William ‘Bill’ Cassie was born in 1949 in Aberdeen and moved to Inverness in 1958 when his father, a Prison Officer, was transferred there. Bill attended Inverness Royal Academy where he excelled in his studies and gained seven Higher Grade Passes at the age of 16. He was accepted for Glasgow University but had to wait a further year before entry as he was too young. He was also a very good athlete and particularly enjoyed football. Bill’s inner strength was evident to all who watched him play. He represented his school, played for North of Scotland schools and later in the Highland League, where he was given the Captain’s armband whilst still in his early twenties.
Bill was a prolific reader and even as a very young man read several broadsheet newspapers each day. This was a routine he continued all his life. His ability to absorb information and memorise facts was extraordinary. He was also a great advocate for the underdog and supported many worthy charities.
Bill was married to Annette, and the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in March this year. They had two sons, Scott and Ross, and grandson Scott Jnr. Bill was a devoted husband, dad and grandad who was unfailing in his love, support and wise counsel. A very fine and honourable man who always did the right thing.
He studied at Glasgow University before joining Glasgow Weights & Measures Department and was Appointed Inspector in Glasgow in 1971.
Bill returned to the North East, to the Elgin Office, in 1973 and also established the Fraserburgh Office in 1993. He was highly regarded by his staff in both offices, who paid tribute: “Bill was everything a great boss should be: firm, fair, respectful, understanding and encouraging, and will always be remembered with great fondness. It was a privilege to know him.”
Bill accepted the post of Head of Consumer Protection for Aberdeenshire in 1996 and the family moved there where he remained until he retired in 2009. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute in 2007.
It was during his time with Aberdeenshire that Bill’s support was vital in the development of Consumer Direct in Scotland. His leadership in encouraging the 32 members to work positively with the new service was recognised when he was awarded an MBE in 2005.
Bill enjoyed many outside interests, including football, golf, bowls, snooker and social dancing. He loved family gatherings, where he took the opportunity to exercise his excellent sense of humour. The family knew that if Bill found out about one of their mishaps or faux pas it was going to appear in a witty anecdote to be performed at their next family gathering, always delivered with fun-filled entertainment and laughter. He also enjoyed a wee dram or a glass of red.
Bill’s friendship with colleagues continued in his retirement. This was expressed so well by Bill’s colleague and friend, Eric Melrose. He said that there will be many memories of Bill shared at the meeting of the Scottish Fellows not only because of the high esteem in which he was held but also due to the friendship with many colleagues that has endured.
Bill lost his courageous battle against his illness on 23 April 2023. His uncomplaining dignity and bravery throughout was remarkable and humbling. His loss has created a huge chasm in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues.
A funeral service was held at Chapel of Garioch Parish Church on May 4 and thereafter at the cemetery. We offer our sincere condolences to Bill’s wife, son’s and family.
The family would like to share a very special tribute they received from Bill’s dear colleague and friend Ron Gainsford OBE, Vice President and Fellow of CTSI. His deep regard for Bill, and his moving tribute, has meant a great deal to the family. They are deeply appreciative of his warmth and kindness. Bill would have been honoured to receive these words from his highly respected friend.
Ron Gainsford’s words of tribute to Bill
Bill was a giant amongst men, a Trading Standards professional who inspired so many and a friend of mine and countless others who admired and respected him so greatly.
Memories of Bill remain and always shall. I laugh quietly and sometimes loudly at some of the funnier times we all had in Bill’s wonderful company. Bill’s going means all our lives are the poorer and always will be. Who couldn’t miss a man of his stature, honesty and sheer class. An absolutely splendid, special one-off.
Bill was a long-standing Fellow of great repute and standing, and during the course of the College AGM we shall each and all share the opportunity to stand in memory of Bill and of other dear friends and colleagues lost to us in this past year. I can assure you that Bill will be especially fondly remembered by me and by all his colleague Fellows. An incredible, decent man and a Trading Standards professional of unmatched high esteem.