26 May, 2020

Grace Donald: 1924 – 2020

Everyone at Clyde Gateway was saddened by the news that Grace Donald, a true stalwart of our local communities, has passed away at the age of 95.


Grace was born on 23 July 1924 and, until her declining health required her to move three years ago to Shropshire to be cared for by her son, lived and worked her entire life in Bridgeton and Dalmarnock. Having raised a family with her husband Walter, she returned to work as an auxiliary assistant at the former Strathclyde Primary School on the banks of the River Clyde, from where she enjoyed an uninterrupted view of Shawfield Stadium, the long-time home of her beloved Clyde FC.


She retired when the school closed in 1974 but immediately embarked on what would become more than 40 years of voluntary service with housing and community organisations, as well as the Bridgeton St Francis In the East Church, with which she was highly active until her move south. Grace was one of the first local residents to volunteer to help Clyde Gateway shape our programmes and projects, becoming a member of various working parties, and coming to every public meeting or consultation that we undertook, offering freely and generously, those decades of knowledge and experience.


Alison Thewliss, the chair of Clyde Gateway said: “Grace Donald was one of the most recognisable and popular people in the Bridgeton and Dalmarnock communities. Every day, she would walk to Bridgeton Cross from her house in Mill Street, a journey that probably took her twice as long as it should have as everyone she passed seemed to want to stop and have a chat with her.


She was everyone’s friend and the team at Clyde Gateway valued immensely her hard work and efforts on our behalf. Grace was the driving force to have the Olympia re-open after many years lying vacant and derelict, making the point that the regeneration of the area couldn’t possibly be completed without the famous old building coming back into use.


Grace was instrumental in Clyde Gateway obtaining the initial funding for the project, making the case directly, but politely, to the key-decision makers within the Scottish Government when they came to visit and tour the area. Grace was delighted to feature regularly in our annual reports and publications, always talking positively about the impact we were making, and telling her friends and neighbours to get fully behind us.”


Ian Manson, Chief Executive added: “She was a very quiet and unassuming lady who made a huge impact and played a large role in all the positive changes that have been happening in the community in recent years.


Our thoughts and wishes at this very sad time are with her family and her large circle of friends. She will be greatly missed by many, but she will never be forgotten.”