Robert Goodall

Born in Leslie 28th May 1833  –  Died in Glasgow 23rd November 1908

Robert Goodall was born in Leslie, Fife on 28th May 1833, the third son of Robert Goodall, stationer and his wife Ann Russell.  Educated at the local school, young Robert joined his father in the family business before being “ferried” across the water to Edinburgh (his own words) to begin his apprenticeship in the paper trade in 1847.  The thorough training which he received there gave him the foundation of a career which ultimately took him to Glasgow and the very front rank of his profession with the firm of William Collins & Sons.  He travelled throughout Scotland, becoming one who was known, not just for his business skills, but also as one who would go out of his way to do a good turn or help a struggling workman or colleague.

In January 1908 a grand banquet was given in Robert Goodall’s honour, celebrating his Jubilee in the paper trade. The great and the good of the city of Glasgow were present to acknowledge, not just his contribution to the paper trade in Scotland, but also his support of the literary and cultural activities of “The second city of the Empire”.

Robert Goodall’s life was perhaps best summed up in a quote from the local paper,  “The Leslie Globe” :-

“Mr Goodall had and extraordinary personality. To meet him was like having a ray of sunshine thrown across the path. Uniting an uncommonly fine physique to a most winsome manner and generous disposition, it was not surprising that when he presided at a Burns banquet in Glasgow that ministers, professors and members of Parliament , who graced the large company, were alternately swayed and inspired by the “Leslie laddie”, who, whether acting as the presiding genius or not, was himself the life and soul of every company he joined.”

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