Heartfelt memories at memorial for Grandhome Estate landowner David Paton

© DC ThomsonDavid Paton of the Grandhome Estate
David Paton of the Grandhome Estate

There were few seats left in St Machar Cathedral as scores paid their respects to the ninth Baron of Grandhome yesterday.

David Paton died last month, aged 83, and a well-attended memorial service in his honour was held yesterday.

Described as someone with a “ferocious appetite for public service,” there were few aspects of society that he had not influenced in one way or another.

And so great was his myriad of accomplishments that it required four sides of A4 paper just to list them.

Yesterday many of those formed the basis for a string of touching, heartfelt and humorous tributes to a man loved by many.

Born in 1935 Mr Paton is perhaps best known to many as the owner of the Grandhome Estate, between Dyce and Bridge of Don, where generations upon generations of his family have lived since 1673.

But this is far from the only historic organisation he helmed.

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Mr Paton joined Aberdeen Harbour Board in 1984, before being named vice-chairman in 1991 and chairman three years later.

According to the Guinness Book of Business Records it is the oldest company in Britain – with its first work dating back close to 900 years.

Stepping down in 2008 after 24 years of service, Mr Paton left it in a much healthier state than how he found it, having championed millions of pounds in investment and encouraging record levels of traffic through its waters.

Elsewhere he made lasting contributions to Aberdeen Civic Society, the Aberdeen and Scotland chambers of commerce, Aberdeen Foyer and the North East Scotland Preservation Trust where he led a campaign to save a historic tollhouse at risk of demolition.

His efforts were far from unnoticed either, as he was awarded an OBE for his faithful services to society.

While constantly busy with his wide range of business and charity roles, Mr Paton always ensured he had plenty of time for his family.

Memorial guests yesterday were regaled with tales of mischievous jokes, fishing trips and even a flashy yellow Ferrari – with many able to recall their own fond memories of the loving businessman.

Mr Paton died on February 4, surrounded by his close relatives and beloved dogs.

He is survived by his wife Juliette, sons William and Matthew, and grandchildren Christo, Jamie and Matilda.