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Raymond McLeod: Respected scout leader who was a man of many talents

Raymond (Ray) McLeod, who has died aged 64, was a former teacher, a Scout leader and a gospel singer with a passion for the great outdoors.

And, in recent years, Ray was a familiar figure behind the counter of his music shop in Queen Street, Lurgan.

"The town and the province are much the poorer because of his passing," says one-time English teacher Mervyn Neill, his former colleague at Lurgan Boys' Junior School, where he taught science.

"Ray was an accomplished musician and singer and he was devoted to Second Lurgan Scout troop, as well as holding office at district, county and national level.

"There are many grown-up Scouts out there who will cherish the memory of sitting around a campfire with Ray, listening to him singing and strumming his guitar."

Away from music and the shop, Ray supported an orphanage in the Phillipines set up by his friend Terry Lockhart, who lost his wife in the La Mon bombing. "Ray gave talks and sang at rallies to raise money for the orphanage and its children," adds Mr Neill.

A guard of honour of Scouts will line the entrance to Hill Street Presbyterian Church tomorrow at noon, when Ray's coffin is carried in for the funeral service conducted by the Rev Nigel McCullough before cremation at Roselawn.

Ray is survived by a brother, Denis.

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