Robbie Shepherd Tribute

Robbie Shepherd Tribute

Robbie Shepherd, 30 April 19361 August 2023

Robbie nivver hid ony doots aboot e warth o Nor-East culture. He focht tirelessly fer its future – nivver switherin, nivver wintin fer effort nor enthusiasm. Best o aa, he didna jist blether aboot it, bit lived it an shared it ilkae day thro e radio, e P&J, in iveryday life, an at thoosands o Hielan Games, far his inimitable voice cuid aye be heard. He wis a stalwart champion o the Elphinstone Institute, tee, an fer that we’ll aye be gratefu. Rest in peace, Robbie, an thank ye fer aathin.

Thomas A. McKean

Robbie Shepherd and I made a great double-act! When the Friends of the Elphinstone Institute came into being, he was the Chairman and I was the Secretary (Jist keep me right!) and when he became President, I took over as Chairman. It was a great partnership and I like to think we always worked, with our committees, to bring the work of the EI to the publics and the Universitys attention. Robbie was a multi-talented yet self-effacing man, but he was also an unrelenting champion of the Doric language and culture and a nightmare when chairing Friends meetings! His passion for his subject didn't always make for an orderly agenda but his genuine concern for the Institute and everyone connected with it always shone through and he usually got what he wanted in the end.

Robbie and I were both honoured by MBEs and we were the proud possessors of Master of the University honorary degrees. We always said we were Masters of the Universe and, although we werent everybodys image of superhereos, we and our fellow MUnivs were a force to be reckoned with when it came to defending our local heritage and the future of its culture.

I first met Robbie and Esma over forty years ago when we were all involved in charity fundraising and promotion and I was always impressed by the way Robbie threw himself into whatever he was doing. He had a real passion for life and people which never changed. As he got older and less active physically, he may not have been as visible as before but his enthusiasm never waned and he was always happy to respond to phone calls and even e-mails. We all appreciated his input and avice.

Robbie Shepherd was a one-in-a-generation original. He never forgot his roots, his cultural heritage and he never forgot his friends. He was genuinely loved and respected by everyone he met and worked with and will be sadly missed.

Jenny Shirreffs

For Robbie Shepherd, Doric Champion I.M. 

He wis a born broadcaster, screiver, maister o the Doric
On TV an on radio his programmes met success
At local gaitherins he wis socht, a couthie, skilled  announcer
At Meldrum Sports an Turriff, as a compere he’d impress

Fowk mind on Takk the Fleer, The Beechgrove Gairden, sheepdug trials 
For aa o North East culture, Robbie Shepherd wis yer man 
He screived Let’s Hae a Ceilidh, Dash o Doric, Doric columns 
At the Braemar Royal Games, he welcomed spectator an clan

He wis gien a weel earned MBE fur heistin Scottish culture
The years rowed on, an thanks poored in for aa his dedication
Kings College it awardit him an honorary degree,
Thon Dunecht loon, a dynamo, a Doric inspiration

He sang as a performer wi the famed Jack Sinclair band
An later in his column in the P & J he strove
Tae champion oor bonnie airt in ilkie wird he penned 
Luik ower his darg o mony years…Ye’ll find a treisur trove

The warld grows smaaer ilkie day, near smorin places oot
Robbie niver left his hame ahin, tae takk the gangrel’s pairt
Bit bedd, tae fecht his corner in oor muckle neive o lan
He kept oor wyes an spikk alive, an won the public’s hairt 

Sheena Blackhall