Kintyre Red Cross fatally wounded

Kintyre Red Cross committee members past and present from back left: Alison Eyeon, Mary Macalister Hall, Elizabeth Irwin, Marion Warnock, Ilene Shaw, Helen Steel, Jessie MacDougall, Jane Mayo, Jenny Graham, Diane Roberts, Carol Abernethy and Margo Turner. Middle row: Inez Ronald, Ismay Duncan, Mary Cameron, Margaret Mckendrick, Kathleen Martin, Anne Cousin, Margaret Nimmo and Ruth Maxwell Macdonald. Front row: Christine Ropper, Mary Sinclair, Jean Armour, Ailsa Stewart, Isobel Campbell, Margaret Taylor and Irene Millar. 25_c16redcross01

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IN 1912 eminent cancer specialist Sir George Beatson, who hailed from Campbeltown, spoke at the inaugural meeting of Kintyre’s Red Cross committee. Last Friday members held the branch’s final event.

Members, including Ailsa Stewart, 103, who joined the Red Cross in 1936, remained upbeat during an afternoon tea at the charity’s hall, in Kirk Street, which is due to be sold by the international humanitarian organisation’s Scottish branch.

It is one of more than 60 halls that, earlier this year, the charity announced it will sell as it concentrates on other ways of raising money. Hall Street’s Red Cross shop will remain in operation as it is managed from Glasgow.

Members, many of whom have volunteered for decades, helped at local disasters such as the RAF Chinook helicopter crash on Mull of Kintyre in 1994, and the great snow of April 2013, in addition to holding disaster relief events for people around the globe.

Centre organiser Anne Cousin, originally from Southend, joined the charity in 1964  while a student in Edinburgh. Mrs Cousin said: ‘We, as a group, are saddened at the closure of the Red Cross hall.

‘The hall was an integral part of our fundraising activities, as well as being a base for medical loan and our emergency response team.

‘It was also used by many other organisations and served as a community hall.

‘These are challenging times in the UK and internationally, and the needs of people in crisis will remain.

‘The Red Cross movement will continue to need our support.’

During the afternoon, tributes were paid to Anne for her work as centre organiser for 32 years.

Kathleen Martin and Isobel Campbell both made reference to the time and devotion she gave to the Red Cross and the efficient way she led the team of volunteers.

Members’ activities through the years included fundraising, teaching first aid, medical loan, transport, a friendship club, a hospital refreshments trolley, hand care and a book lending library.

A Scottish Red Cross spokesperson said: ‘It is not appropriate for us to publish details of property closures planned for this year.

‘We acknowledge that changes to properties can be unsettling, so we communicate with our staff, volunteers and members of the public affected in a sensitive and timely way.’