THE man who played a key role in the development of youth club facilities for children in Cowdenbeath has sadly passed away.

David Stevenson spent more than 40 years running CACA, which saw thousands of children enjoy Friday night sessions using Beath High School’s community use facilities.

David, who stayed in Lumphinnans Road, Lochgelly, had been ill for some considerable time and died on Wednesday last week, March 2.

Cowdenbeath Area Community Association has been providing Friday night activities for kids since the mid 1970s, and is still going strong.

David Stevenson was chairman of the CACA management committee for over 40 years, but in an interview with the Times three years ago, he stressed that the organisation was built on a strong core of volunteers and more were always needed.

David said: "CACA really all came about after a public meeting in the town in the mid 1970s at which young people strongly appealed for some sort of organisation to be set up to give them something to do on a Friday night.

"The Fife Regional Council Education Convener then, Tom Dair, the Cowdenbeath councillor, agreed and we set about putting together the CACA idea using Beath High, out of school hours, for the first time, and it opened with two youth clubs, for juniors and seniors, with around 80 kids attending each.

"We had eight volunteers and four paid leaders and it became part of life in the town."

He added: "The plan has always been to run a fairly loose programme which gives the young people the opportunity to meet up with friends and have a blether, but we have always organised things like trips to Edinburgh and also talent competitions.

"We have always been a strong supporter of Beath High School, and also the town's Civic Week and really anything Cowdenbeath”.

David, who spent many years working at the Phillips factory at Pitreavie Industrial Estate, in Dunfermline, and before his retiral, was a health and safety officer with Fife Council, also said that CACA, in the 21st century, saw the third generation of families going to the Friday night sessions and it was a format that stood the test of time.

A person who enjoyed helping David run CACA over many years, Alex Haddow, said that David had been amazing in attracting volunteers to make the facility run well over so many decades.

“Some of these volunteers have been so delighted with the way that CACA has helped thousands of young Cowdenbeath people, that they have stayed working with the organisation for many years,” he said.

“David’s enthusiasm was infectious and it rubbed off on everyone and even during his illness, a few years after he retired from being involved every Friday, he was able to come up and was given a great welcome.

“David’s maxim was that if the youngsters are enjoying themselves they will come back and it has worked well.

“It was a pleasure to work with David over so many years and a real honour.”

The CACA Youth Club paid a tribute to ‘the one and only Mr David Stevenson’ on their Facebook page:

A statement said: “You had a vision 45 years ago that is as strong today as it was back then. A club that kids enjoy coming to week in, week out.

"To have FUN and meet up with friends.

"Always remember we are family. Thanks to your efforts over the years we are on our third generation of kids; 40 years you gave your loyal service and support to. Davie, as known to the kids and staff and volunteers over the years.

"Rest in Peace my friend, you were one in a million and a true gentleman”.

While CACA was his main pastime, David was a member of Cowdenbeath Rotary Club for several years, and also a long-time member of Cowdenbeath Community Council, and was a special constable with Fife Constabulary for many years.

David, who was awarded Cowdenbeath’s Citizen of the Year Award a few years ago, is survived by wife Mary, daughters Linda and Sharon, grandchildren Erika, Dylan and the late Levi, and great grandad to Phoenix.

His funeral will take place on at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on Monday, March 14, at 11am.