Memorial service for Dr Tim Boyd of the Scottish Association of Marine Science

Yesterday in the Argyllshire Gathering Halls in Oban, around 200 people came together to celebrate the life of Dr Tim Boyd, who died tragically nearly two weeks ago.

Tim was one of the world’s leading and well respected investigators in polar physical oceanography, with a passion for the outdoors and a great love of the polar regions.

He was a man who truly inspired others, especially his students – with one of his studies [of the movement of tides in the arctic] used as a reference throughout the world.

Tim and his family moved from the USA to Scotland in 2007, His post with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) would take him back to both the Arctic and Antarctic to carry on his work looking at how climate change was affecting these regions; and at what damage oil pollution could do underneath the Antarctic ice shelf.

The service was a mixture of music from the Plockton School of Music where one of Tim’s daughters studies; and words from Tim’s work colleagues and family from America.

Tim’s brothers and sister told stories from his childhood, about how he always challenged authority and the great fun and many adventures they’d had growing up together. Very poignantly, his father talked about his child, his boy, then the teenager and finally the man, the world leading scientist.

Tim’s closest friends talked of their expeditions together to both ends of the poles, about how Tim would always bounce back from adversity and take everything in his stride. Toby, who shared an office with Tim at SAMS had everyone laughing with tales about trying to teach Tim to speak English and not American English.

It is no overstatement to say that the world has lost a great man and a truly inspiring scientist and the last words of the service were given by Tim’s wife Cat. She had some touching and funny anecdotes of their life together both  across the pond and here in Scotland – from tales about beavers making dams and flooding the home in America to Tim’s extreme mountain biking trips.

The service finished with pictures of Tim’s life set to music . Tim the child, the son, the brother, the  husband, the father.

The last words were from one of Tim’s closest friends at SAMS – ‘Good night. Sleep well’

Julian Penney

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