Born: 11 October 11, 1949;

Died: February 9, 2022.

ALISON WETTERFORS, who has died in Falun, Sweden, aged 72, was not easily daunted. Whether catering for 500 people with a team of inexperienced volunteers, singing Scottish folk-songs in an African township during the apartheid era, or bog-hopping across Rannoch Moor, she approached life with zest, humour and a deep Christian faith.

Alison inherited her vibrant soprano voice from her mother, Virginia Hutchison, who had trained in Paris, and her love of the Highlands from her father, Archie, who was a manager at Marshall’s Macaroni in Glasgow and a keen member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club.

Born in Bearsden, Dunbartonshire, in 1949, she was the fifth, and the youngest by 12 years, of their five daughters. She attended Park School For Girls in Glasgow and then Penrhos College in North Wales. Hating being sent away to school, she rebelled, and flouted the rules by smuggling drink into the boarding house.

As she travelled back to school one term, she had a meltdown and decided she could not go on living one way at home and another at school. When she changed trains at Crewe, instead of proceeding westward, she took the next train home to Glasgow, where she told her startled, and ultimately forgiving, parents about her escapades and her unhappiness.

Then she succumbed to flu. When she returned to school a week later, it was on a new, and happier, basis.

Archie and Virginia were active with the Moral Re-Armament (MRA, later Initiatives of Change) movement, whose central tenet was “If you want to see the world a better place, start with yourself”. All five daughters continued this involvement.

It took Alison to many countries, sometimes travelling with stage productions and sometimes for longer stays. She spent a total of seven years in America, in the 1970s and 1980s. She finally settled in Sweden in 1990 after marrying fellow MRA worker, Finn Harald Wetterfors.

In the late 1960s and through the 1970s, MRA used a series of musical revues to promote its philosophy. Alison toured Europe, Asia and the Pacific for four years with one of these, Anything To Declare? and North America with another, Song of Asia, singing, dancing and writing some of the songs.

In late 1978, she toured Argyll with Columba, a musical play about the Celtic saint who brought Christianity to Scotland. In 1989, she and a friend, Sylvie Soderlund, took a concert of Songs From The North on a tour of South Africa, performing in such varied locations as the Pretoria Art Museum and the township of Guguletu in Cape Town.

Early in her singing career, Alison damaged her voice, and had to give up singing for several months. She was devastated and afraid she would never sing again. During this period she discovered a second passion: “the joy of fine cooking”.

For 25 summers between the 1970s and 1990s, she headed up teams of volunteers cooking meals for up to 500 at the Initiatives Of Change conference centre in Caux, Switzerland. The conferences drew people from all over the world, seeking to bring reconciliation in conflict areas, answer corruption and promote ethics in business, education and family life.

Everyone taking part in a conference was encouraged to volunteer in the kitchen or dining room; no previous experience was required. Alison would arrive in the kitchen to find 10 or 12 eager helpers, speaking a variety of languages. Some might never have lifted a wooden spoon before. Asked what attracted her to such a daunting task, she replied, “It’s the danger – like hang-gliding!”

The potential for culinary disaster was high: litres of whipped cream transformed into butter when left too long in the mixer; batter disappearing down the drain as someone lost control of a machine; a knife tip broken off into a vat of newly made ice cream, which then had to be sieved; huge kettles of soup boiling over.

Alison met such challenges with calm and an indomitable sense of humour. She believed strongly in the power of common tasks to bring people together and create bridges of understanding.

“Many friendships were made as people stirred the soup or fried the fish”, she wrote later. “Many memories come to mind. The conversation between a British navy commander and an Argentinian shortly after the Falklands War, as they mashed the potatoes. The animated discussion between two Russian journalists as numerous omelettes were made, and the quiet to-and-fro between a retired ambassador and an African businessman as they chopped piles of parsley at a very slow pace.”

In Sweden, after her marriage, Alison taught English as a second language. In 2016, she developed motor neurone disease. Confronted with this devastating disease, she admitted to feeling she had been very unlucky, but never expressed any bitterness. Right up to a month before she died she sent emails to her friends around the world, laboriously written with her eyes via special technology.

Alison is survived by her husband, Finn Harald, by three of her sisters, Anne, Ruth and Lesley, and by a tribe of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Her love for her family was only matched by her love for the west Highlands.