In Memory of...
by Loraine Ritchey
The world of Highland dance is mourning the loss of one of their own, May Falconer, who died Nov.5th aged 76, St. Andrews Hospice of cancer.
Her husband James Ballantyne preceded Ms. Falconer in death. Ms. Falconer won the World Highland Dancing Championship in 1939 as a juvenile and again in 1948 was the Adult World Champion. She then went on to coach 6 World Champions and 23 Scottish Champions. Honorary Member S.O.B.H.D, Member U.K.A., B.A.T.D., Fellow and Examiner S.D.T.A., also a member of the S.O.B.H.D Judges Panel and the Convener of The Judges Meetings.
Her funeral held Dalziel South Church, Nov. 9th found over 200 people in attendance. Three pipers, one to play the mourners into the Church, one to play at the end of the service and one for the graveside service. Rev. Phyllis Wilson conducted the service with reading by Shendyll Russell of the SOBHD and former student of Ms. Falconer. Organist David Barr.
Condolences and tributes stretched across the Highland world.
Victor Wesley, himself 3 times World Champion " Highland has lost another great lady of the dance, she had always put her love for Highland dancing first, her heart was always in the dance and she was deserving of many more accolades than those that were already laid at her door"
Cheryl Kirby, Adjudicator USA, 7 times USIR Champion and 1985 2nd-runner up Adult World, Cowal " I took lessons from Ms. Falconer the first year I went to Scotland in 1981. She was a wonderful lady and great teacher and she made me believe that I could compete on the same level as the Scottish dancers. She will be truly missed in the world of Scottish Dancing.
Heather Palmer of Step In Time. UK "I was so sorry to hear about May Falconer, she was an incredible person and such a credit to the dancing world. The dancing world has lost a great person.
Alex McGuire ( S.O.H.D.A.) and Rosemary McGuire (IND) (6 times World Champion), both past students of Ms. Falconer were "very saddened by the news of Ms. Falconer's death having visited her the previous week.
The service "a celebration of thanksgiving for the life of May Falconer" was attended by a vast majority of the dancing fraternity."
Donations are to be made to Cancer Research and St. Andrew's Hospice.