Hamish Stewart - Chairman of the South Lanarkshire Conservative and Unionist Association
Hamish was elected as the association chairman in 2017. Until May he served as an elected councillor for Clydesdale East and as leader of the Conservative Group on South Lanarkshire Council.
He grew upon the Isle of Bute and in common with many islanders joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet on leaving school. In 1982, shortly after the birth of his eldest son, he came ashore and worked in the United Arab Emirates for four years in shipping and port management.
After returning to the UK, by now with two sons, Hamish decided to become self-employed and bought the old established grocer’s business of R&J Brownlie in Biggar. With his wife Edna’s support the business thrived and he became very involved with the grocery trade body, The Scottish Grocer’s Federation, serving as the organisation’s president.
By 2006, having been widowed several years earlier, he decided the time had come to retire with the intention of spending as much time as possible on his boat and in the garden. Fate decreed otherwise however and he was persuaded to stand in a by-election for South Lanarkshire Council in the old Biggar, Symington and Blackmount ward. At the time the seat was held by the SNP with a huge majority but Hamish was successful in overturning that majority with an equally huge margin for the Conservatives.
Hamish then sold his business and watched proudly as both his boys graduated – one from Sandhurst, the other from Strathclyde University. He was flanked by both his sons when he married Loraine.
He successfully defended his seat twice in the new Clydesdale East ward and within the council held the posts of chair of Community Services and chair of the South Lanarkshire Leisure and Cultural Trust. In addition to this he represented the council on various external bodies such as SPT, APSE, the joint Scottish Government/Cosla working group for Sport and Culture and on the UK wide body that scrutinises issues surrounding Nuclear Waste.