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Jim Rae 1953-2024

Published - 24 January 2024

It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of our past-President, Jim Rae.

Jim moved to Aberdeen Grammar School around 1964 and entered P6 of the lower school. His father had moved the family up from the Borders to become head of PE at the school.

He was a keen rugby player who continued playing for the FP's after school in a variety of positions, mostly at 2nd/3rd level. After completing his playing career, he later joined our Executive Committee and held the post of President for the periods 2012-14 and 2018-20.

Jim was widely liked for his wit and charm and was well known in rugby circles, particularly in the Borders where he originated from. 

His wise counsel and humour will be missed.

The funeral will be a private family service as per Jim's wishes.


"A Green For All Seasons - A Tribute to Former Grammar President Jim Rae. by Fellow Borderer Jack Nixon

The game of rugby lost one its most committed ambassadors at the weekend when Jim Rae, a former president at Grammar, but first and foremost a Hawick man passed away after a short illness.

In the 26 years I was privileged to write about the game in the North - east, I was greatly influenced by many in the local game but none had a greater impact on my scribbling than Jim who was a constant inspiration throughout.

Jim was intelligent, thoughtful, and acutely aware of the issues facing the game, indeed had he taken upon himself, I believe he could have devised a master plan for rugby in the Granite City, thus avoiding the uncoordinated loose structure which currently exists. But for whatever reason, he chose not to take the leadership role, instead confining himself to taking on the presidency at Rubislaw. A role he relished, enabling him to implement his traditional values in a sport he loved.

Strongly influenced by his own father who in turn was a close friend of commentating legend Bill MacLaren, Jim fitted seamlessly into the North - east scene, while still keeping links with his Border greens. Indeed his name kept coming up in my many trips to Border country where his wisdom was greatly respected in committees in that fair part of Scotland.

But while I was not au fait with his professional career, I was well aware of his ability as a wordsmith, putting my own feeble efforts to shame, and yet for some reason, choosing to support my work with the Aberdeen Journals over two decades.

I was similarly lacking in knowledge of his playing career in the area but recall asking him who he thought was up there as one of the best players in the region. He surprised no end when without hesitation he named Jim Sugden who went on to become president of derby rivals, and more recently became the saviour of the Exiles fixture.

Come to think of it, the Sugden/ Rae combination would have been well equipped to lead North - east rugby out of the doldrums, while bringing together factions who instead of warring could have been equal partners and who knows, a challenge to other regions.

But while my friend of 20 plus years will be remembered for his public relations skills and commitment to a game he graced, he will also be affectionately recalled as a loving husband, father and grandfather.

I was proud to call him my Border chum. Rest in peace old freen."

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