A Scottish Strategy Guy

Murray Calder MCE 1

This is a page dedicated to the memory of our much loved and much-missed colleague Murray Calder who passed away on Monday 5th April 2021 after a long battle with cancer.

This is not an obituary, it is not an attempt to give a picture of who Murray was in life in general as he was too many things to too many people for us to try and encapsulate all of that. This page is merely a chance for us to express who he was and what he meant to us at MediaCom Edinburgh.

For some of us who worked (and partied) so closely with him over the last 15 years, words alone seem a somewhat flimsy way to try and represent Murray but they are all we have.

As a colleague he was fiendishly smart countenanced with a humility and generosity which meant that you delighted in his insight rather than envying it. He was instrumental in a new business drive providing the strategic platforms and being part of the winning pitch team across a range of clients in sectors as diverse as legal services, tourist boards, educational centres and online entertainment which helped us nearly double in size and be the leaders in the Scottish market in a very short space of time.

He didn’t suffer fools gladly and as with all the best relationships you had to earn his respect but he was generous with it once you had. He could be critical but he believed passionately that everyone had the right to be heard even if he didn’t agree with you. He really loved his work, too - he believed passionately in the importance of clear strategic thinking and he brought you along with him. He left no stone unturned nor book or article unread to make sure he knew the sector he was working in whether that was social change campaigns or retail.

As a mentor he had an openness, honesty and inherent trustworthiness that meant you could speak to him about anything in confidence. You knew that not only was his advice something to be valued but that the conversation would go no further and he would always advise what was best for you as an individual.

Murray was one of the most inherently principled people you could ever meet. In that regard he was the moral compass of the agency because he would always do the right thing even if it was to his detriment.

Beyond all of this though he was quite simply our friend: we celebrated and commiserated together; we laughed; we drank; we skied; we talked films and books; we watched him sashay across the dancefloor in his kilt and we argued about playlists, endlessly. The thought that these things are now only memories to be treasured rather than opportunities to be sought is heart-breaking.

He died as he had lived though with a humour, honesty and bravery that is a lesson to us all and the indelible mark he has left will continue to improve our lives in the years to come.

One of the last things he said was:

"We did some good work and had some fun along the way and you can't ask for much more than that"

As usual, he is right but forgive us for having wanted more of that.

Murray Calder in his own words

Murray created a mix for Maggie's to thank them for everything they did for him and his family. A fundraising page was created which has raised over £10,000.

You can still contribute on the Just Giving page and you can listen to Murray's mix for Maggie's below.

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