When I learned of Jenny’s death on 31st December 2011 I started thinking of her time with us. My first memory of Jenny, or Miss Graham as she was to us then, would be when I was around 3 or 4 years old in the early 1950’s, and going to the ”wee Sunday School” which was led by Jenny in the hall of the Glen Kirk, the “big Sunday School” being held in the Church at the same time. I can remember the Bible stories, the very worn and old looking “flipchart” of Bible characters and of course the singing of children’s hymns and choruses. As was the case in those days I was not allowed by my parents to call her Jenny and she was Miss Graham all through my childhood and teens until I joined the Senior Church Choir when I was 18 and then she became Jenny. As I have said this is my first memory but I have many more happy memories.
Jenny played the Church organ for around 70 years starting off at Crosshill Parish Church when she was 14 years old in 1934. She was then invited in by Rev Alex Williamson to play at the West Parish Church or Glen Kirk, as it was commonly known, where she stayed until she retired. She received a Long Service Award in 2003 to commemorate 60 years service at West Parish. She also taught many, in fact it must have been hundreds of children to play piano – myself and my family included. We fondly remember reading “The Beezer” comic every week while we waited for the lesson to begin. Music and the Church were her life as she tutored Sunday School Choirs, Senior Church Choir and also a Male Voice Choir and produced many excellent concerts. Her career as Organist in Maybole spanned the careers of eight ministers – what a record! She played piano for the Guild and Coffee Club, she worked endlessly making tablet and selling it in aid of the Organ Fund for many years, and her meringues were keenly sought after at the Autumn Fayres. She had a keen sense of humour and loved a laugh and a blether – with her doing most of the blethering of course! I would tell her often “Jenny, you’re some wummin” and she would give me a wee push and laugh. As we all know she could be a wee bit stubborn, but we loved her just the same. She talked often of her well loved family and of course her beloved brother Adam who lived until he was 100. She enjoyed many holidays and loved Pitlochry and surrounding area.
Jenny finally retired in 2005 at the age of 85 after a lifetime of giving of talents and service to the Church and her Lord and she still managed to attend Church services, Guild and Coffee Club until she died at the age of 91. It is indeed the end of an era, you are sadly missed, Jenny, and “Thanks for the Memories”.