It is with profound sadness that I let you know of the passing of Founder member and past president of the Halifax Burns Club, Andrew Fowler Forsyth on June 18th.
Andy was a proud Scot, born in Glasgow. He worked around the world as a Project Manager in the offshore oil and gas industry. Our paths crossed here in Halifax in 1997. We became fast friends and worked together to bring the Halifax Burns Cub to fruition. Although in essence a quiet and humble man he loved company and his philosophy of life is embodied in these lines by Robert Burns.
Here’s a bottle and an honest friend !
What wad ye wish for mair, man ?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man ?
Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes now aye when sought, man.
He was a man of eclectic tastes and passions. His wife Loretta was the love of his life and he had great love and affection for his brother Willie and son Gary and all of his adopted family in Newfoundland. He was a life long supporter and aficionado of Glasgow Rangers football club, a student of Scottish history and a stalwart of this great club. His enthusiasm knew no bounds and he loved the spectacle and cameradie of Burns Night in which he often presented traditional toasts and sang with the choir. He loved music and singing and dancing; Loretta and Andy jiving to Rock and Roll favourites was a joy to behold at many Jean Armor nights and dances in Hearts Delight. He had a lovely melodious singing voice and was a founder member of the Clubs singing group which he aptly named “The Awfiest Choir“ which has stood the test of time.Together we sang as a duet at many Club meetings and other social gatherings the song “Caledonia“
Oh let me tell you that I love you
And I think about you all the time
Caledonia your calling me
Now I’m going home.
and now sadly these poignant lines have come to pass. We have lost a loyal and much loved friend and this great club has lost an ardent Burnsian with a truly kind and generous heart. The epitaph written by Robert Burns for his friend William Muir could well have been written for Andy Forsyth.
An honest man lies here at rest
As e’re God with his image blest !
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none he made the best of this.
I will remember inumerable occasions where we sat together solving the worlds problems over a dram, or two, and I know I will never again sing Auld Lang Syne or Caledonia without thinking with great fondness tinged with sadness of a cherished friend.
RIP: Andrew Forsyth.
Bill Forster,Founder Member and Past President,Halifax Burns Club.
Andy Forsyth's obituary is here.