In a populous parish likeSt Bridget’s, funerals are sadly of frequent occurrence – 42 for instance, inthe course of the year 2011. We thought it would be of interest to parishionersto record on the website one or two who have passed to their reward in recentmonths and who had a long connectionwith the parish community and its work.
JOHN QUINN who died last June at the age of seventy-four,was a very familiar figure in the church in his years of retirement, when hewas principal pass-keeper at St Bridget’s. Born and brought up in the parish, he had a distinguished career in Scottish journalism, serving on more than one national newspaper after his first years with the Catholic Observer. He spent over thirty years with the Evening Times, and as news-editor there he coined the title ‘Bible John’ for a notorious Scottish serial killer. Interested in boxing especially since his youth, as sports-editor he made friends with many world-famous figures in this and other sports. His wide range of friendships with sporting personalities made possible the very successful Sporting Evenings he organised in the parish. No-one will ever know all the good he did by quiet help and encouragement to people in the parish and in professional circles. May he rest in peace.
MARGARET COOGANS before her death in December at the age of ninety-two was a link not only with the pre-war parish of St Bridget’s but with the long tradition of the native Scottish Catholicism of the North-east. Her father and the family moved from their native Buckie in the twenties so that he could take over as head-teacher at St Bridget’s Primary & Advanced Division School. The family grew up in Baillieston, but kept close links with relations in the North-east, and Margaret’s younger brother, the late Canon Charles McGregor, gave long service in the diocese of Aberdeen. She had a long career as a Domestic Science teacher and later in guidance posts. In the parish she will be remembered in her years of retirement as a leading light in RCIA and faith-sharing groups, and a great example to her own family, her five grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. May she rest in peace.
HELEN McGREGOR was a younger sister of Margaret Coogans and survived her by only a few weeks. Born in Baillieston and twin to the late Canon Charles McGregor of Aberdeen Diocese,her professional life had been that of a District Nurse working in different areas of the East End; it is significant that when promoted to a supervisory role she soon elected to return to active work in the community. So weel-kent a figure was she in the parish that despite her age of 85 her passing came as a considerable shock to many. In her years of retirement she had been prominent in SVDP work, the Third World group, as a liturgical reader and in other roles as well: her untiring work in organizing the duties of readers was particularly helpful to the liturgical life of the parish. May she rest in peace.
MARY MARGARET (MAMIE) MARTIN who died in December last year at the age of ninety-six, was one of the last of a generation of excellent and very devout wives and mothers who lived their lives and brought up their families in the hard times of the thirties and forties of last century. A bright Shettleston girl who was Dux girl of St Paul’s Primary, secondary education at Charlotte Street was closed to her by family circumstances, where she helped her widowed mother to bring up younger sisters. She worked in a local laundry until her marriage in 1939 to Michael (‘Paddy’) Martin, who was in the army until 1946 and afterwards worked in the local Post Office. Most of her six children were born after a move to Baillieston, where the family home was first in Scott Street and later in a new house in South Scott Street; there they were part of a little community of families who helped and supported one another as their children grew up and took their place in the world. Sadly Paddy’s health declined over some years and Mamie was left a widow in 1967. She supported her family by work in major Glasgow stores like Muirhead’s and Arnott’s and in the final decades of her life loved the company of her great number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Retirement meant many coach trips and holidays with family and friends, an addiction to Bingo, and a final move to Swinton Crescent; there she celebrated ninetieth birthday Mass with the extended family, and once received a Christmas card ‘to the wee woman who waves at her window’!
May she rest in peace.