So farewell, Roger

30th September 2005 at 01:00
Roger Stewart, Fife's late head of education, would have drawn some satisfaction from his send-off at Falkirk crematorium. Loudspeakers conveyed the service to those outside unable to squeeze in, not that the great man would have needed such mechanical assistance.

His brother Jim, an Australian-Fifer, analysed his contribution to the world, not excluding Fife. "He lived life flat out - like a lizard drinking," he revealed to the assembly.

As they grappled with that one, the gathering was told of the Stewarts'

family background in the pits and of Roger's early years as an electrician in a Kirkcaldy linoleum factory. But he didn't have a flair for it (our old Fife joke). So he went into teaching instead.

The young Stewart was apparently on the far left during his early 20s, which will be news to the left-inclined leadership of the EIS in Fife, with whom he regularly locked horns.

But, as one of his three daughters put it: "He didn't give a shit about things that didn't matter in life." We are not sure to whom she was referring.

Another of the trio summed him up thus: "My dad taught me never to be a Tory. My dad made me walk up a bloody big hill and taught me never to do it again. My dad made me regret never being born a Fifer."

As they say down Dunfermline way: "Life's too short not to be a Fifer."

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