Author Topic: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP  (Read 4415 times)

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Offline riskygizmo

Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« on: Jun 29, 2014, 05:03 PM »
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/revealed-meet-liner-engineer-whos-3781643

Quote
When he was 16, he started work on the QE2, where he was involved in the manufacture of turbines and gearboxes. His dad Sandy was one of the welders.

And he made it all the way to Staff Chief Engineer of QE2, helped with the construction of QM2 and is now Chief Engineer of Queen Victoria.
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 05:11 PM by Lynda Bradford »
Full Away on Passage.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Ronnie Keir
« Reply #1 on: Jun 30, 2014, 02:40 PM »
The high point of his career was surely meeting us lot last month!  ;)

« Last Edit: Jun 30, 2014, 06:20 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #2 on: Mar 28, 2018, 10:31 PM »
Sad news : I received an email from Ronnie Keir's son to say that Ronnie had died on Monday.  He had fought a brave fight against Cancer for over a year knowing that his condition was terminal.

Last September we were honoured to have Ronnie as one of our speakers at the QE2 50 year conference in Clydebank. 

He was a very down to earth man, who was well respected for his engineering knowledge.  He started his working life as an apprentice at John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank and worked there when the QE2 was being built.  He finished his career as a Chief Engineer onboard Cunard ships, and had been Chief Engineer on QM2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

Ronnie had been hired by Cunard as Chief Engineer on QE2 and he was in line to take over from Willy Robinson when he was going to the QV new build. He was doing Staff Engineer to learn the company procedures and paperwork. before he took over as Chief Engineer, however, a couple of events changed that:

The first build of the QV, was not good enough to be a Cunard ship as it didn't have a Queens Room, it became P&O Arcadia. So a new QV was built a little longer to accommodate a Queens Room. But as there was a couple of years until the ship was ready, Willy came back to QE2, re-filling the Chief Engineer role. Then Simon Gillan took very ill in St Nazaire, to the extent that his medical certificate was revoked so he could not go back to sea again, so Ronnie was drafted in to replace him as Chief Engineer of the QM2 along with Brain Wattling.

Condolences to his wife, Mary and family. 

His son Graham has wrote the following:

Quote
It is with deep regret that I write to you all to inform you of the passing of my Father, Ronnie Keir. He passed peacefully on Monday afternoon surrounded by his family.

I send this email on the instructions of my Dad. Hopefully not too many duplications.

His Funeral will be held on the 9th of April at Dalnottar Crematorium, Mountblow Road, Clydebank, G81 4SL at 13:30, and thereafter at the West Park Hotel. All welcome.
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:30 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #3 on: Mar 28, 2018, 11:14 PM »
Oh what sad news.

His bravery was an inspiration.

I was so honoured to meet him on board Queen Victoria 4 years ago, and then again at the conference last year, he was such a modest man, but such a charmer.  I know he was so very proud to be speaking in Clydebank about his ship, and I'm proud that my friends made that happen.  I last spoke to him on the Clyde Clipper as we came back up the Clyde from Clydebank.  He was in fine form, and said how much he'd enjoyed the events.

Thank you Ronnie, you did us, and QE2, and Clydebank, proud.
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:30 PM by Lynda Bradford »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

trevorc

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir
« Reply #4 on: Mar 28, 2018, 11:25 PM »
Bless him.
Someone should attend to represent us..
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:30 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #5 on: Mar 29, 2018, 09:15 AM »
Bless him.
Someone should attend to represent us..

Thanks Trevor,  I will certainly be attending his funeral with my husband and I am sure there will be other forum members who live in the area who will want to attend. 
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:31 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #6 on: Mar 29, 2018, 10:16 AM »
This is such sad news.

I first met Ronnie on QM2 in 2006 and then again at the Lusitania conference in 2015 (the event at which the idea for our QE2 50th Conference came about) - I remember Ronnie was sitting at the same table as myself, Lynda and John and was telling us enthusiastically about the TS Queen Mary project and how she would come back to the Clyde - how right was he!!!

I had the privilege to work with him on the Queen Mary project when she arrived back on The Clyde and was subject of his typical West of Scotland "banter" on several occasions - the most memorable being when we were connecting up her generator and I wanted to switch the power off to check something - I was called a few unsavoury names at that point (in jest) as we'd only just managed to get the old thing started!! We had a good laugh that day and he kept me well topped up with coffee and stories of Cunard all day.

When Ronnie told me he was ill and didnt know how long he had - it was delivered in typical "off the cuff" fashion but you could tell he was determined it wasn't going to get him easily as he ended by saying to me "But I'm gonna fight this Gav - it wont know what the hell has hit it!!"

I was delighted he was able to present at the conference – his talk was brilliant and straight from the heart with the usual Ronnie humour!! It was so unfortunate we didn't have infinite time that day as I could have listened to him speak for hours!!!
 
I was really happy also to see him interviewed at Ferguson Marine on the Channel 5 QE2 Documentary too - not just because it was Ronnie but because there he was - a former shipyard apprentice at the only remaining commercial shipyard on the river which gave him his trade. That kind of thing sparks emotions within me.

Anyway I digress - apologies.

So Ronnie - it was an honour to have known you - albeit for a short time - but known you nonetheless.

I'll be along to say my goodbyes on 9th April.

Lang may yer lums reek Chief.

Gav


« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:31 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #7 on: Mar 29, 2018, 02:15 PM »
Thank-you Rob for adding the information about Ronnie's passing to the Facebook page.  Reading the many comments shows the respect people who worked with him had for Ronnie.  See Facebook page
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 02:30 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #8 on: Mar 29, 2018, 03:05 PM »
Thank-you Rob for adding the information about Ronnie's passing to the Facebook page.  Reading the many comments shows the respect people who worked with him had for Ronnie.  See Facebook page

The response to the Facebook post is incredible, and shows how many people he touched.  I hope his family see the comments.  216 people have also 'reacted' to it so far.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline pete cain

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #9 on: Mar 29, 2018, 05:08 PM »
I only encountered him via the 50 event, he was a natural, popular chap,  one of the few left who actually worked on QE2, my condolances to his family.
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2018, 05:11 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #10 on: Mar 29, 2018, 08:10 PM »
Thanks Pete, I will try to contact Ronnie's son to let him see the comments on this topic and Facebook
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #11 on: Mar 30, 2018, 10:43 AM »
I have been reading some of the comments on the post about Ronnie Keir's passing on The QE2 Story Facebook page and it reiterates what a really nice person he was and how much he was respected. 

One person comments on Ronnie being one of the ugly sisters in the Christmas pantomime makes you laugh to think about what he would look like. 

Another comment " Ronnie keir was to me the nicest, warmest, caring, witty, sociable, professional, respected officer onboard QM2....." sums up Ronnie

The Facebook tributes to Ronnie are worth reading:
https://www.facebook.com/TheQE2Story/

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #12 on: Mar 30, 2018, 07:23 PM »
I was very much saddened to hear of Ronnie's passing.  My condolences to his family and friends on the passing of a truly great man.
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #13 on: Mar 31, 2018, 12:34 PM »
Such sad news!

I met Ronnie for the first time at the 50th year conference in Clydebank. I really enjoyed his talk about his experiences whilst working for John Brown and later at sea. He seemed like a real character! Had a good chat with him at the top of the Titan Crane looking down on the old slipway areas.

I'm sure he would have been a great bloke to have sailed with.

RIP

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #14 on: Mar 31, 2018, 12:39 PM »
The post on our Facebook page has reached a very remarkable 22002 people, got 154 comments, 312 "reactions" and 99 shares. 

Our most popular post ever (by far) is about a very sad topic, but also it seems entirely appropriate and clearly very well earned indeed.  Ronnie clearly has touched everyone he's met. 
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #15 on: Apr 01, 2018, 10:18 AM »
The tributes to Ronnie Keir keep coming in recognition of the man from Clydebank, who went on to greater things. 

The Clydebank Post Editor is looking to include something in the local newspaper, which is fitting for the boy from Clydebank who started as an apprentice engineer and ended up being a Chief Engineer.

I wrote a little  QE2 Story tribute in the March newsletter, which although it does not cover all of his life achievements, it gives a little indication. In addition to the ships mentioned, he also served on P&O ships including the Adonia.
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,8346.0.html
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #16 on: Apr 02, 2018, 12:35 PM »
The attached is from our member Andy Holloway, who is currently unable to post on the forum due to travelling.

Quote from: Andy Holloway
It was with great sadness that I read of Ronnie's passing and I just wanted to post something about him.

I first met Ronnie when he joined QE2 as Staff Chief Engineer having come across to Cunard from Air Tours.

We met at a Mauretania cocktail party in the Queens Room me as Chief Security Officer 'sculking' at the back and he as a 'new joiner' finding his feet onboard in the formal side of Cunard. It was obvious from the outset that he was going to 'fit in', and 'fit in' he definitely did!
We renewed our friendship on QM2 when he was Ch Eng and again some years later and when he was serving his pennance away from Cunard after the 'ethnic cleansing' of 2005/6!

It was only last Sept. at the QE2 Crew Reunion where I learnt that he was terminally Ill, so it was really important to me to be able to attend the QE2 Story event at Clydebank some weeks later to greet him and shake his hand one last time!
Although only with Cunard 'a dog watch' compared to some, Ronnie soon established himself as a very well respected Officer and Ch Eng to all, both within the Engineer's Department and outside.

Ronnie, it was a great pleasure to have known you and it is with a heavy heart that I say; "Farewell old friend, fair seas and safe passage."
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #17 on: Apr 02, 2018, 01:04 PM »
It was very thoughtful of Andy to send you an email, even though he could not gain access to the forum and what a lovely memory of Ronnie.

We have also had messages from fellow speakers at the conference:

Brian Price: Very sorry to hear this.
A great man, an excellent ChEng, and a great person to work with. Sad loss.

Ian Johnston: I’m very sorry indeed to hear of Ronnie’s passing and wish I had spent more time with him. He was one of the last of that rare breed – the Clydeside marine engineer.

David Humphrey: I only met Ronnie once, at the conference last year. He was a real character and I really enjoyed his presentation

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #18 on: Apr 05, 2018, 11:15 PM »
Clydebank Post tribute to Ronnie Keir with quotes from our newsletter
http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/16140182.Tributes_paid_to_a_life_long_mariner_Ronnie_Keir/
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Chief Engineer: Ronnie Keir RIP
« Reply #19 on: Apr 09, 2018, 08:22 PM »
I went along to Ronnie Keir's funeral today at Clydebank crematorium, which was attended by around 200 people. 

When the funeral cars arrived people lined the drive to pay their respects and a salute was made by the Widows Sons of Scotland.  Ronnie was a member of this bikers group, who do a lot of good work for charity. 

It was a sad moment to see Ronnie's two sons help to carry the coffin into the crematorium, but a task that they would be proud to carry out. 

It was a humanist funeral that very much told Ronnie's story.  His son did the eulogy, which was a fitting tribute to his Dad, a fine man, who has done a lot in his lifetime. 

The tune Aye fond kiss was very poignant as was the Hymn chosen for those present to sing -  "For those in peril of the seas" and the service ended with the Frank Sinatra song "My Way" then Highland Cathedral

My thoughts go to Ronnie's family.  I hope that it is of some comfort for them to have seen so may people turn out for his funeral.  I also hope that happy memories comforts them as they go through the grieving stages. 

RIP Ronnie





« Last Edit: Apr 09, 2018, 09:21 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

 

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