Welcome for curler aged 83
Reported by the Aberdeen Press & Journal on 25th January 1971, we have this article about William Birnie's appearance at a curling event and a trophy named in his honour.
I'm reminded of his father, John Birnie, and an image of him in 1914 curling with locals of note. William very much followed in his father's footsteps with a love of sports and curling and the outdoors. Glen Mhor was very much along similar lines. While the entry doesn't give us much information about the distillery, it does mention his annual work that was the original whisky bible.
And the note that William was suffering from a shoulder for a couple of years prior that put an end this sporting event in his life. This didn't limit his appearances at either distillery or such sporting occasions.
You can see a couple of examples of William's whisky bible in our documents section. What's also heartening is that the Willie Birnie Bonspiel continues to this day, with the winners of the 2022 event noted by the Inverness Curling Club. The Willie Birnie Trophy is described as:
'William Birnie, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Glen Mhor Distillery, Inverness, presented this trophy to Inverness Province for a One Day Bonspiel – which is usually played on the local Fast-day in January of each year.
Willie, as he was affectionately known, was a keen curler on outdoor ice at Kingsmills. He donated this trophy on the advent of the McKinlay & Birnie Club joining the Inverness Province.'
And that's not all, as their listing, confirms another trophy as the The Mackinlays & Birnie Trophy (Division 3), described as:
'This trophy was presented by Mackinlays and Birnie Curling Club in 1974 for the winners of the newly created Third Division.
The club was instituted in 1968 and the trophy was presented to stimulate interest in this League.'