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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary



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Obituary: James Randal McLean

Thursday 21st February 2019

JAMES RANDAL MCLEAN – 12th January 1945 – 8th February 2019

The Boys’ Brigade locally and nationally lost one of its finest and most dedicated of servants with the recent passing of Randal McLean .

As a boy Randal attended The Mount and Greenock High Schools before joining the Clydesdale Bank where he spent his entire working career, latterly as a branch manager .

He was an active member and elder at Lyle Kirk in Greenock being ordained into the eldership in 1972 .

Randal was a member of Greenock Golf Club , a keen Morton supporter and he enjoyed time at Greenock Cricket Club too .

Other than his family, Randal’s other true love was The Boys’ Brigade .

He was Captain of 1st Greenock Company from 1993 to 2006, having been a boy in the Company and then promoted through the ranks as a young adult. During his time as an officer he touched the lives of many boys. He was fiercely proud of all the boys who had passed through the ranks, and was heard to say on many occasions “he was ex 1st Greenock” when talking about boys who had gone on to achieve great things.

He loved taking the boys to summer camp, and the stories he could tell about their various escapades he could have written a best-seller, but that wasn’t his style, he was a man of discretion who could be trusted to protect the reputation of even the most undeserving.

Even after retiring as Captain, he continued to dedicate his life to the BB, taking on the role of National Competitions Coordinator and continuing to assist countless young men in the 1st Greenock to achieve their Queen’s Badge.

David Baillie , who succeeded Randal as Captain at 1st Greenock said ;

“Randal was both a stickler for tradition on the one hand and a forward thinker on the other. He could be relied upon to make helpful suggestions when he felt standards were slipping. He was a rock for all the current staff and always willing to give advice when asked.

“There are hundreds of boys who owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for encouraging them to fulfill their potential and many will credit him with playing a big part in shaping the person they are today. He was an outstanding role model for the boys of the Company and his legacy will live on through them .”

The President of Inverclyde & District Battalion Alan Aitken MBE said

“Randal McLean was a BB man through and through. He dedicated his entire life to The Boys’ Brigade, both locally and nationally, and his commitment to the organisation was unquestionable. We will miss his wise counsel and his desire to see things done properly .

“Like all great servants to the Brigade it will be some time before we all realise, whether locally here in Inverclyde or further afield, the full extent of all of the things he did for The Boys Brigade.”


Mr McLean’s extremely moving funeral services were conducted by Rev Owen Derrick at a packed Lyle Kirk. Amongst the mourners were the Brigade Secretary Bill Stevenson and Director for Scotland John Sharp .

John Sharp added:

“Randal was a big part of the Brigade family in Scotland. He dedicated so much of his life to supporting young people to learn and grow both locally in Greenock and across Scotland through his involvement in the National Competitions.

“I know he will missed by missed by so many in The Boys’ Brigade.”

And in a final mark of respect, one of the largest Guards of Honour in recent memory , with his beloved 1st Greenock Company at the head, was formed as Randal took his final journey at Greenock Crematorium on Tuesday afternoon.


Alan Aitken MBE, David Baillie and Karen Glen , Inverclyde & District Battalion



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