Arthur Victor Brown Bouglas was born on June 3, 1941, the first son of Arthur (at that time a soldier in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – REME – about to be stationed in India) and Barbara (a hosiery mender).
He was followed several years later by Allan and then Janet. Sadly their older sister Margaret died aged two.
“Boug” or “Whisper” as he was known to his friends, died peacefully in St Margaret’s Home in Hawick on June 1, 2011, following a bout of pneumonia, after an earlier stroke brought him back to the town from the Spanish resort of Torreviecha.
A pupil of Trinity School, Arthur got into trouble every day for talking, but he put that skill to use in later life as an excellent after dinner speaker at many of the town’s functions. He loved the songs and poems of Robert Burns and was able to recite the whole of Tam O’Shanter off by heart. He became a poet in his own right and “The Drums and Fifes” is recited by him on Youtube. He may not have been formally educated but he was well read and took a keen interest in current affairs.
At the age of 13 Arthur was run over by a SMT bus and spent 53 weeks in Peel Hospital. The doctors said he would not be able to lead an active life but he was determined to prove them wrong. He did all the normal teenage things and then went on to marry and have a family. He met Barbara at a dance in Jedburgh. They married in Lilliesleaf in 1963, and were together for 47 years raising two girls, Lynn and Clare.
His favourite time of the year was the Common-Riding and he entertained with his wonderful singing at the Hut, the Colour-Bussing, the Overseas Night and various other functions. And despite his disability Arthur liked nothing better than to follow the Cornet on a horse.
He even had Teribus as the ringtone on his mobile phone courtesy of the eldest of his five grandaughters.
During his working life as a hosiery frameworker Arthur spent many hours in the union office speaking up for the rights of his colleagues. He was a man who believed in justice. He enjoyed the company of friends wherever he went and was involved in several clubs including the Ex-Service. In his time he was an Elder of Wilton Church and a devoted member of the Masons, becoming Master of Lodge 111.
In 1989 he left Hawick and moved to Musselburgh to run a successful guest house. His dream however was of a life in the sun where the daily heat would ease his constant pain.
In 2002 he turned that dream into a reality and retired to Spain with his wife and sister-in-law. Unfortunately that dream was cut short when he suffered a major stroke at the age of 63.
He returned to his native town and spent the last six years in St Margaret’s. He continued to attend Masonic functions, the Chest, Heart and Stroke Club, to read, sing, write poetry and recite as much as he could right to the end.
I conclude this appreciation with a best description of Arthur Bouglas, my father. He was clever, confident, talented, resilient, determined, stubborn, outspoken and had a passion for life. He was a wee man with a big heart and a big personality. He really was an inspiration.
Arthur is survived by his wife Barbara, two daughters and five grandchildren.