John Fisher Turnbull founded the Turnbull Clan Association in Hawick, Scotland in 1977. He died of a heart attack only 5 years later at the age of 49. In Hawick, he was the proprietor of the old family grocery and wine merchant business at 51 High Street. Educated at Drumlanrig School and George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, he served a design apprenticeship with Wilson & Glenny before leaving on the death of his father, Barrie, in 1954, to take over the shop founded by his great grandfather in 1855. In addition to supplying traditional and delicatessen foods, the store also sold and exported its own brand of whisky.
John married Myra and together they had three children, Barrie, Deborah and Hamish. Myra and John knew each other growing up, but at the age of twelve John went away to boarding school. They saw each other only occasionally. When John received his apprenticeship and returned to the area, Myra was working nearby as a secretary. She was seeing someone at the time, but John took every advantage that he could to see Myra.
|John with son, Barrie, in the family store High Street, Hawick|
He invited her to a ball, an invitation she declined as she was going to a Red Cross ball the next night with her boyfriend. John showed up at the Red Cross ball and danced every other dance with Myra. As they say, “the rest is history.”
In 1969, John joined the Hawick Town Council on which he served until the reorganization of the local government in 1975 at which time he continued as District Councilor until 1980. In 1977, John united hundreds of people of the same family origin when he founded the Turnbull Clan Association. It was said that John “was a man possessed by a drive to go in all directions at the same time.”
John loved people and being involved and getting others involved. From its simple founding in John’s living room, TCA’s great advancement and successes date back to his vision and dedication to join Turnbulls from around the world.