Obituary: Brian Docherty
A native of Greenock, Brian Docherty had a flair for mathematics, English, chemistry and physics; excelling in all subjects, and a straight ‘A’ student. He began his career at IBM in Greenock. He started his optical career as a student dispensing optician at the Dollond and Aitchison Greenock practice.
He studied at the Glasgow College of Technology and was awarded a diploma in ophthalmic dispensing in 1989. He was appointed to various management positions in Glasgow, Greenock, Irvine and Clydebank. He studied contact lens fitting and achieved the Contact Lens Certificate of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians in September 1991.
He was appointed as area manager for Scotland. He then took a secondment role working in the central London area, and worked on several specialist projects up to 2011, when he was appointed franchise regional manager for Boots Opticians in Scotland and the Midlands.
Many colleagues in both Dollond and Aitchison, and Boots Opticians, had been taught and supervised by him and were proud to call him their friend.
Often described as a ‘larger than life’ personality, he was generous in spirit, an avid supporter of Celtic Football Club and equally derisive about the other football club in Glasgow.
He was a true connoisseur of music, with an eclectic taste from the Sex Pistols to the Beatles.
He was renowned for his meticulous eye for detail and had a wonderful ability to quickly see numerical trends and patterns. He also had a skill for creating written work with great accuracy and finesse. Many of us had our work ‘red penned’ by him, as he sought to make the sentences flow better and satisfy his need for it to be exactly right.
He introduced his colleagues from ‘south of the border’ to some of his most beloved sayings – a particular favourite being ‘peely-wally’ – a word used frequently to describe bacon that needed a little longer under the hotel grill. It amused his colleagues when they found out that he had to speak in a very pronounced artificial English accent in order to get voice recognition to work on his sat-nav.
He also used his ‘very pronounced artificial English accent’ as his telephone voice, even when at home.
He was a measured man who was driven to succeed and loved to get the job done with the desired outcome. He had a great ability to engage with people and win them over. He would often say that he ‘wasn’t going to wrestle them to the ground’ over an issue, but nonetheless the recipient was left well aware of what was required of them. He often used an expression which sums up the way he approached things: ‘Compromise when you can, but if you can’t, don’t’ – borrowed from Captain America.
Brian Docherty passed away peacefully, at home with his family on March 1 at the age of 52. He is survived by Lynn, his wife of 29 years, daughters Caitlin and Kirsten, and granddaughter Violet.
A celebration of his life was held on March 14 at St Mary’s Church Greenock, attended by his family, friends and colleagues.
Submitted by colleague Tony Harvey, Boots Opticians