It was with a deep sense of shock and sadness that many of us heard of the sudden passing of Duncan Leel Jnr, aged only 40 years.
Duncan was a long-time member of the 1st Fraserburgh Company after briefly starting his BB journey in the 1st New Pitsligo Anchors. In 1992/93, when the 1st Fraserburgh Company Band was reformed, Duncan was quick to sign up. Learning the snare drum under Alastair Sinclair, he would go on to become senior drummer to the band. In 2002 he was appointed Bandmaster of the Company Band and served in that post for the next 20 years. Under his tenure the band had a number of successes at the BB Scottish Band Contests.
Followers from further afield will remember Duncan from the many Scottish Band competitions he attended as a boy, officer and bandmaster. In many respects many of his old boys will remember him most fondly for the same thing, from the days when the pilgrimage to the contest was an annual event. His band was also the Band for the Buchan Battalion, being called upon to cover our parades.
Between 2016-20, Duncan served as Officer-in-Charge of the 1st Fraserburgh Junior Section. It was something of a return, being a long-standing senior officer of the section for the decade between 2000-10. A popular officer in Juniors, he won the Officer of the Year award on a number of occasions. In total, Duncan gave upwards of 20 years service to the Boys’ Brigade as a staff member and Lieutenant in his company.
Away from BB he is perhaps best known for managing and then owned the Dick’s Sports business. Many an officer will know of his kindness in business, as there was always a wee BB discount of some description added to the final bill. This was a kindness and helpfulness he had in all spheres of life and something that will be missed by his many friends. Very recently Duncan had embarked on a new career as a bus driver, something he loved and was proud of, which makes his untimely passing all the more cruel.
The only son of Jessie and Duncan Snr, lately Battalion President, the thoughts of all in Buchan are with them both at this incredibly sad and difficult time. Their family within this Brigade will be there to support them, always.