Meiko UK’s MD, Bill Downie, has set up a Just Giving page to fundraise in honour of his late wife, Betty, who sadly passed away on 25 November.
Downie won this year’s Catering Insight Lifetime Achievement Award but was unable to attend the ceremony due to the tragic bereavement.
He detailed: “On the morning of 25 November this year my wife Betty passed away peacefully in Wexham Park Hospital Slough after a short, but pain-free illness. Betty was 81 years old.
“To continue supporting the vulnerable elderly in our community, instead of sending flowers in memory of Betty, if this was your intention, I would ask that you make a small financial contribution to Age Concern Windsor either at the church or to the Age Concern Windsor ‘Just Giving’ website at: http://www.justgiving.com/Betty-Downie. Cheques can be made out to ‘Age Concern Windsor’ and should be crossed.”
Downie further explained: “Betty had been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia during the latter part of 2006, but for the past 10 years continued to live life to the full surrounded by a close circle of friends here in Windsor, and by family back in her native Scotland during frequent visits up North. Holidays with family and friends was one of the highlight’s of Betty’s life, and even as late as June this year we were still travelling by car to France with friends to visit an international charity that we have supported for many years.
“We first moved to Windsor in 1993, we then to our current address nearby in October 2003. We have been very fortunate to have met so many good friends and neighbours during our time in Windsor who were always at hand with a wave and a smile for Betty whenever we met in the street.
“In later years as the Dementia progressed, Betty was supported by a wonderful group of Care Givers from Home Instead Senior Care and by Age Concern Windsor, where she ate lunch, sang songs and spent time with other Dementia sufferers on a Tuesday and Friday at The Spencer Denny Centre in Dedworth.”
For those who would like to attend the funeral, a service, conducted by the Reverend Louise Brown will be held at All Saints Church, Dedworth Road, Windsor, SL4 4JW at 1.00pm on Thursday 15 December. A reception will be held at Meimo Restaurant, 69-70 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DE following the service.
A committal will be held one week later at Slough Crematorium on the 22 of December; however this will be a private service.
Downie began his catering equipment sector career back in 1977 with John Kelly & Son (Kitchen Engineers) under the guidance of Bob Macnab, before moving to Dubai late in 1979 as general manager of Al Otaiba Foodservice Equipment.
Returning to the UK in 1986, and after a brief spell as a hotel owner in his native Scotland, he was persuaded back into the catering equipment industry in 1988 when he became MD of supplier Carron Strands.
He worked on an agency basis with Meiko, where he was destined to spend nearly 23 years as the UK MD.
Retiring next April, Downie has overseen Meiko UK’s growth from its launch in 1994 with 10 employees to today’s 88 staff members.