A short appreciation of Gordon Douglas’s working life and his time spent at Dounreay Fly Fishing Association is given below followed by a history of the Club written by Gordon.
Anyone who was fortunate to meet and get to know Gordon would agree that he was blessed with a wonderful but subtle sense of humour along with kindness and thoughtfulness towards his fellows.
Gordon was born in Fife on the third of February 1926 where he spent his formative years and when he started on his lifelong association with the sea and fishing. At the age of 15 he started his apprenticeship on the Clydeside as a fitter. One of Gordon’s anecdotes about this time relates to his interview for the apprenticeship position. All was going well till he was asked which school he had attended. He had been warned about the religious prejudices in the Clydeside at the time so he politely refrained from answering this question. He did, however, tell the board that his father had attended a Catholic school and his mother a Protestant one. At the end of the interview the head of the panel said to Gordon, “Thank you very much Mr Douglas we will let you know the result of the interview by post but you can tell your mother that she can start here next week.” On completion of his training he joined the Merchant Navy with the Brocklebank Line, plying mainly between the UK and the Middle East. He left the company in 1954 with a Chief Engineer’s Certificate and joined a boiler insurance company in Glasgow for six years before making the long journey north to Dounreay. From early beginnings as a charge hand fitter in the Main Boiler House in 1962, he progressed from foreman at DFR to shift operations at PFR before taking early retirement in 1989.
Gordon, of course, will be known to DFFA members for his long and untiring contribution to the welfare of the Club. He was an active member of the Club during its formation and development in the early sixties and held many posts till retiring from the committee in 2001.
During his tenure as Chairman and Secretary many improvements were made to the organization and facilities of the Club. Thanks to Gordon, permission was granted for the construction of a stem on Stemster Loch and, after tireless work by Gordon and the Committee Member volunteers, the job was completed. Those involved will remember the typical Caithness weather in which the stem was constructed.
Gordon was also instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the Club and retention of the boats after the demise of the Dounreay Sports and Social Club.
Much of the above Club information is expanded in the HISTORY below written by Gordon, although in his characteristic unassuming way, he did not mention his own contribution.
Gordon died peacefully in Caithness General Hospital, Wick on the ninth of June 2009. written by Ken Macleod