Tributes have been paid to former editor of the Fraserburgh Herald, Alex Shand, who passed away on Wednesday, April 22, following a short illness.
He was editor of the Herald for nearly 20 years from 1988.
Born in his grandmother’s house in Thornton on October 5, 1943, Alex lived in Kirkcaldy until the age of 11 before emigrating to Canada, where he would spend the next seven years.
It was while in Canada that he trained as a journalist before he returned to Scotland.
Alex entered journalism as a 19-year-old trainee with the Fife Free Press in 1962, taking up the role of reporter when the Gazette’s first edition was published the same year.
While working at the Gazette, Alex met his future wife, Sheena, when he went to interview her. She was an employee of the Fife Institute.
Alex joined the Forfar Dispatch in 1975, where he rose to become editor.
He became editor of the Fraserburgh Herald 13 years later, in 1988 - a post he would hold for almost 20 years.
Highlights of Alex’s time at the Herald include: the story of the return of the Lady Rothes lifeboat to Fraserburgh; the front page story he and photographer Duncan Brown concocted to run on April Fools’ Day one year telling of the mysterious (and fictitious) disappearance of Tiger Hill; and the day he met the Queen as part of Fraserburgh’s 400 celebrations in 1992 and was left speechless when she addressed him in the receiving line.
Alex will be remembered as a committed journalist who was dedicated to the newspaper industry.
Alex’s son, Michael, told the Fraserburgh Herald that his Dad loved being a newspaper man.
Despite the long hours and effort he put in all through his career, Michael said he was not sure his dad ever felt liked he had really “worked” a day in his life, such was the enjoyment he found in his vocation.
Outside of journalism, Alex had a love of Scottish country dance music and old-fashioned sitcoms such as Terry and June, Up Pompei, The Good Life and Fawlty Towers.
Speaking to the Herald, Michael, said his dad loved reminiscing.
“When we walked along the beach front at Broughty Ferry he would often speak of his days in Canada; his love of ice hockey and his fear of water after falling through the ice!” he said.
Michael also told the Herald how he and his sister would tease their dad as they all walked along Fraserburgh Harbour.
Michael would shout “save your life” and Alex would shout at his two children to get back from the edge as they giggled!
Alex is survived by his son, Michael, and daughter, Sandra, and three grandchildren.
Following the death of his wife, Sheena, in November 2013, Alex moved to Broughty Ferry where he remained until his passing on April 22.