Falkirk SNP were saddened by the news of the passing of local stalwart, Jamie Meiklejohn on Thursday20 November at the Forth Valley Royal Infirmary after a long and brave fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Jamie joined the SNP in 1982 as a teenager, while living with his parents in Middlefield and made an immediate impact, so much so that he was selected to represent the party at the 1984 elections to Falkirk District Council as the candidate for the Victoria Ward. These were the dark days of Thatcherism when the SNP struggled for credibility but despite this Jamie came within 150 votes of wining what was regarded as a safe Labour seat at the time.
A goodly number of new members were recruited to the party by Jamie, including his father, Crawford, who himself went on to represent the SNP as a candidate for the party at a later election to Central Regional Council. However, perhaps more significantly Jamie recruited his then fiancé, Cecil Jones, later to become Cecil Meiklejohn, the current leader of the SNP within Falkirk Council whose impact on the SNP’s rise in fortunes has been immeasurable.
Jamie’s career as a computer programmer and Cecil’s education took the couple to Selkirk for a few years in the mid 1980’s but they soon returned to Falkirk and back to the local SNP.
Tragically Jamie contracted MS at a ridiculously early age thus ending his personal ambitions to seek elected office. This may have put off lesser individuals but Jamie was determined to play as full a role as possible and worked as hard behind the scenes as anyone. His knowledge of computers helped him play that role and spread the use of IT as an election tool. His efforts played a significant part in the growth of the SNP within Falkirk including the party winning the Victoria Ward of Falkirk District Council in 1988.
Frustration must have been a constant companion but Jamie never showed it. As recently as the Independence Referendum held just a few weeks ago he played as full a role as he possibly could despite his deteriorating health. He found both pride and compensation in the successes of his wife and partner of 30 years, Cecil. That pride was obvious to those who knew him and the encouragement he gave Cecil was a major factor in her rise in local government circles.
Jamie, like his father, Crawford, was a long time member of the Boys Brigade and stayed active as a BB Officer long after he found himself wheelchair bound. The affection for Jamie within the BB community is testimony to the courage and determination shown by him.
When he wasn’t taking the local BB Company or promoting independence for Scotland Jamie was supporting Falkirk FC in their quest for glory. A regular at Westfield and before that, Brockville, Jamie was a driving force behind the campaign to improve the facilities for disabled fans until his own health level fell to such an extent that he was unable to enjoy the facilities he campaigned hard for. Local disability awareness groups also benefitted from Jamie’s considerable appetite for voluntary work. Organisations such as the Falkirk Disability Access Panel and the Independent Living Association Forth Valley all were enriched by Jamie’s skills and efforts.
Jamie is succeeded by his mother, Ena, wife, Cecil, son and daughter, Iain and Karen Meiklejohn, son in law, Ian and daughter in law, Laura and grandchildren, Gregor and Emma.
The funeral service will be held this Friday 28 November at the Falkirk Crematorium, 10.45am then onto the Wheelhouse Restaurant. There will be a collection that, per Jamie’s wishes will be split 50 -50 between the MS Society and the Scottish National Party.