Every organisation need there own ‘action man or woman’ and for nearly two decades Brian Henderson was ours. Trustee David Hudson shares his memories of former trustee Brian Henderson who passed away this November.
I first met Brian in the 1980s when I was an Insurance Broker and Brian was Head of Business Development at Norwich Union, based in Edinburgh. Whilst he was extremely good at his job, he was also delightful company to be with and very popular with both his customers and his staff. Brian was never boastful and it was only through others that I learnt what a fine sportsman he had been, the pinnacle of which was the 12 caps he earned as a centre playing for Scotland Rugby between 1963 and 1966. He was also in demand as an after-dinner speaker and I had the pleasure of listening to him at several Insurance Institute dinners.
In 1994 Brian retired from Norwich Union and our paths did not cross for several years but you can imagine my delight, in 2007, as a new Water of Leith volunteer to discover Brian was a very active Trustee. I recall that at that time Brian was one of only two people authorised to use a chain saw which he wielded very efficiently but with great care and he was regularly called upon to saw up large trees in and around the Water of Leith so that they could be taken out of the river or allowed to continue on their way downstream. When fellow Trustee and friend Graham Priestley passed, Brian set about creating ‘Grahams’s Garden’ in Balerno, a lasting memorial and wonderful addition to the walkway. His gifts as a speaker were once again called upon to ‘record ’tracks for our audio trail, his passion for the river and its history preserved forever.
It was Brian, in 2012, who suggested that I might like to consider becoming a Trustee, and with his encouragement, I sat in on a few Trustees’ meetings before being formally adopted later in the year. As a Trustee, Brian always had a well-considered contribution to make and he was always listened to with great respect.
He was a supporter of a number of charities and one of his great achievements was to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats at the age of 57, a feat which he carried out in only 38 days, whilst carrying a 20Kg pack on his back!
Sadly, he will be missed by all who knew him.
Here is a link to his obituary in the Scotsman – Click on me