Francis John Pirie

16th October 1936 - 11th June 2020

In the letter to the Hebrews there is a wonderful phrase as the author details the saints who
comprised the history of faith. It says; Time would fail me to tell. So it is with Frank Pirie — an extraordinary gentleman who was immensely successful in work, was deeply committed in faith and was a wonderful family man, giving his love unstintingly. So for me it is to offer a mere sketch for time indeed fails me to tell.

But to start — and most important of all — Frank was a family man. He learned the values of family life growing up with his parents and then met the love of his life in Jen. Together they shared their love for the rest of his life, creating a loving home and sharing their many dreams as they raised their children. He was a wonderful father to the late Stewart, lain and Scott, instilling in you the standards and Christian values that epitomise the best of homes. He welcomed Nicole and Shauna into the family and then was so proud and happy to be granddad to Reuben, Andrew, Clara and Nathan. You have countless memories — all of you. Treasure these and bring them to mind often as you talk about him for, as you do so, he will be with you as if only separated by a thin veil.

Jen was attracted to Frank in many ways — but not the least by his commitment to his work. They were a team and part of his success was the manner in which Jen gave him full support in his professional life. It began with an engineering apprenticeship with Massey Ferguson, led to the founding of his own highly successful company in Scotland and ended with Frank still working in his much loved office having been accepted for consultancy work by some erstwhile competitor. And in the midst of that Frank, as was the case for his generation, served his country in the Royal Engineers as he completed his National Service.

But family and work were laced with vital qualities. Yes, there was undoubted commitment to both. There was a huge sense of integrity within him — testified by friends, colleagues, professional contemporaries and loyal customers. There was an attention to detail — not just a job done but it had to be a job done well. And, of course, you remember his lovely sense of humour — dry and impish and quiet. Indeed Scott tells me that the raising of the eyebrow was either fun or displeasure and it was confusing — even for the nurse who turned down his music the day before he passed away.

But woven into everything connected with his life was his strong faith in Jesus Christ, as his Lord and Saviour. I have a phrase which I shall speak in our next prayer when we thank God that this part of Frank's life is now over. For it is my belief, as it was his, that here is only part of what we have been gifted in life. And I know that this is a perspective important to you, as a family. Therefore we speak of him in the present and future — not the past. For his life is a continuum — freed now from the suffering and decay which is the past. And I refer you too to that evocative poem on the reverse of your order of service.

He served God well and served St Nicholas Church well. He was a committed elder and servant of the Lord and there are so many who will miss his incisive contribution to the life of our family. But he is home now — a journey well lived through open roads and rough terrain. Well done, good and faithful servant, enter even now into the joy of your Lord Jesus Christ.

   Rev Alastair Symington




Frank Pirie


The Sailing Ship

What is dying
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon,
And someone at my side says: "She is gone!" Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "She is gone"
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
"There she comes!" - and that is dying.

Bishop Charles Henry Brent