Ellon folk bid farewell to their‘First Lady’

Sybil Louise Fowler passed away on July 30 2014
Sybil Louise Fowler passed away on July 30 2014

Ellon said farewell this week to one of its most respected, and loved citizens at St Mary-on-the-Rock - the church she had worshipped in since coming to the area in the early 1950s.

Sybil Fowler, 91, was fondly recalled by family and friends as a lady of strongly held views, compassion, and a keen desire to serve the community of Ellon where she was a force for change in her role as the first chairperson of Ellon Community Council.

Sybil was nothing if not forthright, effective, arguably earning her the right to be called Ellon’s First Lady when she took the chair of the local council in 1976.

A number of her fellow councillors of that era were present at the service held on Monday, including her vice-chairman Gerald Stranraer-Mull who had come back to conduct the proceedings in the church he served and worked in with great distinction.

The former rector of St Mary-on-the Rock recalled with affection her achievements, her favourite sayings, generally capturing the spirit of the formidable former nurse who successfully represented the community she chose to serve.

Her secret was to take people with her, describing those she was representing as “absolutely marvellous”.

She was also remembered at the McDonald Golf Club where she was lady captain before taking on the role of president of the strong ladies section, which owes much to the lady who firmly put their case when the occasion demanded.

Her fight to get an ambulance service in the town was probably her biggest single achievement, though she never gave up trying to get a hospital for Ellon, taking on the establishment with great passion and conviction, but always with humour.