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Lawson McKill: A Watsonian through and through

Lawson McKill: A Watsonian through and through

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We remember former club player and President Lawson McKill...

Harold Lawson McKill

1927–2021 (aged 93)

Born in Keith, Banffshire, Lawson started his schooling at George Watson’s College in 1936. He boarded at “Ma Scott’s”, Morningside Park, which was one of the smaller boarding houses of the day with 20 boys.

His father, a banker, moved to Edinburgh in 1939 and the remainder of Lawson’s school days started with a cycle from home in Newington.

Before leaving school in 1944 he gained both 1st XV and 1st XI colours for rugby and cricket.

After seeing service in the R.A.F. with postings in Egypt, India and Burma, he returned to Edinburgh and eventually started Lawson’s Timber in Lady Lawson Street, a firm which was one of the pioneers in the DIY industry.

Lawson sold the business in 1973 to Mallinson-Denny, working with them as Company Director, opening trade branches across the UK and coaching the staff and managers in running a successful business.

He retired aged 64 when the business was under the ownership of Wickes.

Lawson was President of the Watsonian Football Club from 1980 to 1982. He played rugby for Watsonians from 1950 to 1954, gaining District and Trial level recognition. During the 1953/54 season, Edinburgh won the first District Championship with a side that included four Watsonians in the shape of D H (Douglas) Crighton, D M (Donald) Scott, R G (Roger) Baird and Lawson.

He had great times during those days and on one Watsonian tour to Newcastle, where they were staying in Whitley Bay around 1952, the famous comedy double act Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were also staying and having dinner with their wives.

After dinner Roger Baird, Willie Lyon, Lawson and a few others joined them for a coffee which ended up in a singsong with Stan and Olly joining in to sing “If I were a rugby full-back” [aka the rugby Military song].

Lawson and his two sons, Stuart and Donald, were each Vice-Captains of the 1st XV at Myreside and Charlie, his grandson who now lives with Donald and family in Australia, spent a spell with the club a few years back.

During that fruitful spell, Charlie was part of the wider Scotland Sevens squad and was part of the successful Watsonian side that won the Melrose Sevens in 2018, something which made Lawson very proud.

A keen golfer, Lawson was Captain of the Watsonian Golf Club in 1971. He played in Halford Hewitt sides and in a winning Cyril Gray team at Worplesden Golf Club in Surrey. His golfing prowess continues with his daughter Gail.

As President of The Watsonian Club from 1986 to 1987, he successfully encouraged younger members of the club into helping out with the running affairs which helped to strengthen broader involvement.

A true gentleman, with a genuine love and interest in people, none more so than those that wore Watsonian colours!

The thoughts of everyone at Myreside are with the McKill family at this time.

Thanks to Donald, Stuart and Gail for helping Gary Heatly with this tribute