Fife man’s university contribution marked

The plaque was unveiled at a ceremony featuring family members of the pair.
The plaque was unveiled at a ceremony featuring family members of the pair.

A former Kirkcaldy man has been remembered for his crucial contribution which led to the formation of an English university.

Colin Gunn was remembered and honoured at a recent ceremony at DeMontfort University in Leicester, when a memorial plaque was unveiled.

A gifted teacher, he took over and helped develop the School of Pharmacy at the Leicester College of Technology, overseeing a massively successful period of growth in helping students gain qualifications.

Colin was born at North Lodge, Invergowrie in 1903: later the family moved to Kirkcaldy where he attended the North School from which he won a bursary to attend Kirkcaldy High School.

On leaving he was apprenticed to the pharmacist AB McLaren in Commercial Street, and then at Lunans in Edinburgh, before qualifying as a pharmaceutical chemist at Heriot Watt College in 1926.

In 1929 he was appointed as a lecturer in pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy, before being made Head of School in 1941.

He then hired former student Sidney Carter as a lecturer, in what was seen as a great partnership for the university, that led to both men being remembered in the memorial plaque.

Colin retired in 1968 after serving as head for 27 years, and moved to Freuchie with his Kirkcaldy-born wife, Barbara. He died there in 1983.

The plaque was unveiled by Colin and Barbara’s son Ian, who lives in Kinghorn.

It bears the words “A memorial to two Leicester School of Pharmacy leaders who made an outstanding contribution to the School”.

The plaque also notes “their dedication to the teaching of pharmacy students, their welfare and career plans established a culture for the Leicester School of Pharmacy that continues”.

Also present at the ceremony were two sons of Sidney Carter, Richard and Robert, and two grandchildren, Catherine Gunn and David Carter.

Professor Christopher Marriott, a former student and beneficiary of their abilities to detect talent, gave a valediction to the two men and their achievements.

He concluded that the memorial was long overdue.

At the time of his retirement, and again on his death, tributes were received from former students on every continent.

His obituary took up a full page in the Pharmaceutical Journal.

The textbooks that the two men authored are still published in revised and updated form to this day.