Memories of Maggie
Very sadly we have to report the sudden death of Maggie Copland, at her home in Monifieth on 28 December 2021. We wish to send our deepest condolences to all her family and friends. Frequent readers of this website will be very familiar with Maggie and her writings on the history of Monifieth and the surrounding area. Many of you will have had queries about your family history or where your ancestors may have lived, answered by her. The following are memories of Maggie in relation to Monifieth Local History Society.
Maggie was a founder member of Monifieth Local History Society along with Allan, her husband, and many others (see footnote* below). The society was founded in 2000 and quickly became a thriving organisation with many members and active volunteers. In 2004 rented premises were acquired at No.55 High Street, Monifieth. It was given the name: ‘The House of Memories’ to be used as an office and also a place to display items of local historical interest donated by members of the Monifieth community. In 2004 Maggie became president of the society and remained in that post until the society was dissolved in December 2021.
Under Maggie’s guidance the society grew and became known both locally, and through the website, internationally. Maggie was a talented writer and contributed articles to the website as well as publishing pamphlets and books under the name Mhairi Pyott, on the history of Monifieth, for example: ‘The story of Monifieth Parish Church’, and its surrounding area, for example: ‘For the Brechiner’ (2008) as well as writing a novel based on her own family history: ‘Nae Mammies Kisses’ (2013), Authorhouse. She was a popular speaker and gave many talks to societies and other organisations in the surrounding area on topics varying as widely as ‘J.F. Low Foundry in Monifieth’ to ‘Monifieth Smugglers’!
Maggie was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020 and we all rejoiced with her on this well-deserved recognition of her devotion and hard work on behalf of the Society and her community!
Maggie had a wonderful sense of humour which enabled her to cope as President, with the ups and downs of Voluntary Charity existence, ably assisted by the long-serving trustees. Eventually, problems with premises for the society, leading to having to store and auction off all the donated items, combined with the effects of COVID19, meant that the sad decision to dissolve the society had to be made. On Wednesday 24 November 2021 Maggie presented the remaining money from the society and the proceeds from the auction of the contents of the House of Memories, to Monifieth and District Rotary Trust Fund to support education on local heritage for the younger generations of Monifieth. Thus, Maggie carefully shepherded Monifieth Local History Society from its inception to its end, and ensured that the fruits of its labours would be used for the support of local heritage among the young of Monifieth.
The very last task Maggie performed for Monifieth Local History Society, which she was determined to do, was to commemorate the vital role carried out by members and volunteers of the Society. She achieved this by, personally, affixing a plaque on the metal bench, installed by the Society, and situated directly outside no. 55 High St., Monifieth, the location of the former House of Memories.
Margaret Elizabeth Copland (nee Christie) born 9th January 1936, died 28 December 2021
- MLHS Founding members (apologies for any omissions): Alex & Leonore Bell, Allan & Margaret Copland, Mollie Crichton, Donald &Cathy Macintyre, John and Anne McDonald, Atholl & Wendy Hutchison, Doreen Paton, Margaret Pearson, Diana Robertson, Aileen Sim.