James McKellar MBE



Born:  May 3, 1947

Died: October 3, 2017


JAMES McKellar, who has died at the age of 70, was a scouting stalwart who used every minute of his life to help others.

Many of you will remember this quiet, gentle man, who was still in post as chairman of Falkirk District Scout Council, District Scout Active Support Manager as well as being a member of the Forth Region Training Team.

Throughout his life Jim worked at group, district, Scottish Headquarters and UK levels. He supported local scouting extensively within Grangemouth District, the Forth Valley Area as well as Forth Region.

He also served as Assistant Chief Commissioner at Scottish Scout Headquarters responsible for the support and strategic direction of national scouting. In addition he wrote regular articles for the monthly Scouting magazine.

But this Sauchie-born man also worked with the Seagull Trust and in his role as a civilian with Central Scotland Police, was awarded an MBE.

Jim grew up in Alloa, moved to Kincardine at the age of 12, when his father started working at the power station, and after leaving Dunfermline High School worked at Kilbagie Paper Mill.

He moved to Maclays Brewery as a stocktaker before joining Central Scotland Police, where he spent the next 35 years until his retirement in 2007.

He started work as a senior clerical assistant, in 1972, based at Falkirk;  moved to Stirling HQ in 1978 to take up the post of assistant chief clerk; and was latterly the Business Services Manager, responsible for setting up and operating the Business Services Unit. Jim earned the MBE for his work there.

When he retired an article in the police magazine described him as Mr Central Scotland Police

Jim, who lived in Morar Place, Grangemouth, was also chairman of the Falkirk Branch of Seagull Trust Cruises and a national director of this organisation. Seagull Trust Cruises exist to provide free canal cruising in Scotland to disabled people and people with special needs.

This voluntary organisation carries around 13,000 passengers each year and fittingly, just hours before he died, Jim chaired the monthly branch meeting to organise the two-week Santa cruises in December for children with special needs.

Jim would typically do many of the small tasks essential to keep the organisation running.

But Skipper Jim’s lifelong calling really was to the Scout movement.

Jim gained many awards during his years scouting and in 2001 was presented with the highest accolade, "The Silver Wolf. The Silver Wolf is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout and is only awarded for service of a most exceptional nature. In 2015 he gained his Chief Scout's 50 years' Service Award.

He would do anything to help without thought of reward, his maxim in life was to serve and support everyone.

He was also a man of modesty, humility, humour, but most of all, he was a gentleman. His wish to get on quietly and not make a fuss made him an inspired and inspirational leader.

He lived by the principles embedded in the old Scout Law:

Trusty, Loyal and Helpful, Brotherly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Smiling and Thrifty, Clean in thought, Word and Mind.

His funeral took place on October 12 at Tulliallan and Kincardine Church, Kincardine, thereafter Falkirk Crematorium.

He is survived by his brother Terry and sister-in-law Jan.


Falkirk District Scout Group