Gordon Burgess October Community Champion.

Gordon Burgess will be familiar to many in Renfrew.  He has been a popular local community figure for some years now and is currently the Vice-Chair of Renfrew Community Council and Treasurer of Renfrew Development Trust Steering Group.  This man of many hats, a native of Hyndland in Glasgow came to live in Renfrew some decades ago via stints in nearby Paisley and further afield, South Africa.


Sitting back sipping his coca cola in the Glynhill Hotel Gordon agrees that his background has been pretty diverse.  A random discussion in the exotically named ‘Safari Lounge’ in Byres Road in the late 1950s soon led to Gordon and a friend finding themselves in the middle of Johannesburg after a 27 hour flight (in those days flights to South Africa were barred from most African air space so had to fly the long way round the continent).

Three weeks and two jobs later, one lasting only 3 days, Gordon found himself far from home with little money. He managed to survive for several weeks by frying flour in a pan before securing a job at Legal and General.  Even then he continued his unwanted diet not realising the work canteen provided free salads!

It was quite a life experience for the young Mr Burgess; however, news from home eventually brought him back to the United Kingdom.  His parents were unwell and his South African employer refused to give him leave or keep his job open.  So home he came to work in Rolls Royce where he met his wife of 44 years.  They now have two sons and four grandchildren.

After a successful career in purchasing for such well known organisations as Aulds Bakers Gordon retired around four years ago.  He was determined not to get bored and to keep active and interested.

Gordon had already led an impressive community oriented campaign as Chair of Deanpark Residents Association some 12 years ago when they opposed Time Warner developing a large retail facility in nearby greenery.  Quite an achievement!  From there Gordon found himself being lured down to see what the local community council got up to.  By this time Deanpark Resident’s Association was winding down so off to the Town Hall he went and before he knew it he was on the council itself.  As current Vice-Chair and Minute Secretary council business keeps Gordon busy.

He is particularly proud of a recent successful campaign to have James Murdoch, a casualty of the Falkland’s Conflict, added to the Renfrew War Memorial. The only soldiers commemorated before then were those who died in declared wars, Britain and Argentina having never formally declared war on each other.  Gordon is proud that other areas are reconsidering their positions with regards to this policy.  Lance Corporal Murdoch’s name is now in its rightful place on the memorial.

Not one to rest on his laurels Gordon also is President of North Renfrew Church’s Men’s Club, organising social events for its members and Treasurer of Renfrew Development Trust Steering Group, set up in early 2013 with the aim to consult the community on the needs and wants of the people of Renfrew and establishing a Development Trust to take this forward.

Hardly having any time to enjoy his favourite sport, a good game of cricket, Gordon’s involvement in various groups has led to a great community record for someone who clearly cares dearly about future of the the town he has made his home.  Gordon Burgess has well earned his place as October 2013’s Community Champion!

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