Contributed by Dermot Scott
Eric Scott was born in 1895 in Portrush, County Antrim, the son of AC Scott JP (1852–1931), a Portrush businessman and of his wife Marion (McCombe) Scott (1856–1927), a school-teacher, born in Antrim town. His paternal grandfather, George Scott, was the Master Pilot for Portrush, Coleraine and the Bann; his maternal grandfather was Dr Thomas Sheriff McCombe of Antrim. Eric Scott was educated at Mark Street National School, Coleraine Academical Institution and Queen’s University Belfast.
He had a vocation for the Presbyterian Ministry and studied at Assembly’s College Belfast for the years 1916–1920, and then attended a post-graduate session at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating as Bachelor of Divinity in May 1921. Following graduation from Princeton he took a summer job with the Canadian Home Mission, ministering to Pasqua and Davey Corner, two congregations on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line near Regina in Saskatchewan. He was paid $40–50 a month by each congregation.
As summer ended he used his savings to purchase a return ticket west on the CPR (the famous railway line that physically united Canada from coast to coast), getting as far as Kicking Horse Pass, the high mountain pass on the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies, on the Alberta/British Columbia border. Eric Scott’s photo album of his travels in Canada includes photographs and postcards of locations including Niagara Falls, Pasqua, Moose Jaw, Regina, Banff, the Rockies and British Columbia. He returned to Belfast via Glasgow on board the SS Pretorian in October 1921.
Following periods as Assistant Minister in Belfast and Derry he was ordained on 11 June 1923 as Minister of First Ramelton Church, the congregation from which Rev Francis Makemie set out in 1682 to Virginia where he organised what became the Presbyterian Church of the United States.
Eric Scott spent his entire ministry in Ramelton, County Donegal, and also had additional responsibility for Rathmullan congregation during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1930 he married Bee Knight, of Belfast and they had three children. On his retirement in 1966 Assembly’s College awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. He remained in Ramelton as Senior Minister until his death in 1971.