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30 May 2011 OBITUARIES

Marion: a driving force in Dumfries MARION


A LIGHT went out in the Dumfries badminton playing fraternity whenMarion McCowan passed away at the age of 89. Marion (pictured above) and

her husband David lived and breathed the sport with both being keen players while Marion coached literally hundreds of young people over many years, an interest which continued for 10 more years even after having major heart surgery at the age of 70. Marion’s enthusiasm for the

sport was legendary and she had particular pride in the fact that she played a hand in spotting talent at a young age, resulting in Graham Simpson securing Scottish National titles as well as being a Common- wealth Bronze medallist. He said: “If it hadn’t been for

Marion getting me involved at an early stage, I don’t think I would have accomplished what I have.” This sentiment was shared

by all who knew her and her dedication to helping others was always what madeMarion stand out among her peers. She provided a strong foundation for learning with her encouragement of up to 50 youngsters at a time making Dumfries YMCA buzz with activity. Marion’s commitment, giving so freely of her time, earned her anMBE in 2000 for her services to the sport. Born in Dumfries,Marion

became a Petty Officer in the Wrens during the war and afterwards, having married David, the couple lived and worked in the town while being active in their local church. Marion will always be

remembered for being very busy and highly organised and is sadly missed by her family, friends and those at BADMINTONscotland.

We’ve lost one of our best pals


DOUGLAS LOWE was best known as The Herald’s golf correspondent, but he was also a great friend of BADMINTONscotland. Over the past few years he had become a well kent

face at the Bank of Scotland Scottish International Championships and the Yonex Scottish National Championships. He covered both with his special blend of professionalism and enthusiasm. So there was great sadness within the

badminton community at the start of this year when Dougie was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was extremely aggressive and he passed away surrounded by his family onMarch 6. He will be sadly missed by so many. A sport sub editor at The

Herald for many years - he joined the paper in 1977 - it was when he took on the golf correspon- dent’s post in 2003 that he added badminton to his wide sporting portfolio. He was looking for something to do during golf’s

Part of Dougie’s charm was that while he enjoyed

and was totally relaxed when rubbing shoulders with the good and the great in sporting terms, he was also just as happy giving space to those starting out in their careers or talented individuals from sports that tend to struggle to get media attention. Many will remember the days when The

Herald had a Saturday supplement , The Commentator. It covered all the so-called minority sports and Dougie was the editor. He was also in charge of the paper’s much praised Club Golf Section. While Dougie’s illness and passing was

unbelievably quick, his last few weeks were made easier by the presence and love of his adoring family. He was extremely proud of his three children, Jayne, Stewart and Kathryn and they adored him. He was also one of three, a


winter shutdown and badminton fitted the bill.Over the years, he became an avid supporter. Originally from Arbroath - he was a great Dundee

fan - Dougie played shinty during his time studying for a degree in geography at St Andrews University and he was also a keen bowler. Bridge was another passion. Golf became his first sporting love and he covered

all the major events. He had even managed a round at the famous Augusta course that stages TheMasters. He was a member of Helensburgh Golf Club - he

moved to the west coast town with his family when he was a boy - and he became a single handicap player.

son in between two sisters, Eleanor and Alison. Eleanor now

lives in Australia and she arrived back in Helensburgh the day before he died. As a reflection of Dougie’s popularity, his funeral at

Helensburgh’sWest Kirk was packed. Latecomers had to sit on the window sills. In life, he hated being the centre of attention, but there couldn’t have been a more fitting farewell. On a personal note, I was a great friend of

Dougie’s.We went walking in the Dunkeld area - Birnam Hill was a favourite - and we always enjoyed tea and a natter afterwards at the Perthshire Visitor Centre at Bankfoot. For me, visits to that part of the world will never

be the same again. For BADMINTONscotland, Dougie’s passing is a very sad loss. The sport has lost one of its best pals.

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