A new street in Fraserburgh will be named in honour of a highly commended and “unassuming” local army officer.
Two names were needed for new streets in Colaren Homes’ ongoing Kirkton Heights development in the Aberdeenshire town.
Consultation on the matter took place with local councillors and members of Fraserburgh Community Council.
The Kirkton Heights development lies on the outskirts of the town.
Whalsay Gardens was suggested for one street.
It shares its name with a Shetland Island and was selected as it is in keeping with the theme of neighbouring streets.
Meanwhile councillors unanimously chose to name a second street Davie Ferguson Place.
Who is Davie Ferguson?
A Fraserburgh native, Davie spent a large part of his life in the armed forces.
He served in both the Gordon Highlanders and the Territorial Army, and was an instructor in the Highlanders Army Cadet Force for more than 30 years.
Davie finished his service as a commissioned officer and was proud to hold a Queen’s commission.
He was also Detachment Commander in the Broch.
In this role, he was responsible for guiding many young lads through the ranks to high office in the regular army.
But his commitment didn’t end there as Davie was also part of the British Legion committee.
Davie’s family ‘taken aback’ by street naming proposal
Davie’s son Kevin said he and siblings Adele and David were “taken aback” at the gesture.
“My father was always unassuming, he did a lot to help,” Kevin explained.
“He was on the Fraserburgh Gala committee as well for a number of years but he was just there to help, he didn’t want anything for it.”
After Davie retired he worked for Aberdeenshire Council for a few years as, according to Kevin, he “always liked to be on the move, always had to be busy doing something”.
Family treasure precious memories of Davie
But after putting his car into the garage for its service one year, Davie had a massive heart attack while walking home.
Luckily a passer-by saw him fall, started CPR right away and he survived.
Davie was taken to hospital for tests to be carried out but unfortunately, doctors found a tumor in his stomach.
Kevin said: “They didn’t want to do any operations on his heart because they felt the tumor would cause him to bleed.
“He just had to manage the conditions with medication and we got a couple of years with him before he passed.”
Davie died five years ago.
“We knew it was going to happen, but the good thing is we did get a chance to prepare,” Kevin stated.
“And, because he had a couple of years after the heart attack, it gave us the best times to make memories with him.”
In another devastating blow to the family, Davie’s beloved wife Violet, better known as Vi, died just six months later.
But how would Davie and Vi feel about the street naming honour?
Kevin reckons there would have been a mixed reaction.
“I could just hear them today if they knew this was happening, my father would be ‘och, don’t be silly, none of the fuss’, but my mum would be so happy.”
Kevin extended his thanks to former cadet Michael McDonald for proposing his dad’s name.
Former Aberdeenshire Provost and anti-slavery pioneer considered
Other suggestions of Gordon Highlander Street and Bydand Street were put forward for consideration too but later dismissed.
And it didn’t end there.
A suggestion was made to name the street after former Inverurie councillor and once Lord Provost of Aberdeenshire, Raymond Bisset.
However, it was ruled out as Mr Bisset has no direct connection with Fraserburgh and councillors believed a more suitable and significant name would be appropriate.
The name Charles Maclean was also thrown into the mix.
Charles Rawden Maclean, also known as John Ross, was a pioneer of anti-slavery and has been commemorated by the Fraserburgh Heritage Society.
After being shipwrecked at Port Natal, the Broch-born abolitionist met and befriended the great Zulu King Shaka Senzagakhona.
Charles died at sea in 1880 aged 65 sailing to Southampton and was buried in a pauper’s grave in the city’s Old Cemetery.
His name was withdrawn but will be kept in mind for any future street namings.