Reading about a charity gala in London last night for Sir Richard “Dickie” Attenborough to set up a fund for budding film makers, I read all these people saying what a positive and upbeat person he was and how many just loved being in his company. He always comes across as a positive character and my mind was taken to someone else who is always cheerful, never has a bad word to say about anyone and is universally adored – George Sim.
“Gorgeous” as I have always called him first appeared in my life in 1990 when I joined Aberdeen Strathspey and Reel Society. There he was sitting behind his drum kit rattling away along to the orchestra with a smile on his face and love for the music. He always chatted to us newcomers and his terrible jokes cheered us up. In 1994 I had the pleasure of starting to play alongside him in a ceilidh band called “The Highland Way” with Kerry Fettis and Alan Anderson the band leader. Over the next couple of years I got to know George well playing across the North East and always enjoyed his company.
When I spent time with him he had a good word to say about everyone and the feeling was mutual and I can’t express what wonderful company he has always been. Telling us about his life and adventures or chatting about his beloved Dons or just telling us the worst (but great) jokes. His professionalism as a musician is also something I really admire about him. Even now as a nonagenarian he is still playing and enjoying his music which is a wonderful thing. Everywhere we went he was the focus of the attention for everyone in the room – he knew everyone and by the end of the night they all knew him.
Student gigs were my favourites to do when George was in the band because the lads would come up and kneel in front of his drum kit and worship him as a deity in their midst and the girls would flock round him too – leaving a teenage me in my place! He took it all with a pinch of salt but loved the atmosphere at gigs – even the bad ones he would say he enjoyed playing. Oh and he always had a pack of Pandrops at the ready just in case.
George is not only one of the most positive and pleasant people I’ve ever had the good fortune to spend time with, but he is universally adored. I’ve never heard a bad word said about him in all the years I’ve known him. Any conversations with others always involve plaudits and admiration for a man who has played with the biggest and best acts at one end and me at the other. I haven’t seen him much of late, but Facebook and his granddaughter Elaine keep me informed of his latest shenanigans be it in the park or a get together with his great-granddaughter Megan. I hope that Elaine and Rhona know how lucky they are to have such an amazing and well respected Granda and how the rest of us all want to adopt him as our own.
Long may you rattle and drum roll Gorgeous!