Unexpected gift for Cumbernauld company as two groups of friends meet after Tunisia tragedy

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Two groups came together recently to remember a man who had made a huge impact on all their lives.

The shipyard workers were proud to call Jim McQuire a friend as well as a colleague.

And the 5th Cumbernauld Boys’ Brigade and Anchor Boys looked up to their Captain and valued the contribution he made to their young lives.

Both grieved in their own ways at the senseless waste of life when Jim and his wife Ann were named as victims of the Tunisian terror attack last June.

The Cumbernauld couple were two of four Scots who died in Tunisia where the death toll reached 38.

Last week, Jim’s former colleagues Tony Gilliespie and Harry Galbraith met the local lads and presented them with a cheque for £1100. Also there were the couple’s son Stuart and his wife, as well as Jim’s sisters and brother-in-law.

This sum was raised by staff and shop floor workers, both on the Clyde and Rosyth, who wanted to contributer to a cause close to Jim and Ann’s heart.

There was no shortage of donations either as Jim joined Yarrow Shipbuilders in 1969 and stayed with the company, now BAE Systems, until his retirement in 2013.

Govan-based Tony was able to shed some light on Jim’s highly accomplished working life which saw him undertake specialist roles of real distinction at the shipyards.

He said “During his time as an engineer, Jim performed the role of shop steward acting on the best interests of his colleagues.”

Through time, Jim became an engineering inspector and was involved with the more complex elements of the build, involving the likes of shaft alignment and diesel generators.

“He was often called upon to find resolutions to difficult issues.

“Jim ultimately became a lead quality control engineer where he oversaw the team on the fifth type 45 destroyer HMS Defender.

“When this was delivered to the Navy, Jim joined the quality control teams on aircraft carriers where his experience was invaluable.

“He was regarded as a good leader colleague and most importantly a good friend to many of the guys in BAE Systems.”

Boys’ Brigade officer, Lieutenant John Kinnear, had known Jim since his own boyhood and expressed his gratitude for this unexpected gift. He said: “A big thank you on behalf of 5th Cumbernauld for the very generous donation. The funds will allow us to purchase new equipment and subsidise an excursion.

“We would also like to say thanks to Tony and Harry for their kind and wonderful memories which they shared with us.

“Jim had offered his services to the BB as his way of spreading God’s word and over the next few years as an officer, he had positively influenced many hundreds of boys if not more.

“As captain, he proudly helped more than ten boys achieve the Queen’s Badge, the highest honour in the BB.

“The boys and the company have been deeply saddened by his loss.”