It is with great sadness that the Federation announces the death of Alistair Sim.
When I joined the Federation in 1999, I had missed Alistair’s year as President of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation by one year so I only got to know him better as a committee member.
But it wasn’t long before I discovered that Ali, as we all knew him, had a strong desire to lead the Federation in Education and Training.
He was elected Education Convenor in quick time so that the Federation could utilise his extensive knowledge in the high end of our craft. Ali was delighted to accept the position and brought to it his usual great knowledge and good nature.
During his early years in this role, Ali spent endless hours travelling between home in his beloved Inverurie and the Federation headquarters in Edinburgh and then Stirling, so much so, that he was caught speeding at least twice!
Ali was also one of the Federation’s representatives deciding the National Occupational Standards for our industry, which often meant early starts and late nights travelling up and down to London, demonstrating just how much the education of our apprentices meant to him.
Ali wanted the craft taught in the young years in school or at college and was instrumental in what has now become the Construction Skills For Work Programme for school kids.
The Programme gives students the chance to take time out from school and attend a local college for early construction taster training.
Together with the late George Nicolson, Ali made sure that our craft had a range of qualifications to compete with academia and they designed the Higher National Certificate in Painting Supervision.
Lately Ali suffered from ill health and was unable to travel as much as he would like. He also missed terribly his long-time friend George Nicolson, both driving forces in today’s modern Federation.
My own recollections of Alistair are that he was extremely talented, especially in the top end of the craft.
He was incredibly proud of our industry and its Federation. A strong supporter of craft education, he could stand his corner with the very best.
He was modest about his personal achievements and a true, personal friend, always available for advice and, importantly, who gave of his time to improve our industry.
We were lucky to have Ali. He was one of our industry’s most colourful individuals, and he leaves a proud legacy.
Ali’s wife Christine and brother Graeme have our sincere condolences and our heartfelt thanks for his contribution to the industry. I was proud to call Ali my friend and I will miss him greatly.
Ian H Rogers,
Scottish Decorators’ Federation