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Weekly’s first-ever reporter who later became editor dies aged 71

Alex Shand

A weekly newspaper’s first reporter who became editor at two other weeklies has died at the age of 71.

Alex Shand, left, was the first reporter to work for the Glenrothes Gazette, which published its first edition on 21 November 1962.

He had previously joined the Fife Free Press as a 19-year-old trainee in 1962 and shortly afterwards was given the role of reporter for the new paper where he spent the next 13 years.

He was eventually promoted to chief reporter and later in his career became editor of the Forfar Dispatch and then the Fraserborough Herald.

Alex, who died last week, initially trained as a journalist in Canada after moving there at the age of 11 before returning to his native Scotland to work.

The Gazette reports that he was known for breaking the news of the collapse of food processing business CADCO in the 1960s, which became a national scandal, which he described as “the greatest story of my career”.

When interviewed by the title for its 50th anniversary, he said it was: “Without doubt my biggest scoop in over 40 years on the papers, and the only time I ever got to shout hold the front page!

“I remember getting the bus to the company offices to hear a progress report and was left in reception for two hours.

“Next thing I was told was that the chairman and other directors had resigned and the company was collapsing like a house of cards.

“I found the nearest phone box and held the front page and wrote the story up on the bus as we were on deadline… what a fantastic feeling that was!”

Alex also met his future wife Sheena through the Gazette, having been sent to interview her when she was an employee of Fife Institute.

He left the Gazette in 1975 to join the Dispatch where he rose to become editor until leaving when the paper was sold.

Alex later took on the role of editor of the Fraserborough Herald where he remained until his retirement in 2009.

He is survived by son Michael, daughter Sandra and three grandchildren.


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  • May 1, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Very sorry to hear of Alex’s death. He was a good man and a very committed weekly paper editor.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    So sad to hear of Alex’s passing. He was the guy that gave me a break in journalism, that to led to an amazing 38 year career, then JP screwed everything up.

    Alan Ducat

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  • May 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Very sad to learn of the passing of Alex. Gave me my first break into journalism when I applied for a role as a junior reporter with the Forfar Dispatch in 1975. I was to remain with the DIspatch for 37 years, eventually taking over as editor of the three weeklies in the area, bowing out three years ago. He was quite a character as I recall, one of many in the business in these days. RIP Alex.

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