Norman Fyfe

Born: January 20, 1955;

Died: January 30, 2024

Norman Alexander Fyfe, who has died aged 69, was a highly respected lawyer and a delightfully colourful character who devoted much of his life to helping others.

Norman, or Norrie, grew up in Kilmacolm with his brother George in the 1960s, his parents, Sandy and Mary, allowing him the freedom not many children enjoy today. With his friends Mike Abram, Mike Burnside and Robin White, Norman took full advantage of that freedom, not always respecting the sanctity of Kilmacolm Golf Club.

After attending Glasgow Academy, Norman graduated from St Andrews with an MA Honours degree, and was given the opportunity to pursue a law degree at Edinburgh University. Following his graduation and a traineeship at Simpson & Marwick he headed back to Glasgow where, following the family tradition, he joined Miller Becket and Jackson (MBJ) where he spent the whole of his successful career becoming a partner in 1983.

Norrie was a lawyer’s lawyer, greatly respected within the profession. But first and foremost he was a client’s man: attentive, thoughtful, creative, direct when required, with good judgement and an enormous amount of common sense.

Ably assisted by his devoted PA Jill Kerr for the past 22 years, Norman earned the respect and loyalty of colleagues and clients alike at MBJ, which he led for many years alongside Charles Jackson, his partner for more than 40 years. First and foremost, Norman was a private client lawyer enjoying connections with a multitude of families and generations who automatically looked to him for support. He put everyone he dealt with, regardless of age, at their ease – a great gift.

But there was so much more that made Norman an exceptional human being. He was colourful in character and even more so in his dress sense. He had enormous style, favouring shorts at every opportunity, mixing colours adventurously, with a penchant for flamboyant bow ties and distinctive spectacles.

Norrie’s family had a long association with the Trades House of Glasgow. His uncle Morton was Deacon Convenor and Norrie was at least the third generation of the Fyfes to hold a Burgess Ticket. Norrie was an active and enthusiastic contributor to the life of The Trades House of Glasgow. As Preces of The Grand Antiquity Society he was part of the 2001/2 Chain Gang and part of a team that organised the inaugural Glasgow Ball in May 2002. This event raised more than £50,000 and allowed The Trades House to supply the Scottish Ambulance Service with its first Rapid Response Vehicle.

Norrie went on to be Deacon of the Incorporation of Bakers in 2005/6 and was again heavily involved in that year’s Glasgow Ball raising over £50,000 for the Beatson Cancer Centre.

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Norman’s contributions to charities were many and varied, often delivered privately and discreetly with no thought of recognition or thanks. In the course of his business he set up and helped to run a number of family charities.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Norman was a trustee for over 30 years and latterly chairman of the Cargill Trusts, established by the Scottish philanthropist and art collector David William Traill Cargill, who was an East India Merchant in Glasgow and his half-brother William Alexander Cargill of Carruth, Bridge of Weir.

Norman was particularly proud that the Cargill Trusts were able to support Homeless Project Scotland in purchasing an electric van following the introduction of Glasgow’s LEZ and to provide continued support over the years to hospices, cancer charities and organisations providing respite care and outdoor activities for children and young people in the West of Scotland.

Norman also had a strong personal commitment to ensuring quality care for older people, as demonstrated by the time and dedication he gave to chairing the management committee of David Cargill House. He was also delighted that the Cargill Trust was responsible for establishing the world’s first Chair in Geriatric Medicine, the David Cargill Chair at the University of Glasgow, which it continues to support to this day.

As the chairman of the board of governors of Kelvinside Academy from 2010 to 2016, Norman’s active and supportive leadership was welcomed by all his fellow trustees, the school leadership team, teaching staff and, most importantly to him, the pupils and their parents. He was an inspiring speaker at junior and senior school events and spearheaded a period of innovation focussed on delivering the best possible all-round education for every child.

Norrie was a well-known figure in the West End of Glasgow, regularly cycling to work regardless of the weather. In his private life he was an active member of Hyndland Church and worked tirelessly on Kingsborough Garden activities where he was chairman of the resident proprietors’ association.

But by far the most important thing in Norman’s life was his family. He was the quintessential family man, married for 31 years to his loving and much-loved wife Lucy, surrounded in later years by children and grandchildren who adored him.