‘First Lady’ Auriole bids farewell to Barr after packed village hall party

A LARGE turnout of villagers, past and present, attended a special reception as Barr said farewell to one of its most respected residents.

More than 80 friends and neighbours packed the village hall in a special send-off for Mrs Auriole Fergusson who, apart from a short spell after the war, has been resident in the village since arriving as a three-year-old member of the Hughes-Onslow family in 1923.

Speaking on behalf of the assembled gathering, Peter Dale said Mrs Fergusson had made a tremendous contribution to village life and her departure would be much regretted by all who knew her.

Having met and married Simon Fergusson, she returned to Barr with her husband - by then a Church of Scotland cleric - to take on the role of minister’s wife.

Mrs Fergusson was highly active in village affairs and the driving force behind many of Barre’s organisations and clubs. She developed the Church Guild, helped raised money for an extension to the village hall and was one of the founders of the famous Tea Room and the Albany Players.

She also started a play group, helped inaugurate the Gala Day and served on both the Community Association and the Community Council.

Peter said: “You have been a true inspiration and the whole community is most grateful for all you have done for the community of Barr.”

Mrs Fergusson, who is moving to Pitlochry to be near her daughter Henrietta, accepted various gifts from organisations of which she has been a member.

Afterwards she thanked everyone for their “incredible kindness and generosity”, adding: “The village and its people, past and present, will always have a special place in my heart.”