Top cop marks milestone

Alistair Smith is pictured with family at his 90th birthday celebration.
Alistair Smith is pictured with family at his 90th birthday celebration.

One of Scotland’s former top police officers celebrated his 90th birthday recently friends, family and messages from loved ones around the world.

Alistair Smith was literally born in the force in a Police Station in New Elgin where his father, Sergeant James Smith, worked and the family lived.

His own career began in 1948, shortly after returning from National Service in Egypt and Palestine. Promotions led him into the CID; the Identification Bureau; Director of Criminal Studies at Tulliallan, the Scottish Police College and latterly as the college’s Deputy Commandant.

He received the Queen’s Police Medal for services to forensic science and to police training. After retiring, a post as a ‘visiting professor’ came from South Carolina University and Alistair returned home to Auchnagatt when each term ended in May.

At the age of 72, Alistair became the Bishop of the Mintlaw Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had held many senior positions since becoming a member in 1955 with his wife Edna

He said: “Overseeing the building of a chapel meetinghouse on Newlands Road in Mintlaw, was very important to me and to our congregation who had been meeting in schools and halls for forty years. It’s a beautiful building.”

Alistair and Edna, married 66 years, have five children, 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They were joined at the celebration by daughters Diane and Sally who had flown in from Canada and the United States.