Pipers play at moving farewell to a proud Scot

Funeral of Highland Gathering founder Bill Rutherford.
Funeral of Highland Gathering founder Bill Rutherford.

Pipers played as hundreds of people gathered to say a final farewell to Bill Rutherford, a founder of Corby’s Highland Gathering and the town’s most senior Freemason.

Mr Rutherford’s funeral service was held at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland, Occupation Road, on Thursday, following his death on June 23, aged 82, after a long illness.

In his eulogy David Jackson said: “Bill was a man loved, respected and revered. He was proud of his family, his Scottish roots, this church, Corby and of being a Mason. He lived respected and died regretted.”

Mr Rutherford, who was born in Lanarkshire, came to Corby with his family when he was just four years old.

After leaving school he worked at Stewarts and Lloyds steelworks and went on to serve with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers during National Service.

He met his wife-to-be Eileen at a dance in Kettering and the couple married in 1954 and had three daughters, Sheena, Sandra and Marion. They have six grandchildren, who, Mr Jackson said, were a source of joy to Mr Rutherford and his wife.

In 1957, Mr Rutherford joined the Freemasons, rising to its most senior member in Corby. He has twice received awards from the Grand Master, the Duke of Kent, who, on the last occasion walked 40ft to hand over the honour because he could see Mr Rutherford had difficulty walking.

In the 1960s Mr Rutherford, along with his father and brother, founded the Highland Gathering and he went on to be its chieftain in 2009. He was also an elder at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland.

The service was conducted by the Rev Peter Mills and the reading was given by Michael Gorrod. Pipers Neil Tarbotton and Scott Morton played Flower of Scotland at the end of the service which was followed by a committal at Kettering Crematorium.
Pictures from Bill Rutherford’s funeral