Elsie Menzies, MBE and Justice of the Peace
Cumnock Chronicle 21st June 1996
Menzies – peacefully at home on 18th June 1996, Elsie Lily Hill Menzies M.B.E., J.P., aged 70 years, beloved wife of the late William and dearly loved cousin of Cath and all the family.
Town is rocked by Elsie’s death
One of Cumnock’s most well-known and best-loved residents, Elsie Menzies, MBE, passed away on Tuesday morning at her Glaisnock Street home. Elsie’s death has come as a great shock to her family and all who knew her through her tireless dedication to helping various community organizations. She was at 70-years-old, still very active in her work within and around Cumnock including collecting for Bosnia and distributing EC free foods.
Elsie lived in Glaisnock Street for about 20 years, latterly with her cousin Cath McFarlane. Born and brought up in Cumnock, Elsie previously lived in Hearth Place.
In June 1992 Elsie was granted an audience with the Queen to be presented with the Member of the British Empire award for her community service. She was also honoured by the former Cumnock and Doon Valley District Council in April this year for outstanding community service over the past 20 years. Elsie’s various projects and involvement were not confined to charities. She served on the last Old Cumnock Burgh Council and was also a Justice of the Peace.
East Ayrshire Council leader David Sneller was a personal friend of Elsie and her family and he said “It was a great shock for me today to hear of the death of Elsie Menzies. I had known Elsie for many years and her death has hit me as severely as the loss of a family member, so highly was she regarded not only by myself but by everyone who knew her. Elsie was an active and tireless worker for many local causes throughout her life. Among the many organizations which benefited immensely from her involvement were Age Concern, the Women’s Guild and the local Twinning Association to name but a few. It is hard to imagine Cumnock without Elsie. When I first thought of standing for the council she was one of the first people I came to see and she always supported me. I would like to extend my condolences both personal and on behalf of East Ayrshire Council to her family at this sad time. Elsie was loved and respected by a huge number of people and her passing will be felt by everyone – not only in her home town of Cumnock but throughout the whole of Ayrshire”.
Elsie’s cousin Cath said she will be best remembered for her work around the town and added “She was called Mrs. Cumnock and will be remembered by people for everything she did for the community. It would be hard to narrow her interests down to one thing – there was so much”.
Elsie was District Commissioner for the Guides, was named Citizen of the Year in 1982, was the first appeals organiser for the Ayrshire Hospice, secretary of Cumnock Age Concern for 40 years and was also a past matron of the Eastern Star. Elsie was a member of Cumnock Old Parish Church where Rev. John Paterson says she was a stalwart of the parish. Her husband William was church treasurer up until his death and Elsie took up the post through his illness and for some time afterwards.
Mr. Paterson said “She has raised all sorts of monies and always been there in many ways to take the church out into the community. I am personally very grateful to Elsie as she introduced me to many people in the community when I first came to Cumnock and made my settling in much easier. You couldn’t know how much she actually did unless you stood beside her because she did so much in so many ways. She was breathtaking.”
Elsie was also involved with Cumnock Congregational Church through her work with the elderly in the community and Rev. Matt Sullivan said “She was a terrific worker with a terrific concern for a wide range of people in Cumnock. She did so much for individuals and her house was always full of people and she had real concern for everyone. Elsie’s work was incredible and she was always helping people and trying to see them through their problems – that was her real strength. She will be sadly missed by the community. She did all the extra things that were needed – and went that extra mile so often. Her death is a tremendous loss to the community and to the town”
Elsie’s funeral will take place at Cumnock Old Parish Church at 11 am on Friday and then at Masonhill Crematorium at 1pm
27th June 1996
The Provost referred to the recent sad and untimely death of one of the area`s foremost citizens and supporters, Mrs. Elsie Menzies MBE who had passed away last week. The Provost described Mrs. Menzies as someone who was the very backbone of her community and had been closely involved in a number of organisations both local and national which had brought benefits to so many. Mrs. Menzies had served as a Councillor with the Burgh of Cumnock until she retired from Local Government in 1975, and thereafter continued to serve as a Justice of the Peace. The Provost referred to just a few of the local groups such as Age Concern, the Women`s Guild and the local Twinning Association which had gained from her involvement; and such service to her community had resulted in the award of an MBE in 1992.
The Provost commented on the attendance at Mrs Menzies` funeral last Friday which in his opinion summed up her popularity and the respect in which she was held far better than the he could. The Provost stated that he was sure that all Members and Officers would wish to join with him in recording deep sadness at Mrs. Menzies` passing and in sending condolences to her family. As a mark of respect for the contribution which Mrs. Menzies had made to the community the Provost asked everyone to join with him in standing to observe one minute`s silence.