Hundreds paid respects to Provost of Angus Helen Oswald

Angus has paid its respects to its Provost who lost her battle with cancer earlier this month.

Provost Helen Oswald sadly passed away on October 13 at the age of 69.

Provost Helen Oswald attended the ceremony to commemorate the VC being awarded to Charles Jarvis.

Provost Helen Oswald attended the ceremony to commemorate the VC being awarded to Charles Jarvis.

Hundreds of mourners paid their respects at Mrs Oswald’s funeral on Friday at Carnoustie Church, at which she was a member.

Her coffin was draped in a Saltire, with the Provost’s chain beside.

Tributes were led by her daughter Kirsten, the MP for East Renfrewshire, and Depute Provost Alex King.

Kirsten called her mother “a bright, vibrant, strong woman” who made the most of her time with family, and continued in the public eye with great strength until a few weeks before her death.

She said: “Mum worked her socks off in jobs, from nursing auxiliary when we were little, to an insurance lady, estate agent and council officer before making the move into politics.

“Mum founded a local playgroup, she was a Guide leader, she set up a kidney charity to raise funds for a sick colleague, and she was instrumental in the early years of Carnoustie’s French twinning programme.

“Family was at the heart of mum’s life. She loved them so very much.

“She had an unstinting belief in our abilities and made sure we knew that nothing was off-limits. What a powerful thing to teach your children.

“The apples of mum’s eye were her four grandchildren. The arrival of each one was greeted with joy. She was their best friend.

“Mum did some astonishing things. She swam with sharks; she drove a fire engine in a speed trial.

“Nothing was beyond her. She was intrepid.

“A demon with a sewing machine, she could cook for the masses at the drop of a hat, and was an aficionado of Burns.

“We will remember mum so well and so often.

“Mum did more things in her life than whole towns of people have achieved.

“She was a force of nature and a force for good.”

Depute Provost Alex King said he would remember a close colleague who worked with “passion, integrity and energy” and always thought of others before herself.

He said: “Angus was definitely a better place because of Helen and she’ll be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts naturally go to Ed and Helen’s family in the weeks and months ahead.”

Provosts from neighbouring local authorities attended the civic funeral service on Friday.

Mourners sang the hymns “Make me a channel of your peace” and “How great thou art.”

Mrs Oswald was born in St Marys, Dundee, and went to Rockwell High School.

She and her family moved to Carnoustie in 1976.

Mrs Oswald was elected as an SNP councillor to Angus Council in 1999.

She first represented the Sidlaw East constituency and then in 2007 became one of the three ward councillors for Carnoustie and District.

Mrs Oswald became Provost of Angus in May 2012.

During her 17 years with Angus Council she sat on all committees, including Angus Licensing Board; the police, fire and rescue and valuation joint boards; Tayside Contracts; and various outside organisations, including Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee.