Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive extending its Southern Reporter coverage to 1945 I’ve just been able to pull out the obituary of my great-grandfather John Dodds. It was published in the paper on 22nd February 1945:
By the passing of Mr John Dodds, aged 67 years, Melrose has lost a well-known personality, and member of an old and highly respected Melrose family. A plumber to trade, Mr Dodds, who resided at St Cuthbert’s Cottage, was employed by the firm of C. Jardine, Buccleuch Street, from his apprenticeship days until his retirement, through failing health, a few years ago. He was for many years church officer of Melrose Old Parish Church, a post which has been held by four generations of the Dodds family. Sympathy is extended to the relatives.
And here is a bit more about John, this time from the Southern Reporter of 29th March 1945:
The Melrose Church Magazine states: It is with regrest[sic] that we record the death of our one-time Church officer, John Dodds, is one of a family that has held this office since 1870, when his grandfather was appointed in succession to Willie Millar of Gattonside (who died in 1902 aged 101). Then came his father in 1877, then his older brother in 1895, then John himself as interim in place of his brother, who had become incapacitated through illness. Shortly after his appointment he was called up as a Territorial to serve in the Great War. On his return from abroad in 1919 he was appointed to the office in place of his brother, and performed his duties till 1941, when he fell ill and resigned, to be succeeded by his son, our present Officer. This is surely a record for any parish.
The only addition I’d make to this is that John’s sister Catherine Dodds also acted as interim church officer, while he was away during World War 1. So that makes yet another member of the family doing that job.