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Robin Banks

Solicitor.

An Appreciation.

Born: March 24, 1932; Died: February 2, 2014

There can be few men in Oban, and indeed in Argyll, who have been more respected than Robin Banks, whose recent death when he was on the point of making a recovery from a serious illness has shocked the community.

His was a full and busy life, during which he came into contact with so many people who were the richer for their acquaintance with him.

He was an Oban boy, an alumnus of Oban High School, who grew up to make a huge contribution to the town to which he was proud to belong, and in which he made many lasting friendships.

After school, and after his army service, he went on to complete his education at Edinburgh University, where he graduated in law, and when he had completed his apprenticeship with an eminent Edinburgh firm, he returned to the town to join the legal practice which his father had established.

He quickly made his mark in the profession, and throughout his years in practice he was held in high regard by his colleagues for his integrity as well as for his ability.

He was dean of the local faculty in its centenary year, and appointed an honorary Sheriff. One colleague, who came to the town as a stranger, remembers with gratitude the way Robin welcomed him to the local legal fraternity.

He had wider interests than the law, and took a full part in the life of the town. An easy life in retirement was not for him, and he occupied his time by serving as a member of Argyll and Bute Council for many years. He took the view he was answerable to the electors, and was not a foot soldier in any political party. It is a tribute to his worth that he was regularly returned at each election and he rose to be depute leader of the council.

He was also an active worker in support of the Gaelic language and culture, and it gave his many friends great pleasure to learn his work had been rewarded by the presentation of a gold medal from An Comunn Gaidhealach in recognition of his lifelong work in its support.

Another activity which absorbed his interest was drama and he was a founder member of the Benderloch and North Connel Dramatic Club and an organiser of the local drama festival.

He was also for many years secretary of the committee of the Lorn Agricultural Show and served as local secretary of the charity now known as Children First.

But above all, he was a devoted supporter of Rangers Football Club whose home games he rarely missed. His cars were always blue: so too were the walls of his office. One was left in no doubt about where his loyalties lay.

A proud Scot, his daily garb was the kilt, except only on the day of the Oban Games when his trousers made their annual appearance. He did not want to be mistaken on that day for an English laird.

In all of this, though perhaps not at Ibrox, he was ably and loyally supported by his wife Ishbel, to whom the heartfelt sympathy of the whole community is extended.

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