April Update

Thursday 26th March, 2015

There will be a service of thanksgiving for the life of Ivor Guild CBE on Sunday 3rd May at 3.30pm in the Cathedral.  Ivor was very special.  What follows are some extracts from his obituary in the Scotsman.

IVOR GUILD – Leading Scottish lawyer …. who lived at a city club and had no possessions.

For 57 years Ivor Guild was a resident in the New Club, a familiar figure in the city, and a man of unbreakable habit, whose tall spare figure was seen in the same raincoat (worn all his days in rain or shine) as he paced the seven minutes it took him to get from the Club to his office in Charlotte Square.  A lawyer of invincible rectitude, he counted among his clients the great and the good, who trusted him instinctively.  Someone once said he carried more family secrets than anyone in Scotland.

A pillar of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the National Museums of Scotland, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he was in his time a Baillie of the royal palace of Holyroodhouse and a procurator fiscal at the Lyon Court …  His was a life at the heart of  the Edinburgh establishment.

Ivor was the second son of a Dundee stockbroker, Colonel Arthur Guild, a First World War hero, and a leading figure in the jute industry.  His mother, Phyllis Cox, was related to the Dundee publishing family of D C Thomson.  Educated at Cargilfield, which he disliked, and Rugby which he relished, he went on to New College, Oxford in 1942.  He read Greats, then Law … After qualifying as a solicitor, Ivor joined the prestigious Edinburgh firm of Shepherd and Weddderburn … becoming senior partner in 1984.

On one visit to Iran (in the company of the Labour veteran Tam Dalyell and his wife Kathleen) they were invited to meet the mullahs of the Holy City of Qom where Guild was introduced as an “ecclesiastical and theological adviser.”  Dalyell recalls: “he elicited from the mullahs (from whom in appearance he was physically indistinguishable) the statement, ‘We like your Jesus Christ, we love your Virgin Mary.  It is only the British Government we do not like.’  Ivor nodded gravely as he often did.”

Ivor Guild CBE, lawyer and genealogist, was born on April 2, 1924. He died after a stroke on January 3, 2015, aged 90.

For the Cathedral and certainly for me Ivor was a wonderful source of advice and common sense: he served on the Cathedral’s Finance Committee and Board.  He chaired the Cathedral Workshop after the death of Sir David Young, and we greatly enjoyed seeing the old wooden Workshop (known sometimes as Fort Apache) being replaced by our own brand new, purpose-built facilities.  He gave so much to the wider church.  Deo gratias!

We commend Ivor and all whom we have known and loved but see no more to the Crucified and Risen Lord of Easter.  The liturgies of Holy Week, the cries of “Hosanna” one moment and “Crucify him” another, the betrayer’s kiss, the disciples’ desertion, the washing (Pilate washing his hands and Jesus washing his disciples’ feet), the faithfulness of the women watching from afar on Good Friday: all find echoes in today’s world where persecuted Christians share in the Christ’s passion not in the safety of a Cathedral but on the streets of India or Egypt or a myriad of other places that do not make the headlines.  The Paschal Candle burns brightly even in the dark places of our world.