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Two years on from his untimely death as a result of Covid-19, family and friends honoured the memory of Robert Black at musical tribute night.
The paramedic’s death in May 2020 came as a shock to the community and the outpouring of grief was palpable.
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions at that time, Robert’s family and friends were unable come together to support each other through what were very difficult times, nor did they have a chance to celebrate his life together.
Robert was an excellent musician and played in many bands, usually on keys or bass, throughout his years in Campbeltown, including with the mighty Gullion, Slainte Davaar All Stars, Honest as Thieves, Catch 22 and Wishful Thinking.
The tribute night at Campbeltown Town Hall last Saturday was an opportunity to celebrate his life and recognise his significant contribution to the local music scene.
More than 100 friends and family gathered to enjoy a night of music and dancing.
Eric Spence, manager of South Kintyre Development Trust, which owns and operates Campbeltown’s Robert Black Memorial Helipad, welcomed and thanked everyone for coming before introducing the evening’s entertainment.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student Alex Wotherspoon, 19, kicked things off by performing a tune she composed in memory of her ‘mentor’ Robert, while a slideshow of photographs from his life in music was displayed.
More live music was provided throughout the evening by Campbeltown’s own Twisted Melons and Mid Argyll’s finest, Gubbed.
Christophe Adie, Alison Moffat Leith, Rhona Cairns and Joanne Blair prepared soup, sandwiches and stovies and provided a selection of delicious canapés for an extensive buffet.
The night ended with a raffle of prizes generously donated by local traders including Glen Scotia Distillery, Halls of Campbeltown, The Original Factory Shop, McKellar’s Confectionery, Fresh Connection, The Courier Centre, Numero Dix Hair Salon and Shindig.
All money raised on the night – still to be totalled but expected to be in the region of £3,000 – will go towards the upkeep of the helipad and other good causes, as agreed with Robert’s family.
Eric, who helped to organise the event, said: ‘It was a fantastic night, celebrating a very special person.
‘I really need to thank everyone who helped to make the night such a success.
‘The musicians, especially, who gave up their time to travel here and play for us, free of charge, is outstanding and I can’t thank them enough.
‘Thanks also to Jason McCallum at Keeping It Local CIC for printing the tickets and posters, and Bobby Cairns, Willie Durnan and the lovely Dave Calrissian for their professional set-up of the venue, lights and sound.’
Cath Black, Robert’s widow, spoke of Robert’s love of music and how he always encouraged young people starting out in music to ‘dae the bit!’.
Eric said: ‘Cath has shown tremendous strength and perseverance through what were some of the most difficult times anyone can imagine, yet she maintained her smile and good nature throughout.
‘She really has been an inspiration to us all and it was an honour to recognise that by presenting her with a bouquet of her favourite flowers.’