Friday March 14. 2008. 7.30 pm. The scene is the Tannahill Centre in Ferguslie Park, the occasion is the retiral 'do' for one of Ferguslie's best loved and respected characters Isa Erroch, 65 Yrs. young, a bitter sweet event as it turned out because Isa loved her job and did not want to retire.
She worked at the library for 25 yrs. starting as a part time worker and through self study and hard work became a full time library assistant and fulcrum of an excellent facility which is so much more than a local library.
She was a familiar site on the estate as she always cycled back and forth to work in her bright cycling gear and crash helmet, a very fit and energetic lady indeed.
Some people in estates like Ferguslie do not see the library as being for them, no-one done more to dispel that idea than Isa, when someone took the reluctant step to enter the place and saw her smiling and waiting to greet them they knew they would be alright, they knew she was a friend.
The education authorities could have made 'a day with Isa' a part of the curriculum for student teachers.
Watching her work with children was an education and a pleasure which no textbook can offer, she was quite simply a natural.
Isa in a meeting with children was a genuine gathering of equals where mutual respect was always evident, a joy to witness.
She made them welcome and helped them to get everything they could from what was on offer and, all done with her trademark smile and good humour, she knew everyone and everyone knew her.
She was a constant in the lives of the people of Ferguslie park and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her service.
Isa decided to try to work on and was encouraged to do so by everyone who knew her, me included. We all wrote letters of support and argued her case but the powers at the Council turned her down, a strange decision considering a) what she had to offer and b) the general consensus which agrees with people working past retirement.
Anyway lots of her friends and colleagues were there last night to give her a send off and everyone had a great time, it's no more than she deserved as she will be impossible to replace.
We, all of us were lucky to work with her and I hope she enjoys a happy and active retirement.
The smile and the good nature are not gone though as I'm sure we will be running into her when she visits the library as she whizzes back and forth on her bike, good luck to her, the library is going to feel strange without her.