The eldest member of the Shoemakers Incorporation is John Edward Harwood, who was born in Nigg on 8th April 1921.  John served in the Second World War and was awarded the 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, Defence Medal, Palestine Medal, 1935-45 Medal and the Territorial Efficiency Medal.

He is registered in the members of the Shoemakers Incorporation as having entered the Trade on 10th December 1974, made a Burgess of Trade of the City of Aberdeen in February 1975 and Burgess of Guild the same year.

John was elected as Boxmaster of the Trade in 1986 and 1984.  Thereafter, he was elected as Deacon in 1985, 1986 and 1999.

John worked as a Retail Manager and Company Director of John Dunn Shoes in Aberdeen.

What is less known, is that John is also a poet and was a regular contributor to Leopard Magazine including ‘Souter…..How it was’:

Souter…..How it was…
Picture the Soutar of old
In the lamp’s dim glow
Eyes visionary bright
For top’n-tailed bairns
Sprawled in his cast-off shirts

At the grate where darkening embers smoulder
Annie, hair like damp straw
From the evening rinse at the pump
Mends the ravages of a week’s hard play
On hand-downs

She raises her head
When the last nail is driven home;
Sees the curve of his back:
Rounder now with the demands
Of growing bellies,
Slowly straighten.

‘Come awa’ ben, Tam
Yiv daen enough’, she tells him
Knowing it never is.

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