Alexander Fairley Buchan B.Sc., Ph.D. (Edin.)

RSE Obituary

by Douglas M Mcintosh

Obituaries Index

Dr Alexander Buchan died on 10 January 1976 after a brief illness. Born in 1904, he received his education at George Heriot's School and Edinburgh University from which he graduated with first class honours in Mathematics and a Doctorate in Philosophy. Thereafter he trained as a teacher and was appointed later as Principal Teacher of Mathematics at James Gillespie's High School. His final appointment was as Principal Lecturer in Mathematics at Moray House College of Education.

He was a man of dynamic energy and infectious enthusiasm, showing a wide interest in the welfare of others. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader and Commandant of the Air Training Corps in Scotland. He pioneered the school cruises and had a close association with the Boys' Brigade. His ability in the field of education was recognised by his selection as a representative of Scotland in the Emergency Scheme for the Training of Teachers in India. For his services he was awarded the M.B.E.

Perhaps his greatest contribution was to Scottish Freemasonry. In 1948 he was appointed Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland which office he held till 1971, when his work was recognised by his appointment as Depute Grand Master. In his work for this organisation he became known in many parts of the world and throughout Scotland not only for his ability but also for his kindly, warm-hearted and friendly personality.

Dr Buchan was elected to Fellowship in 1940.

Alexander Buchan was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 4 March 1940, his proposers being Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker, Alexander Craig Aitken, David Gibb, Robert Schlapp. This obituary, written by Douglas M Mcintosh, appears in the Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book 1977, pages 27-28.