ST COLUMBA's Parish Church in Largs on 30th July 2016 was filled for the funeral service of Marelle McGill who touched the lives of many in the town.

The Rev. Chris Vermeulen said that the number of people at the service last Thursday was testimony to the friends that Marelle, wife of the late Fairlie McGill had, particularly in the local theatre, scouting and lifeboat circles.

The minister revealed that the name Marelle was made up of her actual Christian names, Margaret and Elizabeth, the Royal princesses when she was born in Cathcart, Glasgow on January 25, 1942. The fact that her husband Fairlie was a great Burnsian performer and she shared Robert Burns' birthday was a long-running joke in the family.

A strange Australian connection was revealed when the congregation heard that Marelle had emigrated to Melbourne as a child, but they returned to Largs for her to attend Miss Murray's school and Largs Higher Grade. However, when her son Gordon went backpacking 'down under' he was to find himself a wife, Hayley and a new home in Adelaide, often visited over the last decade by Marelle to be with her grandchildren, Torrin and Jura.

A book-keeper by profession, Marelle met Fairlie when they appeared together in Largs Operatic shows in the 60s, and they married in the Parish Church in June, 1968.

Marelle was happier being the 'prompt' for shows and it was in 1976 when Fairlie was playing the lead character, Tevi in Fiddler On The Roof that their only child, Gordon was born.

Mr Vermeulen said: "Marelle and Fairlie were a force to be reckoned with and they had many friends and social activities. She has now joined again with Fairlie but she will be remembered by family and friends for her caring, endearing qualities."

Her son, Gordon praised the work of North Ayrshire Carers and Ayrshire Hospice over the last months of his mother's life although she insisted that "she wasn't that bad" to the end after a long illness. A collection was taken for the hospice.


With acknowledgements to Drew Cochrane
and the 'Largs & Millport Weekly News'