James Dorrian was born on 15 May 1897 at 9 Harbour Lane, Ardrossan. His parents were John Dorrian (1864-1905) and Jane Tarbet (1871-1941). James was baptised in Saint Mary's Church in Saltcoats by Father Philip McColl when he was two days old. The sponsors were Patrick Donnelly and Catherine Clark. On 20 July 1931, James, also known as Jimmy, returned to Saint Mary's for his marriage to Sarah Dillon Reid by Father Francis Anselm Steven. The witnesses were Terence Reid and Mary Reid. In 1934, Sarah gave birth to their son, Gerard, who died in 2008.

The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 16 May 1958 carried the following report.
Mr James Dorrian, who was appointed Provost of Ardrossan at the statutory meeting of the Town Council last Friday evening (9 May 1958), first entered the Council in 1937 but resigned in 1940 because of business commitments. He re-entered the Council in 1948 and has been a member since then. During his Council career, he has served on various committees and has been Convener of the Housing Committee and Wages Committee. Six years ago, he was appointed honorary treasurer - a position he held until the recent municipal election.
A keen church-worker, Mr Dorrian is president of the Saint Peter's Conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and also in that connection, he is treasurer of the Central Council of Galloway and a member of the Superior Council of Glasgow. He is also a member of the Langbank Home Committee. His main sporting interest is football and older members of the community will remember that he was secretary of the one-time juvenile team, Ardrossan Benburb, which was in existence for two years during the First World War.

Jimmy was also an active member of Saint Peter's Parochial Committee.

It was traditional in the 1950s, for a new Provost and Council to attend Church on the Sunday after the election for what was known as the 'Kirkin' o' the Cooncil'. Provost Dorrian, accompanied by council members and Burgh officials was duly 'kirked' in Saint Peter in Chains as shown in the photographs below.

Jimmy died on 12 November 1977.

The photograph at the top was taken on 16 February 1955 at a presentation to Father Lawrence Fischer on the silver jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. There are more pictures of James Dorrian on the Pictures page.