FAMILY members of a former Galashiels woman have sent a message of thanks to residents of the Borders town for looking after a special tree planted in her honour.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1916, Sheila Dahlin (nee Smith) studied biochemistry at the city's university and served as a nurse during WWII.

In 1944 she married Frank Dahlin, a Dane who worked for Great Northern Telegraphic Co. in the UK.

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They moved to Denmark in 1949 with three children Richard, Margaret and Helen born in 1944, 1945 and 1946.

Two more daughters, Stella and Karina followed in 1951 and 1952.

Border Telegraph:

Sheila had spent many happy days hiking and biking in the Borders as a child.

And when the time came to return to the UK from Denmark she moved to Galashiels in 1972.

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The family moved into Hawthorn Road in Langlee, and Sheila cycled up and down the hill every day – including weekends when she would take herself on trips to the countryside.

The Eildons were one of her favourite destinations; after she passed, her family renamed the hills the “Sheildons”.

She worked at Holme's Chemist assisting in the pharmacy end of the shop.

But music was her passion and she started a recorder group at her home where people came to play.

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Daughter Karina Dahlin who now lives in Canada said: “In her later years, Mum sponsored an acre of woodlands in the Borders and took joy in knowing that the trees there would live long after she was gone.

“She died June 16, 1993, at the Borders General Hospital.

"Her remains were interred in the Smith family grave in Old Jesmond Cemetery in Newcastle.

“Mum’s memory lives on through her five children, nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

“But it also lives on in the rowan tree that her music friends planted as a tribute to her on Bank Street.

“When we go to Gala we visit the tree – and so do others.

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“In 2022 a friend of a friend of mine in Canada went to Gala. She had never met mum, but she was touched by the story of the rowan tree, and she laid a bouquet of flowers there.

“This year, mum’s second child, Margaret Harper and her husband, Tim, who live in Denmark visited the tree.

“So if we have a message for Gala it’s 'thank you'.

"Thanks for giving mum a home in the heart of the Borders, thank you for being her good friends and neighbours, and thank you for looking after her tree.”

Sheila’s sister Beryl Smith lived in Peebles and was a gifted water-colour painter.