Community service

Duff memorial hall on the day it opened in 1922.
Duff memorial hall on the day it opened in 1922.

A LOCAL library will celebrate its 90th anniversary next weekend with an open day.

Busby’s Duff Memorial Hall opened on September 10 1921 in memory of two men who died during the First World War.

Lieutenant William Duff was killed on June 28, 1915 at Gallipoli, then, more than four years late on August 24 , 1919 in India, his brother Lieutenant John Mitchell Duff also perished.

Their father, businessman William Duff donated a total of £10,000 to open the library, and what was then baths, for use by the community in memory of his sons who both served with the seven Battalion Cameronians (Scottish rifles).

John was buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery in Myanmar, India and William is interred in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery in Turkey.

After its completion in 1922, the halls were quite different to their current setting, when they housed baths, a reading room, a billiard room and a social room.

It is understood the baths are still there underneath the present floor of the library.

William Duff was well known in the community as a local jeweller and session clerk of Busby West Parish church from 1894 to 1930.

The local paper at the time of the opening, The Southern Press, reported that the generous gift of the Duff Memorial Library and Baths would be ‘of value and service to the people of Busby’.

The report continued: “The Busby library and baths will not only serve to commemorate the gallant young officers who gave their lives in the great war, but will serve to enrich the life of village, and if the people care to take advantage of them, be the means of doing incalculable good to the community”.

The library staff will take over the whole building for the morning and there will be table top sales, raffles, coffee morning and lots more.

The money raised on the day will help raise more funds for a plaque in honour of the all the men from Busby who died in active service defending their country that will be fitted to the outside wall of the building.

Busby library supervisor June Lamont said: “We would like to see a good turnout on September 10 as we are looking to raise money for a commemorative plaque to all our local heroes”.