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Blanefield globetrotter brings up 100th birthday milestone with celebration closer to home

By Stuart McFarlane

It was a special celebration for one Blanefield globetrotter last week as she celebrated her 100th birthday.

Marion Black marked the big milestone on Friday at Blanefield House Care Home with family and friends, celebrating her varied life which has seen her travel to faraway spots including Australia, Canada and the Caribbean.

The celebrations continued into the next day with another gathering at the home of a family friend in Balfron. Members of Marion’s family travelled from England, Australia, Canada and America for the occasion.

A highlight of the day was a special guest appearance by Scottish singer Alasdair Gillies who sang for Marion.

She was born as one of four children in Edinburgh in 1922, with her father John Balfour Crawford later going on to become treasurer to the Bank of Scotland between 1942 and 1952.

Marion attended school in Edinburgh and would go on to meet her future husband Moreton while playing in a hockey match against his Glasgow Academy team, with the pair later getting engaged in 1942.

It began an odyssey of discovery for the pair, with Moreton heading off to war to fight in the North African campaign, while Marion worked for the WRNS as a visual signaller, deciphering Morse code at both West Hartlepool and Rosyth bases.

The pair married in 1945 following the conclusion of the war and had their first child, Rosemary, together a year later.

Moreton’s career as a modern languages teacher soon took them on their next adventure, emigrating to Australia for three years, but moving back to Scotland following the birth of third child, daughter Tiki.

The couple also had two sons, Graham and Dougie.

Marion supported her husband’s work as the head of the modern languages department back at Glasgow Academy, including helping out taking groups of pupils from Glasgow Academy for trips into Europe every Easter and summer holidays. Following the pair’s retirement, they continued their globetrotting ways and were renowned in the village for their generous hospitality, including Marion’s endless home baking.

She also regularly baked for the Strathblane Guild well into her 80s and raised money for the local church.

Following Moreton’s death in 2009, Marion joined the family on several cruises and remained at her home in Blanefield until earlier in her 100th year, when she eventually settled into Blanefield House, just along the road from her flat.

Daughter Tiki said: “She is a lovely lady – gracious and giving, appreciative and loving, and as a supreme home-maker, has given her family the most valuable gifts of selflessness and generosity, and the means for all generations to come together and keep in touch across the miles of physical separation.

“It is fitting that all her surviving three children, eight of her 11 grandchildren and all eight great-grandchildren are present today.

“Marion is an example to us all and held in the highest regard by all those who have had the privilege to know her.”

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