Daniel (Danny) McLean was born in 1920 in the east end of Glasgow. On leaving school at fifteen he went to work in the famous Templeton's Carpet Factory on Glasgow Green. When war broke out in 1939 he was called up and served as a signalman on minesweepers in the Mediterranean. In the run up to D-Day his ship was damaged by the mines they were clearing to permit the invasion fleet to head for the Normandy beaches. Danny returned to his work at Templeton's after his time in the Navy and in both capacities he was commended for his loyalty and discretion.
After working at Templeton's in a variety of roles he set up his own newsagent's business and was very much part of the local community. When the redevelopment of the east end saw the demolition of his premises, Danny went to work with Strathclyde Council until he retired.
In his mid-thirties Danny turned his musical talents to singing. He showed considerable talent and, as well as committing to tuition in Glasgow, he travelled regularly to London for professional lessons. He joined the Glasgow Grand Opera Company and the Bach Choir where he relished the opportunities offered to use his rich tenor voice. At one point Danny was advised not to use his voice at all for a year if he wished to be able to continue singing. Such was his determination to do so that he achieved this and gradually built his voice back up by an incremental series of vocal exercises.
Danny vowed to use his talents to give pleasure to others. To this end, for many years he gave up his time to perform widely around the Glasgow area with a group of fellow performers at Lunch Clubs, Church Clubs and Salvation Army events. He was a frequent and very popular entertainer at Erskine Care Home where he greatly enjoyed talking to fellow veterans.
When Danny moved to Caithness he joined the Wick Choral Society and greatly enjoyed his time with them. He also took part in Church and other local concerts where he was well received. He brought out two CDs of his favourite songs, something which gave him a justifiable sense of achievement.
Retirement from Strathclyde Council gave him the chance to follow his lifelong dream of studying to gain further qualifications. At sixty-seven he started to study with the Open University and he went on to gain an Honours Degree followed by a Post Graduate Diploma. Danny relished and greatly appreciated the opportunities offered him by the Open University. The day he graduated with his B.A. Degree was one of the proudest days of his life. The joy of acquiring knowledge never left him and he continued his studies at North Highland College U.H.I. where he signed up for two courses in Scottish History and then went on to computing studies for several more years.
Danny believed that a talent was something to be nurtured, developed and used to benefit others. He would, therefore, be delighted for this Fund to enable young musicians to enhance their abilities and give pleasure to their communities. It would also be Danny's wish that other pensioners and veterans be helped to experience the fulfilment and pleasure he gained from education. This is what the Daniel McLean Memorial Fund would aim to achieve.