Rev George Stewart
The Rev. George Stewart was a good friend to the community of Kinnoir and was always available to participate in the activities of the community in whatever capacity was required of him.
In post war Kinnoir, services at the Kinnoir Kirk had been sporadic at best but in the 1970s George Stewart agreed to preside over a regular monthly service at Kinnoir Kirk on a Sunday afternoon. This arrangement continued for a number of years until the Kirk at Kinnoir finally closed as a place of worship and was sold to be converted into a private house.
George Stewart was also always willing to assist with the activities of the school and was a regular visitor to the school imparting his own personal brand of education to the pupils there. He was also a regular member of the “platform party” at the school prize giving and handed over the prizes to the pupils on many occasions.
When the Kinnoir Kirk finally closed for good it was George Stewart who arranged for the bell from the Kinnoir Kirk to be relocated to the Strathbogie Church in Huntly and to be displayed prominently in the foyer there.
Sadly, George passed away in spring of 2014. This is how his passing was recorded by the Press & Journal
“THE popular and much loved former Minister of the Kirks of Strathbogie and Drumblade died on Tuesday after a brief spell in hospital.
The Reverend George C. Stewart, who was 88, retired in the spring of 1995 but continued to live in the town and while his health permitted he enjoyed nothing better than coming into the town centre for errands and the opportunity for a good ‘news’ with anyone he happened to meet.
Inducted to Strathbogie Kirk in 1962 succeeding the Rev. George Thompson, Mr. Stewart came to Huntly with his wife Jean and family of Lynn, Fraser, Heather, Keith and Gail following a 10 year and a half year spell in Cowdenbeath.
In 1976, when Drumblade Church linked with Strathbogie, he succeeded Mr. Hodge and assumed responsibility for the rural parish.
Mr. Stewart never missed an opportunity to proudly tell of his background, born from mining stock and himself called up into the mines as part of the Bevin Scheme during the Second World War as his National Service. Despite being a year into his MA degree at Edinburgh University, he spent three and a half years working side by side with miners.
Several years ago, he proudly received the Bevin Boy Badge in recognition of the contribution the young men in the scheme made to the war effort.
He resumed his studies and graduated in 1948 going on to study divinity at New College in Edinburgh.
His first year after graduation was spent working in a deprived area of Edinburgh on a special project related to the Theology Faculty. It was fitting that his first charge in Cowdenbeath was serving a congregation with strong links to the mining industry with which he had such an affinity.
When he arrived in Huntly, his honest admission that he knew nothing about farming endeared him to the community and friendships were formed through the exchange of knowledge which he warmly embraced
As Minister for Strathbogie Kirk he oversaw celebrations for its 150th anniversary which included a visit from the then Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The family of the Manse on Deveron Road endured sadness years, when in 1978 his daughter Lynn died and then in 1991 his wife Jean died.
Mr Stewart found happiness a second time and in 1993 married Jenny Isaac with whom he shared his retirement years, enjoying many happy times together at their home in Scott Drive and further afield making regular visits to keep up with an ever growing family which includes seven grandsons and last year the arrival of a first great grandchild – a girl.”