A STAR in the firmament passed today, 8th March 2012. A wonderful individual who, despite her advanced years and later ill health, always had time to help and offer advice or even instruction, to those she knew.

Maureen Traynor from Maidens, Ayrshire, was born in 1932 and joined the SNP as an active member in 1948 aged 16. She maintained her SNP membership for the rest of her life.

Mrs Traynor had a colourful career path which included working as a picture librarian for the Glasgow Herald and as a librarian at a local secondary school, from which  she finally retired. She always encouraged people she knew to improve themselves through increasing their knowledge.

Naturally leaning toward conservatism with a small c, her overriding political ambition was to see the country she loved gain independence.

Her coffin, as would have been her wish, was draped in the saltire and topped with a truly bonnie bouquet of Scottish  heather. It was befitting of the spirit of the woman herself.

Naturally eccentric, and all the more lovable for it, she had a library of phrases and idioms upon which she used to rely as verbal shorthand for dealing with day to day incidents.

My favourite, and one which can be used in a myriad of situations, was: “Worse things happened at Flodden”. It encapsulated Mrs Traynor’s outlook on life and tickles me every time I use it.

If there is a god and an afterlife, and if Scotland does attain Independence, I hope that Mrs Traynor is looking down upon us and smiling.

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