Hey Garry! That’s the best I could do! Well, I did think of making a video of me singing that to you but then that might have ruined the image of a Portgordon loon who can remember back to when he was a laddie and seen Marilyn Monroe’s cringe-worthy birthday song to President J F Kennedy! Plus she looked a damn sight better in a slinky dress than me but that’s another story!
Yes folks, it is a special day for our likeable club president who has reached the big 60 in years! ‘Twas on this very day in 1955 that the pitter-patter of tiny feet was heard in the Farquhar household as young Garry came into this world – well a baby did then unless his parents already knew what he was going to be called!! Little did anyone know then that Farquhar junior would grow up to be a success in the oil industry and, more importantly, president of a football club who played just along the road from his village. Most people will know of Garry’s involvement with the mighty Jags from when he came on board the board c.2003 but, in fact, his love of the Thistle was born long before that. He would watch them play at the Viccy as a boy although by that time the Jags star had waned and their glorious era was fading in to memory. His connections though were not just watching his beloved Thistle but family related as well as he had an uncle that played for the Jags in the late 1960’s. His adult life took him away from the area he was brought up in but the love of this never left him to the point of owning a home in Portgordon which he does to this very day. I guess there was still a love for the Jags as well with the hope that some day he could be involved with the club. Just when that would occur he probably could only guess at but struggles at Victoria Park not long into the current millennium would set in motion events that would eventually take him back to the club but in an official capacity, namely the aforementioned coming on board the board. He made it a goal when he achieved that that he would do everything he could to assist the club and, as he has always been, he was true to his word and gave ample backing to Thistle. He represented them in various organisations and became treasurer and then later was elected to the vice-presidency as No 2 to Mark Duncan. When Mark stepped down in 2012 there was only one man to take his place and that was Garry who was duly elected to that prominent position.
I wonder with hindsight if he realised what a big task he was taking on but it soon dawned on him. He had to rebuild the board as there was only about four remaining at the time and that was never going to be enough to move the club forward and carry on the great work carried out by the previous incumbent. However, Garry would not have taken on the task if he felt he was not ready for it and with shrewd business acumen he felt he could take the club forward. He set about his tasks with gusto and there is little doubt that he will see a task through no matter what it takes or what has to be done to get there. Few can argue he has initiated most of what he has wanted to see happen at the club and it has always been with the future good of the Jags that he has done this. After building up the board he then faced a major task in getting the club license which was his first big priority and almost single-handedly he achieved that task but the level set to get that has had to be maintained every year since and the licence has been re-approved every year since. Other things that might seem of lesser status have seen him get the club noticed such as getting the Speyside Kiltwalk started from Victoria Park last year.
However, he has not settled for making sure the club licensing remains and has striven for an improvement and thanks to his work and the tremendous work done by his fellow board members assisted by the committee and supporters the club stands on the verge of getting a higher level license. His work has not stopped there and he fully supports all the initiatives set out by many behind the scenes to increase the club’s standing and he is always quick to praise everyone who has helped Thistle attain their goals on and off of the park. All this remember when having to carry out a pressurized full-time job in Aberdeen. Despite his high profile position though Garry is a humble bloke who really does not want to step into the limelight – believe me I know from trying to get him to do recorded interviews for the website! He fully recognises the work done by others from those carrying out the major tasks of fund-raising, to the great support of the fans to the work done week in week out by the kit and handy men, ladies who bake for half-time at home games to all who help out in the function suite. We all recognise that without him taking over in 2012 that it is unlikely the club would be where they are today but he’d far rather talk about how it has been a team effort from the bottom up and that has what he has emphasised as the way forward to take the club to a new level and most folk are singing from the same hymn sheet. As all of us behind the scenes realise we are just custodians of the club taking care of it till the next generation takes over and all Garry wants is to make sure that when he moves on everything is set in place for the younger generation to take over and I am sure you will all agree that he, with some tremendous backing, is heading towards that goal.
Right gushing over now to make ‘El Presidente’ feel aul!
1955 eh? What was happening in the year the President was born?
In football there were first time champions in both Scotland and England with Aberdeen and Chelsea clinching the respective crowns. In October Aberdeen also lifted the League Cup for the first time beating St Mirren 2-1 in the final at Hampden with Graham Leggat netting the winning goal. Clyde defeated Celtic 1-0 in the replay of the Scottish Cup Final after a 1-1 draw. Newcastle United beat Manchester City 3-1 to win the FA Cup. Closer to home controversy erupted as the Highland League Championship (for 1954-55) was abandoned after the HFL failed to get an extension to the season through the SFA. In the spring Elgin City annexed the North of Scotland Cup. The Aberdeenshire Cup for the season started but was not completed until 1956 Buckie Thistle winning it. In October 1955 the Jags lifted the Highland League Cup by defeating Peterhead 1-0 at Princess Royal Park, Banff courtesy of an Alex Stewart goal.
Film Releases – The Dam Busters, Quatermass Experiment and Ladykillers
Books Published – Moonraker (Ian Fleming); The Return of the King (J R Tolkien); HMS Ulysses (Alistair MacLean) and, for the first time ever, the Guinness Book of Records
Births – Kirsty Wark; Rowan Atkinson; Willie Miller; Hazel O’ Connor; Bruce Foxton; Paul O’ Grady; Steve Ovett; Ian Botham; Billy Idol and Timmy Mallett. Born on the same day as Garry was Edinho capped 45 times for Brazil, played at the World Cup Finals of 1978, 82 and 86 – captain at the latter.