In a League of her own: Rose Reid BEM remembered

Rose Reid (seated), with some of her League of Friends volunteers.
Rose Reid (seated), with some of her League of Friends volunteers.

Friends and family paid their respects last month to Peterhead League of Friends founder, Rose Reid B.E.M.

Rose passed away on Friday, January 16 at the town’s Kirkburn Court Nursing Home, where she had been resident since Spring last year.

Her funeral was held at Robert Mackie’s Almanythie Hall on Wednesday, January 21, where family and friends gathered to remember her.

Born in the Blue Toon in Windmill Street, Rose was educated at the town’s North School and left there to work as a clerkess at the Mill.

However, with a hankering to join the nursing profession, Rose left the Mill and went to Woodend Hospital where she worked as a TB nurse.

However, that particular course of nursing didn’t last too long as Rose had to return home and found herself working at coal man Willie Reid’s office on Broad Street.

While working there she got married to husband John, and thereafter had three children - John, Stephen and Roseanne.

After four-and-a-half years as a dedicated mother, Rose decided to go back to work and found employment at Crosse & Blackwell as a night nurse.

From there she went to work at the town’s Ugie Hospital, where she was to spend the next 25 years.

However, after a long and happy quarter-century, her nursing career was cut short, when following an injury she was told by doctors she couldn’t return to the job she loved.

It was round about this time when the then local GP Dr Manson, suggested that she start up a League of Friends to raise cash for the hospital.

He was to be her mentor on the project, although he was never actually a member of the League.

The original League of Friends was set up in 1986 with a handful of members, and over the years has increased in number, with a host of volunteers helping out today.

Her success with the League was such that Rose received the British Empire Medal in 1988 from the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

Speaking to the Buchanie at the time, she said: “I was totally gobsmacked when they told me that I was to receive the B.E.M.”

Rose was presented with the medal at the Ugie Hospital as she had requested that it be given to her there.

Rose’s work with the League saw her become Scottish regional chair of the National Association of Leagues of Hospital Friends and then onto the board of trustees in London, representing the whole of Scotland.

She also received an invitation to St. James’ Palace in London where she sat down to tea with the Queen Mother - something she described as one of her proudest moments.

Rose also met the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, who is the League’s patron, and mingled with numerous stars of stage and screen throughout her time with the League.

In 2009 Rose received the prestigious Order of Mercy for her contribution to her local hospital.

Since setting up the League, Rose and her team of volunteers have raised more than £300,000 for the local hospitals.

Her hard work and dedication to the cause she loved so dearly will ensure that her legacy will remain long after her death.