On August 1st this year we learned of the death, after a brief illness, of Jim Buchanan. Jim served tirelessly on the LBPS Committee for many years, both as Secretary and as Chair. He attended nearly all the Society’s events, even after a quadruple heart bypass. Jim’s warmth, geniality, wit and enthusiasm were infectious and he was much loved by all who met him.
Jim had a full life outside the piping world; not only did he play oboe in the ceilidh band Old Spice, but had spent his working life in marine biology; the following is taken from an obituary on the website of Bangor University, where Jim, as a mature student with poor eyesight, enrolled in the Diving Club as part of his dedication to the Marine Biology course he was about to study. The then president of the Diving Club writes:
“Jim touched everyone he met with his incredible smile… He graduated from Bangor in 1972 in Botany and Marine Botany and went on to Huntingdon and Stirling University to study Fish Pathology where he received his Doctorate. He then went to Napier in Edinburgh. He lived overlooking Roslin Chapel and was an accomplished sailor, having a yacht in Loch Fyne and having started off in the Royal Navy, doing several tours on the North Atlantic Patrol in rough seas.. We were lifelong pals and shared lots of advances in Marine Biology and Mariculture.   Nothing was too much trouble for him and he kept us all laughing. A great loss.”
In the 2007 composition competition, George Greig entered a tune for Jim celebrating his work on fish-farming and the halibut. It seems appropriate to include it here:

When Graham Barnes provided his photo of Jim he also offered the following memories:
“I first heard of Jim in the 1980s when I lived in North Uist and occasionally helped my friend Alastair MacLellan at his salmon farm in Locheport. Alastair would often tell me about the great help and advice he received from Jim, a marine biologist, who at that time worked as a consultant in mariculture.
Then in the 1990s I had the great pleasure of becoming friends with Jim through our shared interest in the LBPS. For about a year I got lessons on  the Scottish Smallpipes from Jim and Ian Murray at the classes they ran.
After his cardiac bypass surgery Jim attended the cardiac rehabilitation programme where I worked. At a Christmas party organised for the patients I was roped in to dress up as Santa Claus. I will never forget the bizarre sight of Jim and Santa playing a couple of tunes. Jim was unable to strap the bagpipe bellows across his chest due to the surgery so he had brought the electronic practice chanter.”
Jim was happily married to Ann and was enormously proud of their three daughters and their grand children. He will be sadly missed.

Photo of Jim at the 2012 Collogue by Graham Barnes