TRIBUTES have been paid to a founding member of Clydebank Musical Society (CMS) who passed away recently following an illness.

Liz Paterson was “integral” to the formation of the group in 1981 and has been hailed as a “true CMS legend”.

She performed on stage from the first show in 1982 until she retired in 2003.

A CMS spokesperson said they were “deeply saddened”.

A statement reads: “We are extremely sorry to share that founding member Liz Paterson has passed away, following an illness.

“Liz was integral to the forming of our club in 1981, and performed on stage with us from our first show in March of 1982 until she retired from the stage in 2003 following our production of ‘Kiss Me Kate’.

“Alongside other founding members of the club, Liz spent many years singing with our Concert Party, even after she retired from the stage.

“She really enjoyed singing at care homes, hospitals, and events for the elderly. Since the very beginning, Liz has been an extremely important part of our club and we are deeply saddened at this loss.

“We will keep her in our memories and in the stories of our club, but we will miss her smiling, enthusiastic, presence in our audiences for all of our shows.

“A true CMS legend, and a truly lovely human being.”

Two years ago in an interview with Gillian Stewart, current vice chair of CMS, Liz told of how the club got its bold beginning.

Whilst working at Braidfield High School she “gate-crashed” a meeting about forming community groups.

Bill Kean, who was the principal teacher of music at the time, was talking about an idea he had to incorporate different kinds of music into Clydebank.

This caught Liz’s attention.

She said: “I gate-crashed a meeting, that’s how it [CMS] came about. My ears pricked up when he said about a drama club.

“He was talking about a meeting in the community centre that night, so the bold me, I turned up.”

At first, Liz was told that the meeting had been invite-only however she was able to stay.

By the end of the evening, several small groups had been created and Liz found herself in a group which hoped to kickstart a musical society.

She added: “We just met once a month to discuss our ideas, but the first two young girls disappeared and then the music teacher that was with us, and finally the last man left.

“It was just me left to attend the meetings. When they asked me if I had any updates, of course, I had to say no.”

A community councillor at the time gave Liz the name and address of someone to contact at the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA).

This is said to have been the push that Liz needed to get started and she secured a £500 grant, enabling her to hire a musical director.

The group would go on to perform its first “wee concert” in the Napier Hall in Old Kilpatrick in a bid to grow their numbers.

Liz’s dedication to getting the group going led to more than four decades of success and brought years of entertainment and social events to the local community.

Reflecting on this, she said: “I was in the right place at the right time, that’s all. But, to think that we started from that wee concert in the Napier, with no music or anything; it’s amazing, really.

“It’s a nice legacy to leave.”