It is with a great deal of sadness that the Federation learns of the sudden death of Donald McLean.
My first meeting with Donald took place in his office in Clark Street Loanhead, shortly after his application to become a Federation member. I well remember Donald telling me of some of the problems within the industry. My reply was “Well join the Federation, attend the local branch meetings and help change things.”
“I will!” was Donald’s reply.
He joined the Edinburgh and Lothian Decorators’ Association (ELDA) and became an active member.
Over the next few years Donald attended every branch meeting and was elected by his peers to serve on the Federation’s National Council to represent ELDA.
Donald quickly became a well-respected National Council member, firmly representing the views of the Branch and the interests of the wider industry. Over time he gained the respect of the National Council and in 2008 was rewarded for his work when he was elected as National President with his aim being to inspire the apprenticeship system within the painting and decorating industry in Scotland.
He strongly supported setting up our own registration scheme and was well pleased when the industry started the Scottish Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship Council (SPADAC).
During his Presidency, Donald was keen to see how other countries did painting and decorating and was instrumental in the Federation’s visits to the USA to view spray equipment and brush manufacturers, attending their annual convention and always returning from the States with new ideas.
What will we in the SDF headquarters remember about Donald? Firstly, his pride at being our President, his sense of humour, which often relaxed a tense situation and, after his year of Presidency, calling himself Mr Past It. Secondly, his sense of fair play, in both business and private life, his love of golf – he always made sure the Federation’s golfing events ran smoothly – and his love of winning the game.
We will miss his visits to the office for tea and biscuits whenever he was in Stirling and his support of our relationship with manufacturers. We will miss him sorely, but we are the better for knowing him and spending time with him.
Donald’s wife Nora and sons have our sincere condolences and our thanks for sharing him with us; he was a good friend and will be greatly missed.
Ian H Rogers