her husband Andy, daughter Maureen and son-in-law Gareth. There is also a wide community of Gaelic speakers, singers, pipers, musicians, drama persons and former colleagues as well as many others who live in Glasgow who now have a deep sense of loss.

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