Alan Suttie – the highly respected man at the helm of Fife Society for the Blind

Alan Suttie
Alan Suttie

Alan Suttie, chief executive of Fife Society for the Blind, passed away at the weekend, aged 62.

He spent all his adult life making the world a better place for blind and partially-sighted people in Fife and much further afield.

After training as a teacher, Alan worked with blind people in India and eventually joined Fife Society for the Blind on July 1, 1986 as its superintendent.

This week the chairman of the society said it had been very lucky that Alan had chosen to spend over 28 years dedicating himself to providing services to people living in Fife.

Richard Godfrey-McKay said: “I am totally blind, and first met Alan in 1998, when I was a trustee of the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and chairman of RNIB Wales.

“During the past 28 years, his total dedication to his work has resulted in the services available to blind and partially-sighted people living in the region being of a standard rarely seen anywhere else in the UK.”

Most recently Alan oversaw the opening of the Nairn Optical Centre at the society’s premises in Wilson Avenue, and entered into an agreement with Multilens – a Swedish company – to distribute high quality glasses to those with poor sight.

He realised that the glasses could replace traditional hand-held magnifiers, leaving the wearer’s hands free for phones and other equipment.

His expertise was such that, working for the Society’s social enterprise company, FSB Enterprises, he was a sought-after expert witness, involved in legal cases throughout the UK.

In addition to his work with Fife Society for the Blind, Alan worked with the European Blind Union, chaired a working group for the elderly, was a trustee of RNIB and set up projects in Tanzania helping blind and partially-sighted children.

“He was always looking for ways to improve the way we do things for blind and partially-sighted people, making sure everyone got a fair deal and that help was readily available for those in need,” added the chairman.

A public service of thanksgiving for Alan’s life will be held on Tuesday, September 16, at St. Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy at 2.15