Legion dedicate new bar

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A Carnoustie hero had the refurbished lounge bar of the local branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland named in his honour last week.

Andy Coogan (96), celebrated sportsman, coach, author and war veteran, attended the dedication ceremony on Friday night in the Carnoustie branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland.

Interestingly the refurbishment and rededication is the result of a mystery benefactor. Kirsty McDonald from the Carnoustie branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland was able to explain more.

She said: “The branch was left an anonymous legacy a couple of years ago. We only know the lady’s name and we don’t have any idea what her connection to Carnoustie is.

“She was in the services in the war and we feel she might have been a despatch rider stationed at Barry Buddon. We don’t know, we’re just guessing.

“It’s enough for us to have a complete makeover and still have money in the bank.”

The Carnoustie branch was not the only beneficiary with the bequest split a total of 12 ways between good causes.

The refurbishment included the installation of solar panels, insulation, central heating and fresh décor throughout.

Work started in July last year and only recently finished with the dedication ceremony on Friday the first official function in the freshly decorated Andy Coogan Lounge.

Until recently the bar was known as the Laurie Lounge after another branch member. Kirsty explained: “The old function suite was named after Charlie Laurie, a well known local worthy and at that time the oldest member of the Carnoustie branch.

“Andy Coogan has a huge connection with the Legion and, at 96, is now our oldest member, it’s a natural thing to name it after him.

“We talked about this for a long time and this is what we decided and Andy is absolutely delighted.”

Andy is well known in the town for his athletics coaching and also as the author of ‘Tomorrow You Die’ an autobiography of his experiences as a Japanese prisoner in the Second World War.

It was hoped that Andy’s celebrity nephew, Sir Chris Hoy, would be there on Friday but unfortunately he was on holiday at the time and was unable attend.

Visit our website at www.guideandgazette.co.uk to see a slideshow of the dedication.