Minister home to Dalkeith for retirement

Ralph is pictured with his wife Anne
Ralph is pictured with his wife Anne

A minister’s calling to his childhood area is paving the way for a long and happy retirement at the end of this year.

The Rev Ralph Dunn and his wife, Anne, returned to Dalkeith in May after nearly 50 years living and working in Glasgow, Taiwan and Portobello.

The United Free Church of Scotland minister, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday, was ordained into the ministry in 1999 and, for the past 10 years, has been at Wilson Memorial Church near Portobello.

He said: “I was born in Maesteg, south Wales, but I spent my childhood and youth in the Woodburn Grove prefabs and then the ‘new’ houses in Woodburn Street, from 1946 to 1966. My uncle was in the police and this prompted me to join the force for four years, serving at Musselburgh and Gorebridge.”

But Ralph felt a spiritual calling. At the church next door to Gorebridge police station he met Anne, who was from Easthouses, and they both attended bible college in Glasgow.

They married and took their daughter, Lorraine, to Taiwan to carry out missionary work, spending more than five years in the Far East.

When the couple returned to Scotland, Ralph became an RE teacher, working at Preston Lodge High School, Hawick High School, the Royal High School and Stewart’s Melville College.

Ralph said: “I’ve been a Christian since the age of 18 and I’ve committed my life to God.”

The Dunns have three children, Lorraine (49), Lawrence (42) and Esther (36). Sadly, they lost their daughter, Rachel (40), to cancer in 2013.

Ralph is due to conduct his final service at Wilson Memorial on December 27.

He said: “I’ll probably still be called on for pulpit supply. I’m keen to do more cycling. Maybe a day away, although my wife sometimes has to come and rescue me, even on the short trips.”

The couple are looking forward to their Golden Wedding anniversary next March and to spending more time with their six grandchildren.