About the Perth and Kinross Lieutenancy

Mrs Mary Band – the first 100 years!

Mary Watson Wallace Smith was born on St Swithin’s Day (July 15) 1923.

Mary was the sixth child (of seven) of David Smith and Anne Orrock Watson, who were both Dundee residents and had married at St Joseph’s RC Church in 1907.

Both sides of the family were closely connected to the city’s Jute industry. David was a Tenter (weaving machine engineer) and worked most of his career at Harry Walker & Sons’ historic Caldrum Works, the only mill still operating today in Dundee. Anne’s family had worked in jute for some generations, immigrating from Arbroath.

After leaving school, Mary worked mostly for Dundee housebuilders, Bett Brothers, but also in munitions during the war. In 1946 she and a close friend from Betts went to a dance at The Salutation Hotel in Perth, where she met Stanley Band. The two were married soon after in Dundee in January 1947.

Mary & Stanley initially lived in Perth, with Stanley working for the family business, Bands of Perth. Stanley had worked in aircraft special project testing during the war and the young family – now including two year old son, Kenneth – moved to Hatfield near London when he was offered a job of prototype engineer at De Havilland. Stanley was to remain at the factory for the rest of his career. A second son, Robin, was born in June 1957.  As the family grew up, Mary took a job in the typing pool at ICI in Welwyn Garden City.

When Stanley retired in 1987, he and Mary sold up to return to Scotland, buying a new-build bungalow in Knockard Place in Pitlochry and they also travelled down regularly to see the growing family.

Stanley died in 2020, just short of his and Mary’s 74th wedding anniversary. Mary continued to live independently, latterly with daily care visits, until February 2022, when more care was required, and she moved here into the fantastic Dalweem Home in Aberfeldy.

Mary’s two sons and daughters-in-law, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren all came to Aberfeldy to celebrated her 100th birthday with her, together with the wonderful team at Dalweem.

Vice Lord-Lieutenant Major David Noble presented Mary with a birthday card from Their Majesties The King and The Queen and Provost of Perth & Kinross Xander McDade presented her with a basket of flowers.

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