JOHN BUTTERLY, who died on March 3, 2001, was the archetypal ''wee man in a bunnet'' from the East End of Glasgow.

He left school at 14, having attended as infrequently as possible, and engaged in a series of occupations ranging from selling briquettes off a barrow, through working, for 15 minutes, as a ''tripe boy'' at the abattoir (he was sent out to buy rolls for his workmates and never returned), being a casual labourer in the docks, ending up in the despatch department of the Daily Record.

That might have been the extent of John's contribution to society had Glasgow City Council not decided, in 1975, to demolish the run-down tenement area in which John lived. John was asked to lead the fight by local residents to save their community from the bulldozers. He saved the 1100 tenement

flats in South Dennistoun from demolition and was instrumental

in establishing Reidvale Housing Association, of which he was chairman for 20 years. From 1975 he campaigned for better standards in housing and for the right of ordinary people. Long before it became fashionable, John Butterly understood what ''stable, balanced communities'' were. A community cannot flourish if it is turned into a dumping ground for the sick, the weak, and the unstable. He expounded his philosophy for 25 years - we will look after those in our community who need help but we cannot be expected to solve everyone else's problems. John said what everyone in the housing association movement knew to be true but did not have the courage to say.

John's was a radical voice in other ways, too. He championed high-quality modern architecture when that, too, was unfashionable. Having travelled to Europe to see what other countries were doing in the housing field he demanded similar quality in Reidvale and, later, with Molendinar Park Housing Association, of which he was a founder member.

His passion, honesty, and commitment to improving the quality of housing in Glasgow won respect beyond the boundaries of Reidvale. He knew several secretaries of state for Scotland, was consulted by the Grieve inquiry into housing in Glasgow and the Duke of Edinburgh's inquiry into housing, was a member of the Council of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, and in the 1983 New Year's Honours List was awarded the MBE for

service to the community.

With his passing, the community-based housing associations have lost a powerful figure. Reidvale has lost an inspirational figurehead. And Glasgow has lost a very big ''wee man in a bunnet''.

John Ralston Butterly;

born February 4, 1928,

died March 3, 2001.