Tribute to former Citizen of the Year

Cathie, with husband Thomas and son Mark, receives the Citizen of the Year award from Provost Bill Taylor in 1983
Cathie, with husband Thomas and son Mark, receives the Citizen of the Year award from Provost Bill Taylor in 1983

A FORMER Cumbernauld Citizen of the Year has passed away after years of selfless community involvement in the town.

Cathie Dowds who passed away on May 16 will always be remembered as one of the stalwarts of the Cumbernauld 24 Hour Marathon Walk.

When the charity walk in aid of Action Research began in 1973 she became involved in the organisation and over the years served in many capacities and is remembered by many for always being about at all hours to assist with recording the competitors, looking after the younger walkers and bringing tea and coffee to both runners and organisers.

Like most of the local Action Research committee she spent a great part of her time on the behind-the-scenes activities, planning and organising the event, seeking sponsorship and persuading local organisations to assist.

At times, the family home in Lammermoor Drive was a hive of activity as meetings were held, plans made and the latest event analysed.

She remained as secretary of the local committee for the rest of her life, even after the walk was abandoned. In acknowledgement of her work she was, in 1983, made joint Cumbernauld Citizen of the Year.

Originally from Govan, Cathie Harvey, moved to Queens Park when she married and stayed there for six years. With her husband and son Andrew she moved to Cumbernauld in 1967 and later two children, Catherine and Mark, were born there. Like other pioneering women of the New Town she looked after the children and only started work when her youngest son was four, and she took him with her to Croy where she was a Lollipop Lady for over a year. For a number of years during this time she was one of the invigilators in Our Lady’s High School and made friends with many of the pupils, some of whom remember her distributing sweets during the exam to cheer them up.

When all the children went to school, she attended Cumbernauld College taking a business studies course but later decided to fulfil a long-held dream of becoming a nurse. After qualifying, she worked in the theatres in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, but in the 1990s injury forced her retirement after only a few years, but she loved the job and was upset at having to give it up, although the arrival of grandchildren, Daniel, Aimee and Sufia, gave her a new lease of life.

Although her health had been poor for some time, she made a point of meeting with old friends and visiting the Town Centre. Her death was sudden and unexpected. Her memorial service has taken place at Falkirk Crematorium.

She is survived by her husband Thomas, children and grandchildren.

The photograph above is from Cumbernauld News 1983: Provost Bill Taylor seen presenting the Citizen of the Year award to Catherine. Husband Thomas and son Mark are also in the picture.