Kirkcaldy YMCA veteran bows out after half a century as board member
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Robert Main stepped down from his role on the board of Kirkcaldy YMCA at the organisation’s recent AGM, half a century after being elected as a 20-year-old. However, Robert’s relationship with the organisation stretches back even further.
Fifty-five years ago, 14-year-old Robert was approached by friend Ian Fernie who invited him to come along and get involved with the YM’s under-16s football team.
Robert explained: “That was my first involvement with the Kirkcaldy YMCA. That's where it all started. It was largely through football in those days and I played alongside some great footballers during that time”.
One of those players was Kenny McNaught, who would go on to win the UEFA European Cup with Aston Villa in 1983. However, Robert also enjoyed the other activities on offer from the YM. He continued: “It was great to play amongst these great players. But the club gave me many, many opportunities, not just through football, but a whole range of outdoor activities”.
Five years after joining the YM, Robert was elected to the organisation's board aged 20-years-old. He eventually became Kirkcaldy YMCA’s treasurer in 1978, a position he held for the remainder of his tenure. Robert had a career as a public finance qualified chartered accountant, and he said that the YM provided a number of opportunities that helped with his professional career.
He explained: “I think something that I’ve reflected on about Kirkcaldy YMCA, for me would be the opportunities that it's given me throughout and as a youngster, that provide me with a basis for professional development as well. Just through these learning opportunities. An opportunity to meet a lot of great people”.
His tenure as treasurer of Kirkcaldy YMCA, also encompassed a stint as YMCA Scotland’s national treasurer in the mid-1980s. Robert said that while the appointment was a “proud moment”, his time with Kirkcaldy YMCA will always be seen as his personal highlight.
He said: “I've always seen it as a privilege and honour to serve the Kirkcaldy YMCA. At the end of the day Kirkcaldy YMCA did a lot for me in those years, so hopefully in some way I’ve paid it back to them. I don't think anything I do in the future, and I’m doing a number of things, will ever come anywhere close to what I've been involved in over the last 50 years”.
However, Robert won’t be too far away, “I’ve said I’ll still retain my membership, despite the fact I’m no longer treasurer”, he said.
Fiona Sword, Kirkcaldy YMCA chief executive, paid tribute to Robert’s service. She said: “I’ve only been in post for a year now, but Robert was so welcoming and supportive. That’s on a personal level, but what he’s done for Kirkcaldy YMCA over the last 50 years, supporting the organisation, helping it grow. He’s been an integral part of the organisation over the last 50 years”.