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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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OBITUARY: MARY CHRISTIAN TAIT, FORMER PETERHEAD TOWN COUNCILLOR

Friday, 6 November 2009


Former Town Councillor Chris Tait died on 30 October. Here, SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford pays tribute to Chris's dedication to community service:

Mary Christian Tait (nee Buchan), known to all as Chris, was born in 1926, at the family home in Roanheads. Chris attended the North School and Peterhead Academy, where she achieved excellent grades, before enrolling at Webster's College in Aberdeen where she specialised in Secretarial Studies.

While a student in Aberdeen, Chris became involved with the Scottish National Party, an association that was to last for the rest of her life, and in the 1960s she was elected to Peterhead Town Council, one of only a very small number of women of her generation to hold elected public office.

In her professional life, Chris worked as a secretary for a number of local firms, including Sutherlands of Peterhead, Cleveland Twist Drill, Euclid, and the Kirkburn Mills, from where she retired 23 years ago. She also spent some time working in Canada.

Chris married Joseph Tait, a baker, in 1965. They were both active members of the Peterhead Baptist Church, and assisted with the Church Youth Club. Joseph died in 1981.

Chris combined a deep faith with a keen awareness of local and national events, and always had an astute analysis of current affairs. In particular, she gave great support and encouragement to the young people she met in church and political environments.

When I was a young SNP activist, Chris was always ready to share her wisdom; her confidence that Scotland was on the road to independence and a better future was a great inspiration to me, and others. She was also famous for popping into the SNP office with ‘fine pieces’ for the staff!

Just a week before she took ill, Chris attended an SNP function in New Deer to mark my formal adoption as candidate for Banff & Buchan at the next Westminster election, telling friends afterwards that she’d had an excellent evening. Chris will be warmly remembered by those who knew her, and greatly missed. She is survived by her sister Elizabeth (Betty).

Mrs Chris Tait (nee Buchan), 1926 - 2009

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