We were recently informed about the passing of Ayr Film Society’s Honorary President, Peter Taylor. Ayr Film Society have shared a lovely tribute to Peter which you can read below. From everyone at Cinema For All, we’d like to offer our condolences to Peter’s family and friends and everyone at Ayr Film Society. Peter sounds like he was a wonderful person and an asset to Ayr Film Society.
Peter Taylor 1931 – 2018
An appreciation from Ayr Film Society
Mae West once said “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” This quote could easily reflect the life of Peter Taylor, who really did do it right. Peter was well loved by all his family, colleagues and friends. He was happily married to Vieno, who survives him, and he had the good fortune to have his daughter Alison and family living close by.
Peter’s great passion was cinema and film. He was a founder member of what was to become Ayr Film Society, which started life in 1973 at Wellington Leisure Centre and Ayr Academy. In 1982 the name became Ayr and Craigie Film Society – a merging of AFS and Craigie Film Society which screened films at Craigie College lecture theatre until 2012, when the new university building took over from the old college. For a number of years, the name reverted to Ayr Film Society – with ‘Screen on the Campus’ being added to highlight the location. Sadly, the society was without a home during the 2012 -13 season and during this time the number of screenings was reduced from 18 to just six for one year only. These movies were screened at Prestwick Bowling Club.
Peter was the Chair of Ayr Film Society during a large part of the society’s existence, taking over from Finlay Taylor and Ron Currie during the time at Craigie. In 2013 we found a permanent home in Ayr Town Hall and we now screen up to around 26 movies in one season. Peter loved musicals and some of the films from the 1940’s and 50’s particularly. He was always in charge of listing members and committee members suggestions for new titles each season and thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of film choice, as there was always much to discuss as we debated each title as a possibility for the coming season.
Peter was always a ‘front of house’ Chairman and delighted in greeting members, friends and visitors at the door. He also was there to ask people if they had enjoyed the film and collected the voting slips which everyone collected on their way in – as part of the film review which our treasurer/secretary Ron Currie provided each week. Peter was indeed as much ‘Mr. Ayr Film Society’ and as well known and liked locally, as ‘Mr. Cosmo’ at Glasgow’s Cosmo Cinema (now Glasgow Film Theatre).
One of our committee, Chie Hasegawa, who was sadly diagnosed with leukemia last May and returned to her family in Japan for treatment was, like all Peter’s friends, heartbroken to hear of his passing and one paragraph of a recent email from Chie best sums up all of our feelings for him.
‘When I started to attend the screenings at AFS, Peter was making a speech before the screening and I always looked forward to his reading each week. He made others and myself feel welcome at AFS. Peter was such a caring person and always asked how I was. I remembered his words were “How is my Chie today?” In every word and action, there was kindness….He left a lot with us: Passion for films; good times at committee meetings and friendship at AFS. I miss him a lot and I hope he rests in peace now and watch us from above.”
When the job of chair became too onerous, the committee were unanimous in making Peter Honorary President, a role which was new to the society. Peter was still able to sit at the welcome desk in Ayr Town Hall and greet everyone personally as they arrived. He will be greatly missed by all the committee and members, most of whom have known him from the early days of Ayr and Craigie Film Society.
The committee offer their condolences to his wife Vieno, his daughter Alison and all of his loving family and friends. He will always be ‘Mr. Ayr Film Society’ and is irreplaceable. A true gentleman and friend.
Ayr Film Society Committee:
Tony Scott (Chair); Ron Currie (Treasurer/Secretary); Mary McQuaker; Eleanor Danks; Alan Stewart; John Callan: Eibhlin Corrigan; Yolanda McCall; Gerda Scott; Paul Stewart; Chie Hasegawa; Rishaad al Moudden; Iain McKinnell; Sheila Cameron.