The world lost one of its kindest, most gentle souls this week with the sudden passing of our dear friend and Chairman, Ian Gidney –

It is hard for us to believe that Ian’s work here is now done and that he’s off on another adventure – from which he won’t be returning; we just want to let him know that he did a great job and wish him a safe journey. Our hearts are broken for Jo, his best friend and soulmate; and for Robert, the son he was so very proud of. It was always clear to see that the three of you truly enjoyed life together on every level and we know that he has left you both rich in memories.

Ian was an integral part of the Shetland Arts & Crafts Association, he was there right from the start in 1995, and was elected Chairman in 2000; he was truly passionate about the growing craft industry in Shetland and worked tirelessly to nurture and promote it, alongside building up his own highly successful business, ‘Journeyman Leather’. While outwardly quiet and unassuming, Ian was a man of great integrity who managed to maintain a positive attitude whatever challenges were placed in front of him; always going out of his way to help others, solving problems with his ‘just get on with it’, no nonsense approach and putting people at their ease without ever seeking any praise or recognition – he really was a true gentleman with a heart of gold.

Ian was never much of a smiler but, behind the serious face he could unleash a sense of humour so dry that only those who knew him well would understand and burst out laughing; so Ian, we will remember your humour, your warmth, your dedication, your love for life, animals, family and friends (and good whisky) – you truly were a glowing example of just how to live this life – and for that we thank you. xxx