Few achieve their lifetime ambitions within three score years and 10. But George Guthrie managed his in just 42 years.
Although his life has been tragically cut short, George achieved the three most important things that, as a 20-something reporter, he confessed to wanting.
He hoped to marry – and his wedding to Fiona in 1988 saw the beginning of a partnership which endured throughout many happy days and some of the toughest times after his cancer was diagnosed. He hoped to have a family – and no one who knew him could question his delight and pride in his three children: David, 11; Emma, 10; and Callum, 8. And finally, he hoped to be editor of his home-town newspaper, The Falkirk Herald, which came in January 1999. The role of group editor with the Herald series was to follow shortly after.
But even as he achieved his final ambition, fate struck another blow with the
devastating news that the cancer had returned. However, for 18 months he bravely took the helm of Scotland’s top-selling weekly newspaper, forging ahead with innovative ideas and headline-grabbing stories.
His efforts gained national recognition in April 2000 when the Herald was named Local Weekly Newspaper of the Year in the Royal Bank of Scotland Press Awards.
George entered journalism as a trainee with the Grangemouth Advertiser in 1977. Three years later he was appointed chief reporter of the Cumbernauld News, before taking up a similar role with The Falkirk Herald in June 1985.
He became Herald assistant editor in October 1987 before gaining his first editor’s role in December 1993 when he returned to Cumbernauld. Six years later saw him back on home ground in the Herald hot seat.
As well as his wife and children, George is survived by his parents, Fay and John, and brother Fraser.
Jill Buchanan and Alan Muir