Tribute: Betty Carnegie ‘Monty’ Montgomery

Betty Carnegie “Monty” Montgomery, who chaired the then Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s (RPSGB) Scottish Executive from 1984 until 1986, had an “exceptional talent for balancing professionalism and leadership with a friendly, relaxed, happy working environment”, recalls Janet Trundle. 

“Betty’s vision for the changing nature of pharmacy was demonstrated when, in conjunction with Sandy Shearlaw, the chief administrative pharmaceutical officer, she encouraged me to become one of the first cohort undertaking the MSc in clinical pharmacy at the University of Strathclyde in 1975. Many more followed and, subsequently, became the next generation of pharmacy leaders.

“Betty was much more than a boss and the fact that many of her former staff became life-long friends and remained in contact until she died is testament to the respect and affection in which she was held.”

In 1971, Mrs Montgomery succeeded Betty Meikle as the chief pharmacist at the Vale of Leven. “Both were active in the RPSGB locally and nationally. They drove the bidding for and planning of the 1996 British Pharmaceutical Conference in Glasgow — the last one organised by a local branch”, said Howard McNulty, while Jim Bunney recalls that she was “very good at organising social events both for the branch and also her reunion events with her peers from Strathclyde”. 

Gordon Craig worked with Mrs Montgomery at the Vale of Leven District General Hospital and remembers her as “an excellent manager of people, always encouraging her staff to achieve their full potential and ensuring the development of pharmacy services throughout Argyll. She will be sadly missed and all our thoughts and condolences are extended to her family at this time”.

On a personal note, Liz Smith (formerly McConechy) said Mrs Montgomery — an avid curler — “embraced life with enthusiasm, formidable organisation skills and a wide variety of interests”.

Norman Lannigan remembers Mrs Montgomery as “a supporter of young pharmacists, welcoming them in to the profession in her role as chair of the Local West of Scotland branch of RPSGB.

“In my early career years, on returning to practice after a period in research, I worked with Betty in my role as an area quality control pharmacist in Argyll and Clyde. I found her not only to be a great professional, but one who always maintained an ability to have great fun — the originator of joy at work.

 “I will remember her as a vivacious character who was greatly respected by her team and multiprofessional colleagues”.

Janet Trundle, former staff pharmacist at Vale of Leven District General Hospital; Howard McNulty, former chief administrative pharmaceutical officer of Greater Glasgow Health Board; Jim Bunney, former chief pharmacist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary; Gordon Craig, former deputy chief pharmacist at Vale of Leven; Liz Smith (formerly McConechy), retired community pharmacist and Norman Lannigan, former NHS Scotland director of pharmacy


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, October 2019, Vol 303, No 7930;303(7930)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207061

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