Club President Gordon Brown has put together a fitting tribute for Dan below that will feature in this weeks match program.
"DANIEL T. WARD
15th February, 1938 – 25th December, 2012
Dan, born 1938 in Peebles was a man of many parts. A talented musician, school teacher, soldier, artist, rugby player and coach, and last but not least a raconteur who kept many a clubroom conversation on the go with a vast store of anecdotes, many about his time in Bengasi with the Royal Scots and his two mates, Kenny Gray and the late Jim Cleghorn, which paid tribute to a remarkable memory, able to recall incidents from the distant past when we, the recipients of the tales, had difficulty recalling who our opponents had been that afternoon.
During his playing days he was a front row forward with aspirations to be a back-row and had a dummy which made those on the wrong end of it feel foolish and wondering why they hadn’t caught it. Unfortunately, as he often related himself, he didn’t quite have the pace to make use of it and was often caught by the guy he had sold the dummy to in the first place. But Dan found his niche in the Club when he and Roger Pirnie began coaching the Mini section both through the Club and the school after his transfer from Walkerburn Primary to Kingsland in 1973. He went on to coach the Colts along with Bill Noble but his legacy to the Club is with the number of primary school youngsters he introduced to the game and the skills, discipline and enthusiasm he passed on to them. His contribution to the Club in this respect was enormous and for that we will be forever grateful.
On his return from National Service, during which he attended the Army School of Music at Kneller Hall next door to Twickenham Stadium, Dan resumed his membership of the Silver Band, playing trombone and acting as Band Conductor on and off for many years. But again he had a strong association with the younger members, teaching virtually every current member of the band, on a one to one basis for the past 40 years. As well as being a regular band member for several of the Borders Operatic Societies, Dan was a member of the Borders Big Band, and a Founder Member and the driving force behind the success of the Peebles Jazz Festival as well as the Peebles Concert Band which he built from nothing to a 20 piece band for woodwind and brass, which perform up to three concerts per year.
Dan was a character, I have never seen him wear the same tie twice and we often ribbed him about the size of his collection and which second-hand shop he was purchasing them from. When he played, he would take strong exception if his name on the team-sheet or any mention in the Peeblesshire did not contain his middle initial, if it was good enough for K.J.F. Scotland, he reckoned it was good enough for him. He loved a sing-song and often led the singing on the team bus or in the Clubrooms and I don’t think any of those present at the Club’s O.A.P. Burns Night earlier this year will easily forget his rendition of ‘We Were Married on Friday’ to the tune of ‘Side by Side’ whereby, to the dismay of the expectant Romeo, most of his Juliet ends up on the bedside chair.
Apart from playing in the band every Beltane, Dan, putting his army training to good use, coached the sailors for the Beltane Saturday each year, teaching them the drills which they performed smartly on the day to add to the spectacle which is the Crowning Ceremony, the highlight of the Festival. Dan was also bestowed the honour of being the Warden of Neidpath in 1998, an honour he was exceptionally proud of. As I said, a man of many parts.
Once again this season I find myself having to pay tribute to a personal friend who has been taken from us far too early and who will be sorely missed by the Club, the Silver Band and his many friends in the wider community, but our pain will be as nothing when compared to the loss felt by Dan’s family and our thoughts and sympathy are with them at this time as they bear the sudden loss of a dear father and grandfather.
Friday 4th January 2013
Requiem Mass in St Josephs Church, 17 Rosetta Road, Peebles
10am - All Friends are Invited
Interment in Peebles Cemetery, Neidpath Road, Gate
Family Flowers only but donations welcome for Peebles Silver Band Development Fund.
An album of photographs courtesy of John Swanson can be found here.