In the Herald - Obitutary: A tribute to gentleman Jack

Date Published 
Sun 23 Aug 2020

Our friend Jack,

Jack Mellon always had a warm welcome to anybody coming to our camera club. He always had a smile and a sparkle in his eye when he was talking to you. He had been the longest serving member when he left us. He was part of the original membership along with Ian Davidson, Tom Edgar, Ernie Cave, Ian Gray, Bill Corbett, Ian MacNeil, George, Matt, Stewart and Wendy of Townend Camera Club when they moved into Townend Community Centre in Dreghorn. 

Jack was one for stories including those from the time he worked in the RAF. Once when servicing a fighter that had just flown in from Cyprus, he got a fright when a snake fell out of the wheel well.

Jack was a big supporter of the camera club, his hard work and help was invaluable when it came to the club’s major overhauls, converting what was a stone room in former farm buildings to modern room it is today. He was treasurer there for many years, including the year that I joined back in 1989. It was his and Ian Davidson - the President at the time who kept the club running for many years giving sage advice to members down the years. He joined us on trips too, I was sitting beside him in the minibus when we ventured down to Dumfries to a camera club there, he would talk about his working life, he worked for A-Plant in Kilmarnock before working with Johnnie Walker’s, where he used his contacts to provide strong libations for competition prizes.  I remember a trip to Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth and after a few hours in the company of millions of Gannets, we headed back to the mainland, about a mile off the island Jack realised he had left his jacket behind. I took a quick look through my long lens, and yes there it was hanging up on a rail. He was okay about it though., though he did take some stick for it over the years. 

For many years, the club worked out of one small room. In there, meetings took place there was a studio set up and film processing took place, however right next door to the club was an abandoned workshop and we decided to change it into a photographic studio.  Again, Jack was there to help us restore the room, getting rid of all the workshop stuff that had gathered over the years and helped considerably in its set up as a photographic studio. It is now one of the very few permanent studios belonging to a camera club in Scotland. 

Jack put a lot of work into the club and this was rewarded by him becoming an honourable member something that has only been bestowed on very few people.

Jack was a link back to the days when I first joined the club, and its thanks to him and those who were around at the time, and quite a few are no longer with us, that what is now Irvine Camera Club is what it is today.  So, it was a sad day when we heard that our friend Jack had left us, I for one will miss his laugh.   Don’t forget your jacket, mate..