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Former Saline minister has street named in his memory

Front row: the Rev Downie’s children Margaret Gordon, Dr Alexander Downie and Allison MacNeill. Back row: Bill Banks (Kingdom), Dougie Herd (Campion Homes) and Moray Royles (City Architecture)
Front row: the Rev Downie’s children Margaret Gordon, Dr Alexander Downie and Allison MacNeill. Back row: Bill Banks (Kingdom), Dougie Herd (Campion Homes) and Moray Royles (City Architecture)

A popular former minister is being remembered with a street sign in the Fife village where he served his flock for almost four decades.

The tribute to the late Rev Alexander ‘Sandy’ Downie has been unveiled in Saline.

It comes after Kingdom Housing Association asked the community council for nominations to name a street in its new 55-home £7 million development.

Locals voted overwhelmingly to honour Rev Downie, who served as the local Church of Scotland minister for nearly 40 years until his death in 1992.

He and his wife Jean lived in the west Fife village, which has now added Rev Downie Way to the map, and their son and two daughters were all born and raised there.

Saline and Steelend Community Council chairman David Chisholm said Mr and Mrs Downie had been “at the heart of village life” for almost half a century and were remembered by many with great fondness.

He said: “His children travelled across Scotland for the ceremony and said they were very touched that the community would remember him in this way.

“People gathered at the church after and it was very heart-warming to hear everyone swapping their memories of him.”

Mr Chisholm said locals had been instrumental in identifying the new housing site and promoting affordable housing.

He said the homes would allow young people who grew up in Saline to raise their families there, close to their own parents and grandparents.

The minister’s children – Margaret Gordon, Allison MacNeill and Dr Alexander (Sandy) Downie – said they were delighted with the development.

In a statement, they said: “We have been truly touched by this very kind act by the Saline community in naming a street in our father’s honour.

“It is greatly appreciated by us and our families.”

Kingdom received £3.6m from the Scottish Government for the Oakley Road project which was designed by City Architecture from Edinburgh and built by Campion Homes.

Kingdom’s group chief executive Bill Banks said: “The local community have been very supportive of this project from the start and the naming of the street will provide a longstanding tribute to the Reverend Downie.”

Thanking the local community and community council for their ongoing support, he added: “Projects such as this are very important to the local community and will provide much needed local homes and help build and sustain the village for many years to come.”

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