Members News

Dr Robert LC Cumming {Bob} A.R.P.S Joined the Circle in 1973

7th November 1935 - 28th May 2021
Family Eulogy:

Robert was born on 7th November 1935 to Marguerita and Edward Cumming, medical doctors living in Broomhill, Glasgow.
Marguerita had worked in Public Health and Edward was a very hardworking ad popular GP in the Partick area of Glasgow.
Robert had two older sisters, Mary and Margaret, who were thrilled with the new arrival and doted on their baby brother.
Time passed and came the advent of the second world war. Partick was in a vulnerable position on the banks of the Clyde and therefore family evacuation had to be considered. Eventually the family moved entirely to Perthshire, except for Dr Edward who stayed to tend to his extensive practice. They rented a large farmhouse called BOVAIN, just outside the village of Killin and settled there for the duration of the war.
It was there that Robert developed his love of nature and wildlife, and his interest in photography. He particularly loved tramping the hillsides with the local shepherd Donnie, and he was in his element at lambing time. He liked to climb on board the tractor and was interested in how it worked. As a teenager he worked in a local garage and acquired many practical skills regarding car maintenance which he applied in later life, and he was never happier than under the bonnet of many of the family cars.
The connection with BOVAIN remained throughout Robert’s life and his final resting place will be somewhere near there.
At the end of the war the family relocated back to Glasgow and Robert commenced at senior school at Glasgow Academy where he excelled academically. He was determined to pursue a medical education and was accepted to Glasgow University in 1953. He embarked upon a distinguished academic six-year medical course during which he achieved many class prizes along with distinctions in professional examinations in physics, botany, pathology, bacteriology and obstetrics and gynaecology. Robert graduated with an MB Ch B with commendation in 1959.
After graduation Robert began a laboratory-based career, but soon realised that he needed patient contact and joined the team of Dr PN Fraser in the Western infirmary, where he met his future wife. Anne was the junior house officer, and he was the senior house officer. Romance blossomed and the rest as they say is history.
They married in 1965 and Duncan arrived the following year and Mairi followed two years later.
Robert’s career continued to advance with ongoing research projects. He eventually decided to pursue a career in haematology which combined very well as undoubted laboratory skills and with his clinical expertise. He was a truly rounded physician.
He was finally appointed to Stobhill Hospital as Physician Haematologist in charge of his own unit. He remained in this post for over 28 years.
He loved his work and his patients, and he felt it so personally when he sadly lost patient to a blood disorder.
Even in retirement Robert’s passion for patient welfare and the preservation of NHS services continued. He chaired The Scottish Health Campaign Network which lobbied The Sottish Parliament. He was a regular visitor to meetings at Holyrood with the then Health Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
He would often have letters published in The Herald. He became a voice for those patients who did not have a voice.
Robert’s commitment to public service was instilled in his family and his legacy lives on in his children. He was enormously proud of Duncan and Mairi’s achievements and took an interest in the lives of his grandsons Lachlan, Murdo and Ruairidh.
Robert was musical and it is fitting that his grandson Murdo has recorded the committal music as a tribute to his dear grandfather.
Robert was an outstandingly talented photographer and an honorary member of the Scottish Photographic Circle. He mastered the art of colour and black and white dark room printing at a time when the production of quality printing was only mastered by a few. This exemplified by his success in exhibiting prints successfully for over 40 years.
Robert was a member of The Bearsden & Milngavie Camera Club. He served as a chairman and acted as an enthusiastic mentor for other members. In 1994 he was enrolled as an Associate of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.
Robert travelled widely as a highly respected visiting photographic judge. He was extremely popular in this role, a tribute to the kind and constructive way he made of his print critique. No one ever felt deflated after Robert had completed his assessment of their work. As a result, he was held in high regard by Camera Clubs throughout Scotland. In 2003 Robert was given a lifetime award in recognition for his services to The Scottish Photographic Federation and its member clubs.
Today’s Order of Service is a tribute to his photographic talents and includes some of his prize-winning photographs which reflect his love of God’s Creation.
Church and Christian faith was an important aspect of Robert’s life. The Cumming family were members of Wellington Church where Robert’s father served as an elder. Robert attended Sunday school and won countless awards for his Bible knowledge. In adult life Robert took on the responsibility of eldership in the Church of Scotland. This was a role he assumed with quiet diligence and took a genuine interest in the pastoral needs of his District.
In his later years Robert took life at a slower pace but remained fit and healthy. His daily routine would include reading the Herald from cover to cover.
Over the last year, due to Covid restrictions Robert did not venture out much but remained content at home.
Robert lived life to the full dedicating much of his time to the needs of others, however he will be missed most by his family.

We are grateful to Bobs family for the information provided.