Like many of the people represented on memorial benches, Charlie Ryan is connected to the community where the bench is situated.
He’s also connected to others mentioned on the Greyhope Bay bench he shares.
A great friend
Born on Ferry Road, Torry, on December 11 1944, Charles Ryan, known as Charlie, had four sisters and one brother.
After Victoria Road Primary he moved on to Torry Intermediate School but his sights were set further afield, and off he went to the merchant navy for two years.
The day he returned he met his best friend, Tommy Whyte, brother of Wallace Whyte, also memorialised on the Torry memorial bench situated near the Battery.
Tommy, who would go on to be Charlie’s best man, described him as a “lovely man, very loyal,” and “a great friend over many years”.
On returning from sea, Charlie found work in the fish trade. Other jobs would follow before he eventually became employed at Shell, latterly as an offshore dispatcher.
In 1962 Charlie – then residing on Balnagask Road – met his future wife Margaret Rose Ogilvie from Summerhill.
The couple married on April 1 1967 and moved into a flat on Constitution Street. Though they later divorced in 1985 they had two sons, Martin and Steven.
Nigg Bay memories
Charlie loved spending time with his boys, and especially enjoyed walking with them around the Battery and up over to the Bay of Nigg.
Even after a stroke in 2007 he was able to return to work five months later, and enjoyed walking with his boys when he could.
In latter years Charlie moved to Cove but when he passed away on May 5 2008 the natural place to scatter his ashes was where he most enjoyed his time with Martin and Steven.
“The boys scattered their dad’s ashes at the Bay of Nigg. He would have loved that, because he loved them and that place was important to them,” said Tommy.
It was later decided a lasting memorial could be added to the bench where Tommy’s brother already had a plaque.
Martin said: “Even in later years my dad liked to go there most days with the dog so it was a natural place for us to remember him.
“He was a great dad. We go up there from time to time just to sit and think about him.”