The President, Executive and all in the Buchan Battalion were saddened to learn of the passing of Tommy Whyte, one of our long-standing Honorary Vice-Presidents, at the age of 89 years.
Tommy was a popular and hard-working officer of the Battalion who always strived for the Battalion’s betterment and for what was best for the Boy. Tommy enrolled as an Officer of the 5th Fraserburgh Boys’ Brigade (Congregational Church) in 1977, immediately taking on the role of Officer-in-Charge of the Junior Section. Joining under Captain Alex Bruce, Tommy looked after the Junior Section whilst the new Company Section was in its infancy and his success ensured the steady flow of boys to the older section. He remained as Officer-in-Charge until he stepped down in 1991, ever keen for the younger generation to take the BB forward.
At Battalion level Tommy quickly made his mark in the Junior Section Committee at first working alongside Sid Newlands until the latter’s sudden death. Tommy then became the Chair of the Junior Section Committee in 1984, his dedication seeing the Committee and its competitions and trips flourish. Tommy is still fondly remembered by some of our more senior officers for the work he undertook in organising the Officer’s Dinner Dances, which were always a highlight of the BB year in Buchan. They were also extremely profitable, his work helping to keep the Battalion in the black for many years.
The high esteem in which Tommy was held was proven in 1988 when he was elected to the post of Vice-President of the Buchan Battalion, a role he undertook whilst still attending to his roles in the Junior Section Committee. He served a full five-year term as Vice-President but made clear he had no interest in taking on the Presidency.
The Battalion were not, however, prepared to let an asset like Tommy Whyte disappear. Soon after the end of his term as Vice-President, Tommy was elevated to the role of an Honorary Vice-President. For thirty years Tommy held this distinction, being reappointed by each consecutive Battalion Council to this honorary post. Many Presidents were lucky to receive his wise counsel as he rarely missed a meeting. This was until about 10 years ago when frail health began to take its toll; at this point the Battalion Council continued to reappoint Tommy to the Executive as reward for his great and loyal service to our Battalion.
The President sends the Battalion’s condolences to Tommy’s family at this sad and difficult time and we pray that they will find some comfort that Tommy’s life was a life well lived.