Joe Handy obituary

Other Lives: Teacher and Labour councillor in Dundee who used his IT skills to create websites for MSPs

My husband, Joe Handy, who has died aged 71 of cancer, was a teacher and Labour party activist. Elected to Dundee district council in 1988 and serving until 1996, he was cultural services convener during the city’s octocentenary in 1991, and entered into the celebrations with gusto. Later he used his IT skills to act as a webmaster and researcher for Marlyn Glen MSP, and performed a similar task for two Highlands and Islands MSPs, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart.

He was born in Dundee to Joe, a labourer, and Margaret (nee McKay), a housewife, and educated at Lawside academy in the city. After graduating with a degree in chemistry from Dundee University in 1971, he embarked on two years of educational research at Glasgow University, and it was while he was in Glasgow that we married in 1972. An enthusiastic filmgoer at the time, Joe enjoyed being film critic of the student newspaper, the Glasgow Guardian, under the editorship of Robin McKie, who later went on to write for the Observer.

On returning to Dundee in 1974, Joe taught chemistry at Kirkton high school for 10 years and Harris academy for a further 21, before retiring in 2005.

In his role helping with Dundee’s octocentenary celebrations, he wrote an introductory guide to 18th century Dundee, designed a commemorative calendar and Christmas card, promoted a compilation album of Scots songs performed by local talent, and produced and wrote the screenplay of The Burgh, a film highlighting Dundee’s past.

Following local government reorganisation in 1996, Joe stepped down from the council. Rekindling an interest in IT technology sparked by his research in Glasgow, he then provided websites for several prominent members of the nascent Scottish Parliament, including a future first minister, Jack McConnell.

Joe also provided an online presence for entities as diverse as the leftwing magazine Tribune and Tayside Opera and on leaving teaching took on his role as webmaster for Glen, until her retirement. He was a keen promoter of the efficacy of online campaigning.

Joe is survived by me, our daughter, Mairi, and grandchildren Rebecca, Robert, Jessica and Charlotte.

Margaret Handy

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Annie Stewart obituary
Other lives: Primary teacher and lifelong pacifist who made lasting friends among the Quakers

Gregor Stewart

02, Aug, 2020 @12:23 PM

Article image
Jo Bossanyi obituary
Other lives: Marine biologist who developed a new plankton sampling technique and gave lectures with the help of Octavius, an octopus

Robert Waterhouse

01, Feb, 2021 @3:22 PM

Article image
Keith Reader obituary
Other lives: Professor of French studies who wrote widely on French cinema and cultural theory

Ginette Vincendeau

23, Aug, 2022 @4:43 PM

Article image
Lindsay Logan obituary
Other lives: Mathematician and distinguished educationist

Brian Logan

16, Dec, 2018 @6:13 PM

Article image
John Waterhouse obituary
Other lives: Psychiatrist who worked at the Crichton Royal hospital, Dumfries,

Debby Hamilton

29, Nov, 2019 @5:48 PM

Article image
Jenny Lawson obituary
Other lives: Award-winning musician and pioneer of women’s barbershop singing

Debbie Lawson

02, May, 2019 @2:09 PM

Article image
Bill Fearns obituary
Other lives: Marine engineer who designed U-boat hunting vessels in the second world war

Les Fearns

25, Oct, 2020 @4:36 PM

Article image
Madeleine Eggleston obituary
Other lives: Doctor with an interest in women’s health who set up a family planning clinic in Taunton

Louise Labelle

25, Apr, 2021 @4:33 PM

Article image
Ernie Ross obituary
Labour MP who represented his native Dundee for 26 years and campaigned for local and Middle Eastern causes

Brian Wilson

31, Oct, 2021 @12:52 PM

Article image
Elizabeth Handy obituary
Other lives:

Simon Caulkin

26, Mar, 2018 @4:04 PM