Kylie Walker: at the top of her game



Kylie Walker: at the top of her game
Number 11
Spring 2010
The magazine for former pupils and friends of Glasgow Academy and Westbourne School
Kylie Walker: at the top of her game
The First Eleven...
The External Relations office at Glasgow Academy first saw the light of day four
years ago. Actually, to suggest that it ‘saw the light of day’ is something of an
exaggeration given that its original location was adjacent to the janitors’ ‘dunny’
in the basement of the Main Building – a place which would be in perpetual
gloom were it not for the odd electric light bulb.
There were two of us – Karen and I – and our task was simple: to improve
communications between The Academy and outside groups that might
reasonably expect to be kept informed about the school. We reckoned that one
of the most important (and arguably one of the most neglected) of these groups
was that of former pupils.
We needed some regular means of communication that would attempt to
represent the whole former pupil body (Westbourne too!) and keep people
informed about what was going on. We needed something that would contain
all the sport that people wanted to write about, but that also had room to
include art and business and memories and events and... everything else that
And so Etcetera was born. The name seemed appropriate as a catch-all for all the
‘stuff’ that former pupils and friends of The Academy may want to contribute.
Now, just a few short years later, we have reached number 11. The first edition
struggled to fill 16 pages: now we work hard to ensure that we don’t exceed
twice that number.
Occasionally I hear from people who feel that there’s not enough of one thing
or another. My answer is always the same: if you would like to write something
for Etcetera, I would be delighted to include it.
Glasgow Academy Bursary Fund
Regular Giving
‘Something a little bit special’
Business Etcetera
Westbourne School Section
Academical Club News
From our own correspondents
The next step on the road to
realising our 2020 Vision
Stop Press!
Many congratulations to
Johnnie Beattie (2003)
on being named 'Man of
the Match' in the Calcutta
Cup game at Murrayfield
on 13 March.
It’s your magazine. In this edition – as in every edition – thank you for your
With best wishes
Do we have your e-mail address?
It’s how we communicate best!
Malcolm McNaught, Director of External Relations, [email protected]
Keeping in touch
Cover photo: Kylie Walker at Loch Lomond Golf Club (photo by
Colin Gray mobile: 07901 826254)
Etcetera is now firmly-established as a quality publication, hugely
popular with our community and delivered free, three times a year,
to all Academy and Westbourne former pupils.
The magazine is sent to 5000 homes worldwide and to over 4000
homes in Scotland! Would you or your firm like to reach the
Etcetera readership through advertising or sponsorship?
To find out more about this unique opportunity, please contact
[email protected]
0141 342 5494
The External Relations office is situated in
Colebrooke Terrace. Former pupils are
always welcome to pop in and have a chat.
Just give us a call to arrange a time. Our
address is Colebrooke Terrace, Glasgow G12
8HE and you can contact us on 0141 342
5494 or at [email protected]
The Glasgow Academical Club, 21
Helensburgh Drive, Glasgow G13 1RR
President – Jimmy McCulloch
E-mail: [email protected]
Secretary – Kenneth Shand
Tel: 0141 248 5011
E-mail: [email protected]
The Academical Club pavilion is available for
functions. Please contact Ken Barron at
[email protected] for details.
Academical Club’s London Section
Secretary – David Hall, 20 Cadogan Place
London SW1X 9SA
Tel: 020 7235 9012
E-mail: [email protected]
Glasgow Academy Bursary Fund
I was born in July 1940, two
months after my father was
killed in the defence of the
Dunkirk perimeter. My
parents had been married for
just over two years and my
father had taken over
management of the family
coopering business a couple
of years earlier. Wartime
was not a good period for
making and repairing whisky casks. The prospects for my
education looked grim!
Fortunately, my father had attended Glasgow Academy
before completing his education at Sedburgh. With the
support of the War Memorial Trust, I entered the Academy
in 1947 and from then until 1958 the cost of my education
was largely taken care of by the Trust. From school I went
on to qualify as a chartered accountant and have had a
subsequently rewarding career in merchant banking, as
Legal Services Ombudsman for Scotland, and now as a nonexecutive director. I will always be grateful to the Trust
and to the school for the start that it gave me in life.
The Glasgow Academy is a now a very different school
from the one I left in 1958. It has seized its opportunities
and provides an impressive experience in terms of activities
that could not be dreamt of at that time. Thankfully, there
will be few demands like that of mine in 1947, but its
capacity to provide Bursaries to those who would not
otherwise be able to afford its fees will enrich the lives of
those who benefit from them and the school as a whole. I
hope that members of the Academy family will continue to
give the Bursary Fund their generous support.
Garry S Watson OBE (1958)
I grew up on a
Council housing
estate near
Glasgow. After
spending one year
at my local
my parents felt I
wasn’t being
challenged and I
was fortunate to
be awarded a
Bursary to join The Academy in 1989. This
changed the course of my life. For the first few
months, it was a complete culture shock and I was
utterly miserable. I had left my old life and my
friends behind, the workload was demanding and I
faced a long journey to school by bus, train, and
underground. The discipline was alien to me and I
stuck out like a sore thumb as the only pupil
wearing a uniform in my neighbourhood.
However, The Academy served to broaden my
narrow horizons and gave me opportunities that I
would never otherwise have had. I was not only
stretched intellectually, I was encouraged to
become a more rounded individual through
participation in team sports, CCF, Arts and Crafts,
the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and in
many other ways. The Academy taught me selfdiscipline, self-belief and respect for others and I’m
proud to be part of The Academy family.
However, without a doubt, the most important
legacy for me is the friendships I formed at school.
My school friends are my friends for life.
Richard Munday (1994)
Regular Giving 2009-10
Thank you to all those who have already supported this year’s appeal since its launch in November. This year
we are focusing on Bursaries because in the downturn the demand for help with fees has been greater than
ever. Currently, over 100 pupils receive fee support and requests for Bursaries – many from existing Academy
parents – have increased significantly in the last 18 months.
For generations, The Academy has supported talented
youngsters whose parents need help with fees. Donations
from members of our community help to ensure we can
continue to give talented youngsters an excellent all-round
education at the school. Thank you again to all those who
have already ensured our 2009-2010 appeal has got off to
a sound start. If you would like more information on
giving to Bursaries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
[email protected]
0141 342 5494
‘Something a little bit special...’
Following her success at the European Ladies’ Tour School in December, Kylie Walker recently returned to the scene of her
first golfing triumph as an amateur – the beautiful Loch Lomond Golf Club – where she won the Faldo Junior Series in 2000.
There Malcolm McNaught met her to discuss her golfing career to date and what she feels about her old school.
As a teacher, you remember some of
your pupils really clearly. Perhaps
because I taught poor Kylie Walker for
three years in a row, I remember
vividly how much she hated talking to
an audience. But – as we meet in the
opulent surroundings of Loch Lomond
Golf Club Spa – Kylie is every inch
the assured professional sportswoman,
parrying difficult questions with the
easy diplomacy of someone twice her
age and showing a mastery of her
subject that suggests she has been
playing golf for ever.
By the time you read these words,
Kylie will be half-way round the
world playing in her third professional
golf tournament on the women’s tour.
But her route to the top ranks of the
game has not been a conventional one
and it certainly has not been without
In an era when sports men and
women seem to be fashioned for
greatness from their earliest days, Kylie
breaks all the rules. While Tiger
Woods was playing golf almost as soon
as he could stand, Kylie was a
schoolgirl of 14 before she exchanged
a hockey stick for a golf club. ‘Almost
immediately I knew golf was the sport
I wanted to play. But I also knew I
couldn’t play both golf and hockey:
with Academy hockey matches on
Saturdays and club hockey on
Sundays, I was struggling to find time
even to practise golf. And my hockey
swing affected my golf swing and vice
For a dedicated hockey player, it was a
real moment of crisis. Both Glasgow
Academy – and Kylie herself – needed
to be convinced that golf was the sport
for her. The school’s policy was that
only internationalists or those with the
potential to become internationalists
should be excused team games on
Saturday mornings.
A naturally modest and eminently
likeable girl, Kylie has never been one
to get ahead of herself so when people
began to say that she had a real talent
for golf she took quite a bit of
convincing. But the experience of
winning the Scottish Schools
Championship less than two years after
she picked up a golf club changed all
that. At that time she played off a
handicap of 7 so when she completed
Glasgow’s Hilton Park course in 4
under par – eleven shots better than
expected – even Kylie said, ‘Okay,
maybe I have something a little bit
Even The Academy had to agree –
something for which Kylie is still
grateful. ‘Towards the end of my
school time, I was playing golf more
and more, representing Scotland and
so on – and as long as I showed them
exactly what I would be missing, they
were great. On Games days when the
girls were playing hockey, my mum
and dad would pick me up and take
me to coaching sessions in Lanark.
I’m really grateful that I got the
chance to do that.’
And Kylie’s dedication paid off as she
improved phenomenally quickly.
‘When I was 14 years old, my
handicap went from 28 to 12 in one
season. The next season it went from
12 down to 5 and from 5 to 1 the
season after that.’ Not surprisingly,
progress in shaving further strokes
from her handicap has been slower
since then, but her last amateur
handicap of +4 tells its own story.
It is clear that Kylie loves her sport
and relishes competition. When she
first started at The Academy,
swimming was her thing. Although
she learned to swim only when she
was seven, she took to it like a fish to
water and swam competitively for
Milngavie and Bearsden Swimming
Club, training in the mornings four or
five times a week until schoolwork
and her new love – hockey – made
that degree of commitment impossible
to sustain. A legacy of all those early
mornings in the pool is the upper arm
strength that allows her to launch a
golf ball over 270 yards, the kind of
distance that most men can only
dream of.
After The Academy she went off to
Stirling University on a sports
scholarship. Improving her golf was
the main reason for Kylie being there,
however, and when she began to
struggle with tiredness she assumed her
fitness was the problem and tried to
work-out more. Fortunately her
doctor at the Scottish Sports Institute
quickly diagnosed post viral fatigue
syndrome and she was told to rest. ‘It
wasn’t stress because I don’t do stress.
I think I was just overdoing things. I
wanted to be too good too quickly
and I was working on every aspect of
my game.’
It was ironic that the girl who loved
the game and was so dedicated to
improvement had to take an enforced
break right at the beginning of a golf
season that promised so much. She
withdrew from all her tournament
commitments for the next few
months. ‘It was probably a year before
I fully recovered... It wasn’t a great
experience at the time but in a way it
was really important for me to learn
from and I’m so glad it happened then,
right at the start of my career. Now,
when I’m travelling all over the world,
it’s taught me about the importance of
sleep and I’m careful to get the rest I
Inevitably the lack of practice took its
toll. ‘For about two years I was
playing really poorly and that was
quite difficult to deal with too. I was
getting quite angry and frustrated...’
Given that she’s so dedicated to
improvement, you might expect her
to be bitter about all the time she lost.
But that’s very far from the case.
‘When I was 14 or 15 there were so
many girls I knew younger than me
who’d been playing for years. They
were so much better and I used to
wish I had been playing golf for
longer. But, looking back, I’m so glad
with the albatross of expectation that
the media usually hang round the neck
of past winners. Going into the last
round two shots in the lead with two
very experienced girls in the final
group was a real test of her nerve.
‘There was a bit of added pressure but
I felt so relaxed because I really love St
Andrews. Coming down the last hole
there were big crowds because
everyone had come out to see the
finish. But I knew what I had to do
and I’m really proud that I kept cool
and did it.’ Now that she’s turned
professional, she is debarred from
defending the Trophy – but that
doesn’t worry her.
The reason for that is her recent
experience at La Manga in Spain when
she came through a field of several
hundred players to qualify as a
professional on the Ladies’ European
Tour. It’s her second go at tour
school and, typically, she’s glad she
didn’t make it first time. ‘I’ve learned
so much in the last year.’ Part of the
reason for her success this time is that
her brother, Kris, was on the bag. ‘He
has such a great attitude. He’s so laid
back and knows exactly the right thing
to say at any given moment. We have
a great laugh.’ Kris, who has been
working as a lawyer in Dubai for a
number of years, may have to take a
bit of a career break as his little sister’s
career takes off.
Photo: Colin Gray
that I started when I did. I’d had my
swimming, I’d played hockey with a
team, I’d done everything that normal
15-year-olds do. But if it had just
been golf, golf, golf I would probably
have burned myself out. If I had
children, I wouldn’t hothouse them in
a sport. I see too many girls whose
parents push them too hard go off the
rails – you know, drugs and that kind
of thing. Like the Brittney Speirs kind
of scenario where they haven’t had the
childhood they should have had and
now they’re craving it.’
repay them for all they have given me.
Mum and dad sent me to such a good
school too – one that gave me
confidence. The Academy throws you
in and forces you to be outgoing and
prepares you for important things like
manners. I’m not a public speaker but
I’m quite comfortable speaking about
the things I know most about: golf –
and, well – me!’
The golfing world really started to sit
up and take notice after Kylie
successfully defended the St Rule
Trophy last year at the home of golf,
St Andrews. The Trophy is one of
Indeed we all know of child prodigies
who have grown up and one day they the biggest open tournaments in
blame their parents for denying them a women’s amateur golf but, the way
normal upbringing. By contrast,
she describes it, her first win in 2008
Kylie’s relationship with her parents,
sounds a bit like a stroke (or two) of
Raymond and Elizabeth, couldn’t be
luck. Last June as defending champion
stronger. ‘My parents have always
she should have been under enormous
been so supportive of me and I want to pressure, especially weighed down
Does she worry about handling the
extra pressure? ‘I can’t think about the
money, the crowd or anything else. I
can’t control the other players. All I
can control is me. My reactions, my
emotions and so on. I just go out
there to enjoy it and to win...’
It’s clear that Kylie has and is
‘something just a little bit special’ and
is a credit to her parents and her
school. In the cut and thrust world of
professional sport how many others
would identify ‘manners’ as being
A bit like the Arizona desert, the
world of professional golf is littered
with the skeletons of promising
amateurs who haven’t made the grade.
With her formidable work ethic, her
sense of what’s important and her
refusal to take life too seriously, the
chances are that Kylie Walker won’t
be one of them.
Business Etcetera
Forget the recession! With 14 million theatre-goers in 2009, London’s West End has just
had its most successful year on record. And over the years Academical theatre producer
Colin Ingram has been responsible for some of the West End’s most successful shows –
like Les Miserables, The Lion King, Oklahoma and Billy Elliot.
We caught up with Colin and asked him to describe the journey from the West End of
Glasgow to the West End of London...
14 million customers can’t be wrong...
What subject would you like to have
studied at school that wasn’t on the
I hear that they’ve just introduced
Drama into the curriculum at Glasgow
Academy. How I wish Drama had
been a subject when I was there!
Was it always your intention to get
involved in the theatre?
No, my intention was to follow my
dad’s footsteps and become an
architect. It was only when we took
trips to the West End as a family and I
started getting involved in the school
plays that I got interested in theatre
and started to understand it. None of
my family were involved in theatre,
but all liked musicals, apart from my
brother, Alastair, who is an Academical
and ran the stage lighting at school
(which I followed him into).
Were there any moments at Glasgow
Academy when you realised that this
was what you wanted to do?
A lot of my early interest was in
lighting and set design (perhaps linked
to my interest in architecture), and I
was very much encouraged by Mr
Gregor Anderson who was very
influential throughout my school
career. My interest in writing and
directing followed when I wrote a
couple of scenes for the School
Pantomime. Some were official (i.e. I
had cleared them with Mr Grey, the
Master in charge of the Pantomime),
some I just put in on the first public
performance (complete with lighting
and sound effects). I wasn’t particularly
popular when I went ‘off script’, but
the audience seemed to like it!! At the
end of my school life, I took the
biggest jump and started writing,
directing and producing a new musical
which both Mr Gray (this time the
English teacher) helped me along with
Gregor Anderson and the then Rector,
Colin Turner. The production was
entitled Sound and Light and it played
for three nights at the Eastwood
Theatre with boys from The Academy
and girls from Craigholme School.
We raised sponsorship (including from
my local Indian restaurant) and my
brother underwrote the cost: I think it
came to £3,000 and we practically
broke-evens! This gave me great
confidence when I went to Edinburgh
University (to study law) and set up
the Edinburgh University Footlights,
which continues today after over 18
What’s the riskiest production you’ve
done since? Was it worth it – and
would you encourage young people
leaving school today to take risky
I wouldn’t say that anything I’ve done
professionally was risky as we have
always used third party funds, but I did
mount a musical at Edinburgh
university which cost £20k and I only
recouped half of the costs. It took me
3 years to pay off and one Christmas
in my third year with Cameron
Mackintosh I got a big enough bonus
to pay back the sound hire company
and buy a car. They were very good
about it and even sent me a Christmas
I wouldn’t encourage anyone to take
risks unless you have a plan to pay it
back over a short period of time and
the reward is going to be worth it –
from a financial point of view – and
not just for one’s ego. It’s too easy to
fall in debt nowadays especially with
the temptation of student loans.
Unlike in America, I think it’s hard for
people starting out to pay them back
with high enough salaries. It’s a
terrible stress and a de-motivating rope
to tie round a neck. Having said that,
Richard Branson built Virgin on debt
and look at him!
You have worked with some very wellknown stars. Who has most
impressed you?
I would say Anna Friel, Ian McKellan,
Kevin Spacey and Hugh Jackman.
Being a star is a lot harder than it
looks. They get no privacy and are
constantly being criticised by the
media and public. After a hard day,
when they don’t look their best, they
get hounded by photographers who
are looking for the most unflattering
picture. The media in this country is
very tough, and everything in their
personal life is talked about, which is
unpleasant when their parents, spouse
and – in particular – children have to
read about it. Anna because she was
so hard working and never missed a
show, Ian because he is so humble and
unassuming and Kevin because, again,
he is such a hard-working person and
is brilliant with people – indeed he
would have made a great President of
America: I’m sure he taught Bill
Clinton to public speak! Lastly, Hugh
Jackman because he is such a nice guy,
and has the ‘triple threat’ – singing,
dancing and acting, which is very rare
these days – what a lot of talent in one
Why do you think London’s West End
has been so successful recently?
Yes, the West End has had a record
year with over 14 million tickets sold
in 2009, which is more than
Broadway. I think that during a
recession, people want escapism and
theatre is relatively inexpensive,
especially if you get one of the deals or
a standby ticket. I also believe that in
a world of video games, texting and
the internet, people want to reconnect
with other people and watch
something together – enjoying,
laughing or crying with others.
Cinema also does this. I also believe
with television dumbing down, people
want stories again and that is why
Plays have done so well. People love
live theatre or music because the
performers are doing it exclusively for
them and there is a real connection
between the stage and the audience.
Musicals are enjoying a great
resurgence because of television – High
School Musical, Glee and the reality
casting shows have made musical
theatre more ‘cool’. There is also
much more of a cross over from pop
music to musical theatre than ever
before, with stars from X-Factor and
American Idol constantly in Musicals.
Are there days when you wish you’d
become an architect?
Yes, some. Producing and being an
architect are both hard ways to make
money (nearly as bad as being a
teacher). I think they are related –
‘Anna Friel was so hard working, and never
missed a show’
both deal with creative and technical
problems and with lots of people with
different skills and talents working
towards achieving something together.
There must be great joy in designing a
building that people love to work and
live in and, of course, it stands as a
legacy after you have gone. I suppose
with Producing, it would be great to
think that a Play or Musical you help
create goes beyond your life and will
be staged for generations to come.
Having said all that, architects have a
tough life especially since technology
can play such a big role, and much of
the work must be factories, warehouses and fairly mundane buildings.
There is no replacement for me for
the ‘rush’ you get at an Opening
Academicals win
prestigious business
Ian Gardiner (1988) won a prestigious
Australian Entrepreneur award in November as
he was named as NSW ICT Entrepreneur of the
Year 2009. Ian is the founder of online video
and digital media company Viocorp. He cofounded the company in 2002 and it now
employs 35 staff at its Sydney headquarters.
Also in November, but closer to home, another
entrepreneurial former pupil led Dundee-based
Safedem to success at the International
Demolition Awards in Amsterdam. Safedem
picked up the ‘Explosive Demolition Award’ and
the top award – ‘Demolition Company of the
Year’. Managing Director Wilf Sinclair (1984)
said ‘...we saw off challenges from companies
from around the world – the USA, Spain, Italy,
England, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland,
Japan, Russia etc. – so it’s like being world
Ian Gardiner and his family on a recent visit to The Academy
One man and
his dog...
Malcolm McNaught meets Alasdair Boyle
and his faithful friend, Gem. But that’s
only half the story...
‘I suppose you might say that it was
devastating... Except for the fact that I
just haven’t allowed it to be.’
I have just asked Alasdair Boyle to
describe the impact of being told – ten
years ago and at the pinnacle of a
distinguished business career – that he
had progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
The degree of detachment that he
shows in answering my all-toopersonal question is astonishing. I’m
meeting a very brave man.
I first met Alasdair Boyle fourteen
years ago at a conference at Gleneagles
Hotel where he was the main speaker.
He was the UK Managing Director of
Adobe Systems and was extolling the
virtues of his company’s software
solutions that – at the time – were
transforming business and personal
computing. Adobe Acrobat was – and
still is – one of those brilliant products
without which many businesses would
find it almost impossible to cope.
At that conference Alasdair was
wearing an Academical tie and that
fact gave me all the excuse I needed to
engage the great man in conversation.
I remember his enormous kindness in
ensuring that I received the latest
version of the software I used for the
Chronicle as soon as it came out.
When I meet him again 14 years later
– this time at his home in Crieff –
Alasdair comes to the door with the
aid of a walking frame on wheels and
in the company of his constant
companion, Gem. Gem is a threeyear-old black Labrador and, with
typically self-deprecating modesty,
Alasdair assumes it is she who will be
the subject of our conversation and of
this article.
It is, then, perhaps something of a
surprise to him when I ask him about
his own career after leaving Glasgow
Academy in 1959. ‘I didn’t go to
university or anything like that – very
few people did in my day. Instead I
got a job with India Tyres in
Inchinnan. There I got a great
training in all aspects of running
business – from production to
The quality of the training is in no
doubt as the young trainee went on to
play an integral part in some of the
most successful and groundbreaking
businesses of the next four decades.
From Inchinnan, Alasdair went to
Granada TV Rentals at a time when
the technology was changing so fast
that few people owned their own
television set. As black and white
blossomed into colour and, as the
technology became both more reliable
and more affordable, Granada saw its
rental market shrink as customers
quickly realised that owning a
television set made more sense than
As part of Granada’s sales team,
Alasdair was tasked with finding
alternative products for new markets.
One that caught his eye was a
computer for businesses produced by
IBM and he helped establish a new
part of the company called Granada
Business Systems. Alasdair was quick
to see the possibilities of this new
untapped market, but it was the
software side of the fledgling computer
industry that caught his attention and
he was snapped up by a new company
called Microsoft as its UK Sales and
Marketing Manager.
‘It was an exciting time to join
Microsoft,’ recalls Alasdair. ‘I was
their seventh UK employee – 007 they
called me – and they only had one
application product, a spreadsheet. On
my first day they flew me to Seattle
where I met an unusual young man
who impressed me. Everyone listened
when he talked at lunch. His name
was Bill Gates.’
It was Alasdair’s responsibility to
launch a new product called ‘Word’ in
this country while others were
working on something called ‘XL’.
It’s amazing now to think that there
was ever a time when no-one knew
the name of Bill Gates or when
Microsoft and its products needed any
introduction. But perhaps it’s not so
surprising that the man who sold
Microsoft to us was an Accie!
And there you might think that
Alasdair Boyle would have been
content to remain, but in the fastchanging world that was computing in
the 1980s he saw a better opportunity
with a rival software manufacturer and
he joined Aldus. Within six months
he had been appointed its UK
Managing Director.
Aldus is generally credited with the
invention of desk-top publishing and
its PageMaker program was the main
reason for the early success of Apple
Computers. Boyle’s marketing genius
ensured that Aldus went from strength
to strength and, even when the
company was effectively taken over by
its merger with the powerful Adobe
Systems, he was appointed UK
Managing Director of the new
‘… I met an unusual young
man who impressed me –
his name was Bill Gates’
Alasdair’s experience of working for
big business was a positive one, but he
was aware that there was a ruthlessness
at the heart of things. ‘Working for
American companies is absolutely
brilliant. They’re tremendously
supportive. If things are going well,
they throw money at you. If things
don’t go well, they throw you out.’
Unbeknown to him Alasdair had been
suffering from remitting MS for some
25 years with only occasional signs that
all was not well. When in 1999 he
developed unmistakeable symptoms of
progressive MS to the extent that he
needed steroids to get him through the
punishing schedule that was expected
of the MD of a highly-successful
company, he had no hesitation in
calling it a day.
Fast-forward 10 years to the sitting
room of the beautifully-situated
Victorian villa in Crieff he shares with
his wife Ann, and the contrast to those
pressurised days is palpable. The third
member of this household is a threeyear-old black Labrador and the
subject of much of our conversation.
‘I drive a Mercedes and a couple of
years ago I discovered that the local
dealer was sponsoring an organisation
that provided dogs for the disabled
called ‘Canine Partners’ – so I thought
I’d investigate them.’
In the end it was Canine Partners who
investigated Alasdair. They wanted to
know about his medical condition, his
home and garden and his suitability as
a dog owner. ‘I love black Labradors
and I thought that I would have the
chance to choose a suitable dog. In
the end, Gem chose me.’
All the time Alasdair is speaking, his
doggy partner sits watching
expectantly – willing him to drop his
spectacle case, listening for a command
to open the door, waiting for a chance
to be useful...
After her 18 months of training, Gem
came to her new home in Crieff
knowing over 100 commands –
everything from picking up shopping
in the local supermarket to
summoning an elevator and following
the complicated sequence of
commands to ensure that she, her
partner and his wheelchair all arrive at
the same floor at the same time.
But Gem’s most important role is less
about receiving commands than giving
company: ‘She provides tremendous
therapy for me. On my own in a
wheelchair, no-one wants to talk.
They feel too awkward. But with a
dog, it gives you great openings with
As the first person in Scotland to have
a Canine Partners dog, Alasdair was –
as in so many other things – a pioneer.
‘I regularly give talks on the work of
Canine Partners locally. Often these
will result in donations to the
organisation. I’m glad to be repaying
my debt.’
There’s a quotation that Alasdair
appends to e-mails that seems to mean
much to him. It reads: ‘The
opportunity for distinction lies in
doing the ordinary things
extraordinarily well.’
I get the impression that Alasdair is
used to doing things well. Nowadays,
however, he is happy to know that he
has a doggy friend, a ‘partner’ who is
delighted to pick up where his failing
health leaves off.
Together they do ordinary things
extraordinarily well.
Chris (far left) and
myself (second from
right) with the other
Interns and Saltire
Foundation Fellows
The Saltire Foundation
helping young business people succeed
In July 2009, fellow-Academical Chris
McLellan and I ventured out to
Houston, Texas to work for Wood
Group as part of the Saltire
Foundation programme. We were
lucky enough to be selected from over
300 applicants and be part of the
ground-breaking internship
programme. The Saltire Foundation
allows students from Scottish
universities to experience life in some
of the world’s top companies. The aim
is to encourage candidates to develop
their confidence, skills and capacity to
Communications – and on projects as
diverse as compiling budgetary
forecasts for the manning of new oil
rig developments to editing the
company newsletter.
We also got in contact with Nigel
Robinson (1982), an Accie living in
Houston at the time. Over a
traditional Texan burger and fries, we
shared stories from school (mainly
about which teachers were surprisingly
still there) and the best sights to see in
Houston. This only emphasised to us
how great the Academical network is
and how no matter where you are
there is bound to be one of us nearby!
I was based in the Light Industrial
Turbines facility. My role, for the
eight weeks we were over there, was
to carry out reverse engineering on
components used in the turbines that
are serviced by Wood Group. The
internship allowed great hands-on
experience along with the opportunity
to network with some of the leading
people in the business.
Not only did we learn so much from
this experience but we also got the
chance to travel every weekend. The
different cultures that we saw were
incredible considering most of the
places we visited were in the state of
Texas alone... definitely an excuse to
visit America again and see more!
Chris was on a rotation programme
which saw him working in various
departments – from Business
Development to Corporate
We would both like to thank
everyone at the Saltire Foundation that
made last summer possible and all the
people in each of our departments,
who not only taught us so much but
also made the whole experience one of
our best summers yet.
More can be found at where you
can learn about the Saltire Foundation
and read our blogs from over the
Philip Gilchrist (2004)
Careers Evening
On 28 September we will hold our
third Glasgow Academy Careers
Evening. We would like to
combine the event with the launch
of The Glasgow Academy 100, a
new business and professional
networking organisation for
members of our community. All
members of the school community
who play a part in helping our
pupils in their careers (with advice
or work placements for example)
will be given the opportunity to
join ‘The Academy 100’.
If you can help with our Careers
Evening this September or if you
would like to find out more, please
get in touch via [email protected]
Westbourne School Section
Tina Anderson (1985)
I was at Westbourne for Primaries 1 to
3 and left when we moved to England
because of my father’s new job. I
ended up going to Westholme School
for Girls (which also had purple
uniforms!) until 1985. I did a BA
(Hons) in Music at Leeds University
(1989) and then a one-year
postgraduate diploma in accounting
and finance at University of
Strathclyde (1990).
Rashmi Sinha (1972)
I got married to a Norwegian fellow
student from Strathclyde in 1991 and
moved to Norway in 1994. We split
up in 2000, but I decided to stay in
Norway and now I have been here for
almost 16 years. I have a partner and
we have been together since 2002. I
am a Senior Systems Developer for a
small consultancy firm, specialising in
databases and Business Intelligence.
Kate Clanchy (1976)
Better-known as a poet, Kate won the
National Short Story Award in
December 2009 at the head of a
talented shortlist. Her story entitled
‘The Not Dead and The Saved’ is a
haunting tale of parental love and
sacrifice set in a hospital ward.
Dr Penelope Curtis (1979)
Many congratulations to Penelope –
formerly curator of the Henry More
Institute in Leeds – who has been
appointed Director of Tate Britain.
Fiona Johnston (1957)
For anyone living in the Stirling area
with children aged 8 – 18 years
interested in music, we are running
workshops led by ‘Bodega’ – an
award-winning young band. See our
website for details.
It is a great way for children to try an
instrument they fancy without
committing mum and dad to buying
one until they are sure of the
commitment! Some instruments can
be hired afterwards.
Gereth McCaskill (1960)
We attended the Women’s Hockey
Olympic Event in Vancouver on
February 20. The security in place for
the games is the most Canada has ever
been involved with, to the sum of
$900 million: when the games were
held in Calgary in the 80s security cost
$150 million. How times have
Rashmi is a Senior Investigator in the
Nutritional Epidemiology Branch of
the US National Cancer Institute and
recently led a study looking at the
relationship between people’s diet and
the likelihood of developing cancer.
The largest study of its kind found that
older Americans who eat large
amounts of red meat and processed
meats face a greater risk of death from
heart disease and cancer. Rashmi
commented that the findings support
the advice of several health groups to
limit red and processed meat intake to
decrease cancer risk.
‘Old Girls’
Dorothy Baird (nee Turnbull) and
Jean McAdam began their school
days at Westbourne’s Kelvinside House
in 1924 aged 6 and 5 respectively.
Jean left aged 12 when her family
moved to Crieff. She then attended
Morrison’s Academy. Dorothy left
aged 15 to board at St Hilda’s in
Edinburgh. The two friends (who
believe they were in a class of 6
initially) remained in touch over the
years. In 2008 Dorothy moved to
Dollar to live with her daughter Anne
(Westbourne 1969). From there,
Dorothy, now 91, is able to be a
regular visitor to the residential home
in Crieff where Jean, now 90, lives.
Are they the oldest ‘Old Girls’ to
enjoy a reunion?
A favourite teacher of both Jean and
Dorothy was Miss Rankin, who
appears to have been an FP herself.
She was a young teacher and very well
liked. When Dorothy and Jean might
Dorothy Baird (nee Turnbull) and Jean McAdam
have been about 7 or 8 years of age,
Miss Rankin got married and the girls
were invited to be part of a school
Guard of Honour for the occasion.
They wore their school uniform, and
Jean remembers that they all got a
handful of confetti. Late on, when
‘Miss Rankin’ had a baby, she brought
the baby into school for the girls to see.
Jean remembers it was a daughter.
Anne Baird (1969)
Lorna Blackie (1937 - 43) Died, aged
81, peacefully in her sleep at home in
Acton Trussel, Staffordshire.
After leaving Westbourne School she
continued her education at Lowther
College in North Wales, before
graduating with an Honours degree in
English from Glasgow University. Her
main career was journalism, writing for
a number of publications including The
Scotsman. She was, for a time Press
Officer for the National Trust for
Scotland and also the 1987
Commonwealth Games. As well as
journalism, from 1966 to 1981, she
became a successful fashion retail
business woman, opening Campus,
which had branches in Edinburgh,
Glasgow and Aberdeen.
On 24 November 2009, Mrs Isobel
Broom, Office Staff, Westbourne
Gals’ Golf
The 2009 GALS GOLF outing took
place on Friday 21 August and ‘midst a
month of rain, rain and more rain we
had the sun shine on us that day! We
couldn’t believe that, once again, we
had the best day of the summer! The
Kirkintilloch Golf Club was a new
venue for us and everyone enjoyed both
the course and the lunch
afterwards. Following the lunch
Betty Henderson was once more
in charge of our score cards,
(thank you), and soon the results
were in.
It was a closely-run race! In 3rd
place was Susan McKenzie, with
Louise Angus coming 2nd and
our defending champion, Carole
Hill, once again carrying off the
silverware. Well done, Carole!
The Westbourne Grand Reunion Dinner
I left the Westbourne Grand Reunion
Dinner in a reflective mood, having
been thoroughly reminded of where I
come from. Westbourne isn’t gone. It
lives on in all of us, because it isn’t
about wearing purple or trekking up
the hill to Winton Drive every day. It
says so much about Westbourne girls
that I didn’t just spend the reunion
with old friends. I made some new
ones too.
congratulated for organising such a
successful event. Although I’m sure it
was a difficult task, I certainly hope
that in, say, five years they will have
recovered sufficiently to arrange the
next one. I also hope that my chosen
profession, teaching, has the same
effect on me as it has had on my own
inspirational teachers, who didn’t
appear to have aged by a single day
since 1992!
Miss Henderson and the External
Relations team are to be heartily
I don’t think I can fully explain the
spooky feeling that I experienced
when, upon entering the Grosvenor
Hilton Hotel, I saw my first
Westbourne girl in seventeen years!
The ‘purpley’ in question turned out
to be wearing Amy Primrose’s old
uniform (complete with badges) and
her appearance was only the first of
many blasts from the past at
Westbourne’s Grand Reunion Dinner
on Saturday 24 October 2009.
A true feat of organisation, the
reunion attracted hundreds of nostalgic
purple people to Glasgow’s west end,
many of whom had travelled a great
distance to be there. I thought that it
was a real sign of our enduring
affection for our alma mater that many
of the now grown-up and glamorous
‘girls’ chose to wear purple to the
event. It took me a few years to begin
wearing purple by choice, but I have
to admit that it’s still one of my
In the manner of all reunions, ours
began with catching up on news and
identifying familiar faces. Gossip was
traded, success stories swapped and
inevitably the wedding and/or baby
photos were fished out. Later on in
the evening, when old pals had
become reacquainted, other less happy
tales were occasionally shared among
the oldest friends that most of us have.
As I looked around an enormous
function suite full of laughing, sparkly,
confident women, I was struck by an
overpoweringly familiar feeling. I can
only describe this feeling as
‘Westbourness’, because I’ve never felt
it anywhere else. It’s an empowering
and optimistic feeling, something like
being among supportive sisters who
genuinely want you to succeed but
who will still love you if you don’t.
Gail McNeill (1993)
Books Etcetera
The Glasgow Tramcar by David Thomson (1958)
David Thomson (1958) visited The
Academy in February to present a copy of
his recently-published book The Glasgow
Tramcar to the school library. His 304page work charts the development of
Glasgow’s tram services and how they
waxed and waned over 65 years. The
book is lavishly illustrated with over 200
photographs (most previously
unpublished), and a large number of old
maps, detailed drawings and
advertisements. Copies are still available
by contacting:
[email protected]
David, who went on to study Law at
Glasgow University before a career with
McGrigor Donald and later worked as an actuary with Stenhouse noted after his visit that
it was ‘encouraging to see at first hand the tremendous advances made by my old school’.
Relationships Made Easy by David Fraser (1981)
A glance at the back cover – sadly we haven’t seen the text
– suggests that David Fraser’s book is an indispensible
guide to life in the 21st Century.
‘So much depends on our ability to get on with other
people. You might think there is no systematic or insightful
way. But there is. And it’s in this book. With the right
approach, developing the skills we use in all our
relationships is an easy route to success and one of the few
reliable and enduring ways we can improve our lives...
Sounds as if we all need to go out and buy a copy.
The Morris Minor Monte Carlo Rally Tales by David Gray
To many Academicals, the name David Gray will need no introduction. Even those who
were not actually taught English by him will know of his passionate interest in Morris
Minors. Combine that with many years of teaching Chaucer to young minds eager to
learn and the result is The Morris Minor Monte Carlo Rally Tales.
An excerpt from the blurb will suffice to give a flavour of this unique publication:
‘If your car could talk, what secret tales could it tell? Tales of ghosts and revenge,
fraudulent conversion and a banking disaster, boy bands and property development, not
to mention a love story and the injection of noxious substances, are told by Morris
Minors about their owners, one each night, as they battle towards Monte Carlo in The
Morris Minor Monte Carlo Rally Tales.
Typing the title in to Google will reveal all!’
Academical Club news
Accies’ Rugby
This season’s rugby seems to be lasting
forever! Normally at this time of going
to press, early March, all of the Club’s
fixtures would have taken place.
However the 1st XV still has five
matches to play, as a result of the
severe winter we have had. Both the
1st and 2nd XVs have performed well,
so far, in their respective leagues with
playing numbers greatly boosted by
the number of Academy leavers now
coming to play, and also the Glasgow
University students being attracted to
the Club.
Happily, the 2nd XV has already won
promotion. Nigel Campbell, their
manager, is to be congratulated and
thanked for all the time and effort he
has put in to bring about this success,
which has had the knock-on effect of
strengthening the pool of players
available for the 1st XV. Competition
for places in both teams has been
fierce, which can only be positive for
Accies rugby. That is something which
has been of real help to Director of
Rugby, Donald Reid, and the 1st XV
coaches, Chas Afuakwah and Steve
Winter who have got the 1st XV to
the brink of promotion from National
Division 2, where they are within two
points of second-placed Lasswade with
both clubs having five matches
remaining. This league entails many
lengthy bus journeys, from Wick in
the north to Newton Stewart in the
south, at a season’s cost of over
£4,000… so there is good reason for
trying to gain promotion! The players
have all acquitted themselves well, and
are hopeful they can overtake
Lasswade in the run-in.
Jamie Doig for the 1st XV, and
Richard Taylor for the 2nd XV have
both captained their sides well, and the
coaches have had the outstanding
support of Duncan Beattie, who has
supported the players with their fitness
/weights training in the excellent gym
facility the Club now has.
New Anniesland now has facilities
which are the envy of all who visit the
Club, and we are eternally grateful to
our Head Groundsman, Robert
Cheape, and his staff whose efforts
ensure we have the best possible
pitches on which to play both rugby
and cricket throughout the year.
Off the pitch there has been a great
spirit amongst the players throughout
the season, with a real vibrancy within
the clubhouse at the after-match
hospitality. New Anniesland is coming
New Anniesland as we have come to know it
this winter…
alive, and next season we are keen to
develop our facilities even more, with a
£20,000 share of the money raised by
The Gordon Mackay Memorial Appeal.
However, the section is ever-dependent
on, and grateful for, the outstanding
generosity of so many Academical
supporters who each season contribute
faithfully. In particular we thank those
who are major Sponsors:
Brian Gibson; John Watson; Niall
Campbell; Gordon Lindsay;
Kenneth McLeod; Bruce Mitchell;
George Thomson; and Peter Stokes.
Throughout the season we have
organised pre-match lunches for
opposition officials, sponsors, and past
players. One of the most successful
events has been the Brian Lockhart
Lunch organised by Alasdair Graham.
Open to anyone who had played
alongside Brian (which encompassed
many, many players during his
extremely lengthy career, evidenced so
obviously by his many replacement
joints and a distinguishable rolling gait!),
the lunch attracted over 60 former
players who enjoyed an excellent meal
prepared and served by the Club’s
Bar/Catering Steward Ken Barron and
his team.
At last Season’s rugby Dinner, two
special presentations took place.
Engraved Tankards were presented to
Johnny Beattie and to Chris Dunn,
both of whom had shown outstanding
contributions in different ways.
Johnny in recognition of his gaining
International honours, and to Chris in
recognition of his long, committed
and loyal service to the Rugby
Section, as secretary for over 10 years.
Chris was also given honorary life
membership of the Sports Club.
We do send out regular updates to our
rugby membership, and would be
pleased to hear from any Academicals
who would like to be kept in touch
with the section’s progress. If you have
any news to pass on, do contact any of
the club representatives on the
website, or our webmaster Stuart
Wilson at
[email protected]
The Rugby Section now has its new
website, for which we are greatly
indebted to former Accie player,
George Thomson, and his company,
GEO-GRAPHICS, for their
enormous help in setting it up. The
site has been live since September
2009, and has already had over 6,000
hits. Please do visit the site for regular
updates on club news, social events,
fixtures, match reports and results at
Looking ahead to next season, the
Club is always delighted to welcome
new players, and particularly Academy
leavers who are staying on to study in
Glasgow. Therefore please do contact
our Director of Rugby, Donald Reid
– at [email protected] –
who would be delighted to hear from
any potential recruits and to advise
them of pre-season training
Gordon Wilson (1964)
Academical Golf
With the new golf season fast
approaching, here are some dates
for your diary and some points of
contact should you wish to
participate in any or all of events
we will be organising. Academicals
of all ages are encouraged to take
part in the matches we have and
the outings in both spring and the
Sunday 6 June
v Watsonians at Prestwick
Wednesday 9 June
v Glasgow High School at
Wednesday 23 June
v The School at Killermont
Sunday 12 September
v Kelvinside at Prestwick
Midweek October
v Glasgow High FP at
30 May
Spring Meeting at Shiskine Golf
Club, Isle of Arran
9 October
Autumn Meeting at Elie Golf
The intention with both the spring
and autumn meetings is to have a
dinner on the evening before the
event and to stay with those
Academicals with holiday homes in
Arran and Elie who are kind
enough to offer hospitality to those
wishing to take part.
Brian Lockhart and friends
Rugby Players’ Lunch
On Saturday 24 October 2009 a lunch was held at New Anniesland attended by
53 former players from the 1960s and 70s. Brian Lockhart was the main speaker
and he also chaired the proceedings. The lunch was organised with assistance
from the External Relations office at Glasgow Academy.
After lunch the attendees watched Accies play against Hawick YM RFC in a
SHE National League Division 2 match that in a highly-exciting game they won
by the narrow margin of 5-0. This was Accies’ fourth successive win and it
pushed them up to fifth position in the league and still in with a chance of
If you are interested in attending similar future events at New Anniesland or
wish to receive regular updates on Accies-related rugby matters, please contact
Joanna Lennox at The Academy.
Alastair Graham (1959)
Anyone interested in finding out
more about any of these events
please do not hesitate to contact
one of the following:
Brian Ker (Captain):
[email protected] / 0141 306 1868
/ 0141 637 4548
Gordon Wilson:
wi[email protected] / 07595
Mark Kitson:
[email protected] / 07798
Brian Ker (1974)
London Section
Is your
old school
tie too
New pure silk
Academical ties
The Glasgow Academical Club,
London Section would like to take
this opportunity to invite all
Academicals residing in the
South/London area to the London
Section 2010 Annual Dinner, which
will be held on Thursday 25 March,
2010 at The Caledonian Club, 9A
Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR.
We are delighted to announce that
Mr Bruce Anderson, political
journalist and former editor of The
Spectator will be our guest speaker,
along with The Rector, Mr Peter
Brodie, Chairman of the Glasgow
Academical Club, Mr Jimmy
McCulloch, and Chairman of the
Governors, Mr Gordon Jack.
Academicals of all ages are welcome.
Further details can be obtained from
David W Hall ([email protected]).
We would like to inform you of
two other forthcoming fixtures in
our calendar: the first is that the
London Section will be represented
at the London Scottish Schools’
Golf Day which will be held at
Denham Golf Club on Tuesday 22
June, 2010. If any Academicals are
interested in participating, please
contact David Stirling
([email protected]). The
second, is that the London Section
will be hosting a dinner for the
Academy Shooting Team during
their annual visit to Bisley. This
dinner will be held on Thursday 15
July 2010. Any interested
Academicals please contact Henry
([email protected]) or
Crawford Alexander
([email protected]).
The London Section would also like
to announce some new additions to
our Committee and we welcome
Mr Jack Campbell and Miss Karen
Smith. If any Academicals are
acquainted with Jack or Karen, or
any other member of our
Committee (President – Anthony
Frieze; Vice-President – Gordon
Low; Peter Marr; David Hall;
Alastair Brown; Colin Buchanan;
John Deans; Roddy Graham;
Melanie McLean; David Stirling;
Cameron Wilson) please get in
touch with them to pass on names
of Academicals living in the
South/London area.
(including p+p in UK)
Please contact
External Relations office for
further details
[email protected]
Three good sports
(l to r) Colin Dawson (cricket), Alasdair Graham (rugby) and Colin Atkinson (badminton) were
honoured recently by the Sports Council for Glasgow. They received long-service awards at an
event at St Andrews in the Square entitled ‘Celebrating 30 Years’ Voluntary Service to Sport’.
We’re sure that each of them has been involved in his chosen sport for a few more years than that!
Save the Date!
The 128th
Glasgow Academical Club
Dinner will be held in The
Cargill Hall on
12 November.
Save the date and look out
for more details in the summer edition
of Etcetera.
127th Glasgow
Academical Club
6 November 2009
The Accies Dinner returned to the
Cargill Hall last year. It was a great
success with over 200 Academicals in
attendance. The night began with
reception drinks in the Dining Hall
followed by a three-course dinner
provided by Kensingtons Catering.
The toast to the Club and The
Academy was made by Baron Maxton
of Blackwaterfoot who recalled his
Accie playing days as well as his time
as a member of staff of the school.
The reply on behalf of The Academy
was given by Rector Peter Brodie.
Club President, Jimmy McCulloch,
replied on behalf of the Club and
toasted the guests. Deputy Head Boy,
Alfie Lloyd, replied on behalf of the
As well as the familiar faces of regular
attendees, External Relations hosted a
table of 6th year pupils on behalf of
the GAC and a large group of 1989
leavers combined their 20-year
reunion in the afternoon with the
evening in the Cargill Hall. We hope
to see many more new faces at this
year’s Academical Club Dinner on
Friday 12 November.
1989 Reunion
6 November 2009
20 years – where had the time gone?
When Mark Taylor asked me to help
organise our 20-year reunion I’ll be
honest, I was a little ambivalent about
the whole thing. However once I
started contacting oldclass mates and
hearing about their lives – family,
work etc I really started to enjoy it.
With the help of Gregor Hinks, Pete
Brown and The Academy, the task
certainly seemed less daunting than it
had at first.
Unfortunately not everyone could
make it as we are a much diversified
group in terms of geography and
We have classmates living and working
in Australia, the USA, Belgium,
Poland, Singapore, Germany, Spain,
Isle of Man, even a few in the East of
Scotland. There is a strong contingent
naturally in London and the South
We have lawyers, bankers,
accountants, surveyors, stockbrokers,
doctors, dentists, vets, colleagues in the
leisure industry, telecommunications,
IT, the drinks industry, retail, property,
laundry services, security (Ike works
with the gurkas in Singapore), a golf
pro, a world famous DJ – Lars
Sandberg aka (Funk D’Void) – and me
in frozen chicken.
We all met late afternoon for a tour
round the school. The place certainly
has changed much since our day. The
investment made in the school and its
facilities was impressive and we all
agreed we were proud that we were
once part of it.
Afterwards we met for drinks and the
chance to catch up with some of our
former teachers. It was a real pleasure
to see Messrs Latimer, Gray, Hadcroft,
McNaught, Robertson, Williams and,
of course, Mr Woods. I believe at one
point I plucked up the courage to call
him Ronnie. It was a real tonic to
reminisce over old tales of teachers,
pupils, sport and... detention. Some of
our teachers had sadly passed away.
For some retirement had beckoned
and a well-earned rest while for others
the journey at The Academy
continues! For their patience and
perseverance in getting us through
school, we thank them.
Our reunion coincided with the
Academical Dinner that evening in the
Cargill Hall which worked out very
well. We all had an excellent meal and
of course too much wine and port.
We stayed together late on into the
evening with promises of a regular
yearly get together. A golf day has
been mentioned and a table at the
Summer Ball. I hope we follow this
through as it was great to meet so
many old friends again.
We would all like to thank Mark,
Joanna and Malcolm from The
Academy. The department they run is
an asset to the school and its former
pupils. Much work has been put into
rebuilding the database of former
pupils and – put simply – it is a
daunting task. Without help from
them, the job of pulling these reunions
together would be extremely difficult.
Special thanks must also go to Andrew
Calder for providing some very fine
whisky for our enjoyment.
Until we meet again...
Adrian Louden (1989)
1979 Reunion
4 December 2009
It was a fantastic day – the school has
been transformed in the 30 years since
I left and you could only be impressed
by the standard of the facilities now
available to the pupils. Most things
have changed – and I think we
surprised the lady teaching Piano in
my first classroom – Miss Alexander’s
Prep 5X – when we pressed our noses
against the door to peer in!
Trying to remember which way you
could and could not walk up stairs and
through passageways was fun and
being in the Rector’s office without
having done something wrong was
nice. Seeing the yearbooks brought
back loads of memories – though
seeing that my older brother had shot
an average 97 for the year in the range
was a little annoying as I’ve just taken
up the sport again after 30 years and
have a bit of work to do to catch up!
The appearance of a salad bar in the
dining hall was just a bit too modern
for my taste though! Catching up with
people whom you haven’t seen in a
long time was a highlight. Thanks for
the organising and the hospitality – I
think everyone had fun.
Julian Stark (1979)
1999 Reunion
19 December 2009
10 Years On
On the Saturday night that heralded
the beginning of one of the snowiest
Christmas periods our generation has
seen, the Class of ‘99 braved the
elements for a festive ten-year catchup at New Anniesland. Our minister
in the making, Jonathan Fleming,
opened the evening by saying a short
and thoughtful grace that thanked
everyone for making it through the
snow and paid tribute to those who
are no longer with us. Not standing
on ceremony, the evening progressed
to what our year group do best: the
enjoyment of food, conversation and a
little beverage or two. Dancing was
not the order of the night with the
party choosing to use the evening to
chat and mingle instead.
There have been some notable Accie
achievements since 1999, many
involving weddings and babies, tours
in Afghanistan, graduations,
promotions and jobs in far-flung
destinations. However, this gathering
was equally a chance for a group of
like-minded people to compare notes
on the challenges that have been faced
over the past ten years and to know
that we’re not alone in going through
ups and downs that life throws at us.
By the time of our next reunion, we
are hopeful that we will have managed
to get back in touch with more of our
year group and that we will all have
some great stories about how we
weathered our first recession and came
out the stronger for it. Hopefully in
2024 (!?!), the evening will once again
end in the venue formerly known as
Clatty Pats.
Thanks go to Ken Barron and the
ladies at the clubhouse for putting on a
great spread and helping with the
organising, to Joanna Lennox at the
school for printing the menus and to
Malcolm McNaught for giving some
of the boys a tour of the school in the
Newsworthy gossip from the evening
– and since – that may be of interest
to those who couldn’t be there on the
night (including an unlucky Toni Scott
who was stranded at Gatwick): Nicola
Connelly will marry her long-term
boyfriend, Roly, this summer after
becoming the All-Anniesland After
Eight Champion; Penny Hart (nee
Miller) had a beautiful baby girl, Sadie,
last summer; Jonathan Fleming is
proud father to Rachel and husband to
Karyn; Jonathan Morrison will return
to Afghanistan on tour this year in his
role as a medical officer; Michael
Atkinson is engaged to Alison, who it
should be noted is a lovely Scots girl
from Gullane; Richard Inglis and his
wife, Katy, have welcomed their
daughter, Olivia Jane, into the world;
Allan and Kiran Wilson are still the
Top: Some of the 1979 group with current
senior pupils during their tour of the school in
Above: Bruce, Andy, Allan and Johnny enjoyed
the 1999 reunion...
golden ‘99 Accies couple; Chris
Socklingham is happily married to
Helen and is now an uncle; Mansur
Halai is loving married life with wife
Fatima; Stephanie Newland’s twin
babies are now four!
Erica Dickson and Nuala Devlin
To view many more photos from
past events, logon to GA Connected
If you don’t have your login
details, email [email protected]
I came to the Academy in January
1945 after one term at King’s College
School in Wimbledon, London.
When I first arrived at the school I
was placed in the First Year – though
it should have been Transitus. The
pupil allocated to be my companion
through the first months was James C
Stewart who ultimately became a very
highly-regarded Minister of the
Church of Scotland.
My academic distinction was not great,
but I did shoot well and, after being
injured on the rugby field, I travelled
with the 1st XV as touch judge. On
one occasion at New Anniesland, I
disagreed with the referee. One of
our backs had kicked the ball forward,
raced past the opposing full back and
caught the ball on a bounce and
scored. The referee pointed to touch,
saying the ball had gone out while in
the air and had fallen back into play. I
knew that if it had gone out it would
have gone over my head, which it
didn’t. There were a few remarks on
the field which were, perhaps,
unworthy of the gentlemen of the
Academy and I got into trouble in the
dressing room for arguing with the
referee. However, you will never see
a dressing-room empty so fast for the
baths as when the referee turned
round, wearing a clerical collar! I
wonder if anyone else remembers that
I left in 1950, having the previous year
quarantined the entire cast of the
Shakespeare play by contracting
chickenpox at the beginning of the
summer holidays – not a popular thing
to do! My aim after school was to
become a sea-going engineer; but
instead I felt called to the ministry. I
was commissioned in the Artillery in
1956, thanks to my grounding in the
Corps, was ordained in 1961 and
served the church in East Africa for
seven years, served religious
broadcasting with the BBC for nearly
20 years, mostly as Senior Producer for
Religious Radio, and, with three years
in Edinburgh, concluded my full-time
ministry in Clackmannan.
stopped working and currently am
Interim Moderator in Dollar linked
with Glendevon linked with
We have three children, sadly none
educated at the Academy. The eldest,
Ewan (also a minister), is currently
Secretary of the Church and Society
Council of the Church of Scotland;
the second, Stewart, is CEO and
Artistic Director of the Aberdeen
International Youth Festival; and the
youngest, Ronnie, is a Project
Manager at the Royal Bank. Sadly his
salary is not in the seven figure
category! We have seven
grandchildren to keep us busy when I
stop working!
The sad thing is that I have lost
contact with all my classmates in my
years at the Academy – sad because
their friendship through those years
and the whole learning atmosphere of
the school, are largely responsible for
what I have been able to achieve in
the 60 years since I left.
To my wife’s frustration – this is our
Golden Wedding year – I have never
Going through some old photos I came across this of the Annual Church Parade to Glasgow
University leaving Colebrooke Street in 1949. Names are a problem but I think the Pipe
Sergeant was Alistair Oliphant. The Corps RSM was George Burnett. Happy days!
Alan Carlaw (1949)
Douglas Aitken (1950)
Now there are so many other ways of
distributing printed information, but
back in the 60s the only way to do
this successfully, other than by writing
by hand, was by the letterpress process.
This was like a glorified rubber stamp
whereby if you inked a raised image
and applied the necessary pressure the
image would transfer to the substrate.
There were no modern equivalents
such as desktop printers or
photocopiers working with
breathtaking speed as they now do as
virtual printing machines in their own
John Watson with Angus and
Sandy, two of his four sons
Was there life before photocopiers?
Yes, there was – and it was alive and
well in the basement of House 3 at
Glasgow Academy! There we had the
Printing Club which, although marred
in dust and dirt, was a highly-efficient
basement operation which would
expedite various orders from school
and pupils alike.
The work carried out by this allembracing Club included rugby club
dance tickets, business cards,
letterheads, concert and pantomime
programmes, menus, etc. The
printing process was letterpress and the
principles and procedures which we
used had remained virtually unchanged
since Guttenberg printed his 42-line
bible in 1450. We printed with
moveable type, a eutectic alloy of lead,
tin and antimony setting up individual
letters in reverse-reading format
imposed in a metal chaise. We printed
on one of the two presses bought by
the school. The smaller press was an
Adana, which was ideal for the New
Anniesland Rugby Club dance tickets
and business cards with the largerformat Vicabold press being used for
quarto programmes for the various
concerts and pantomimes in the
Cargill Hall.
The school’s financial oversight was
always very correct and they used the
finances that were paid in to the office
to buy new supplies for the Printing
Club, including consumables such as
paper, ink, new typefaces and type
The Club was a hive of activity at
lunchtime and after school, when
pupils could allow their creativity to
come to the fore, a bit like one would
now today on an AppleMac
Computer. Health and Safety
considerations were completely nonexistent with sandwiches being
balanced on the corner of the type
cases containing a deadly alloy of lead,
tin and antimony type metal. It was
only some ten years later that the
Health and Safety Executive banned
chips from being served in newspaper,
due to the possibility of crosscontamination! A sad day for the
ubiquitous fish supper!
They say in printing that the industry
has changed more in the last forty
years than in the preceding 600 and
this I would agree with, as the system
for transferring an image to a substrate
had remained almost unchanged since
the early pioneers in the middle ages.
Shortly after leaving the Academy, I
remember visiting the then Glasgow
Corporation print works in
Pollokshaws Road and witnessing the
first hand-operated attempts at
xerography, whereby the image was
electrostatically charged and a print
was produced, the forerunner of Rank
Xerox and the modern day
These were heady days for young,
aspiring, teenage entrepreneurs, as we
had to tender for business. Jock
Carruthers or ‘Jazzy Bill’ Coulthard,
the music teacher, would always get a
check price from Lawrence and Lang,
the stationery shop situated where the
current Co-operative 24-hour shop is
in Great Western Road. Lawrence
and Lang had a pretty antiquated
printing press in the back shop and
they were the guide price for the
Academy printing. We did print in
various colours if asked, but much
preferred to adopt the Henry Ford
principle that you can have anything
you like as long as it’s black!
The output, as you will see from the
Chronicles of the time, was many and
varied and the Club was almost part of
a Private Press Movement, which was
the norm in those days. Cleanliness
was not our strong point and the floors
were littered with paper off-cuts, inks
and line blocks in all sorts of disarray,
but we still managed to print some
very acceptable quality work for the
school and beyond.
The pecking order for delivery used to
have the Rugby Club dinner dance
tickets as a main priority, as one would
generally be allowed a few extra
tickets free-gratis for turning the work
round in time. All-in-all these were
great fun days and – although the
Printing Club has not continued to
prosper as the technology changed – it
was a wonderful place to meet up, be
creative and to think ‘outside the box’
while at the same time being
introduced to the entrepreneurial ways
of the world at an early age.
John M Watson OBE (1964)
We never did that in our day!
It is 40 years since Nick Utechin was School Captain and tried to
change the Rector’s mind about the wearing of caps. What occupies
the time of today’s Head Boy and Head Girl?
A Captain’s Memories
It was at an Academy 1968 swimming
gala in a pool up by the University
that my friend AJ (Andrew) Kerr told
me that I would probably end up
being School Captain. He was a
Junior Prefect, I was a Senior one and
he’d worked out my future on the
basis of who was leaving when for
Scottish universities, who wasn’t and
thus who was mathematically
guaranteed the position. I was trying
for Oxford, and so was due to stay on
for the Winter ‘69 term for the entry
The decision actually had to be taken
by the Rector, Basil Holden, but
unless I seriously blotted my
copybook, the post was there for me –
and so it came to pass.
I had come in as a prefect under the
strict regime of then-Captain Viv
Clements and was made a house
captain (Albany) under Malcolm
Harper. So the Prefects’ Room,
beneath the eaves of one of the houses
opposite the main school building, was
nothing strange to me. I had survived
arriving in 1965 as an English
schoolboy, being dealt with very
firmly at Anniesland my first Saturday
as a novice 13-year-old hooker and
being laughed at for my accent! There
was a toughness and formality that was
new to me, let alone the Cadet Corps
mentality which, in those interesting
Nick Utechin (front left) with the gentlemen of
the Upper Sixth in 1969. But who are the
1960s years, seemed perhaps
fractionally out of place!
But at the age of 17, the captaincy
came. My goodness, how powerful
the school allowed us to be! There
were rotas to be drawn up (I never
could work that sort of thing out, so
gave the responsibility to my ViceCaptain, Karl Aeberli): prefects at the
Cargill Hall for Assembly, ditto in the
Dining Hall, ditto in the playground,
ditto to check beneath the Hall stage
at break-time for smokers!
We punished by setting lines, and
liberally. That was what was expected
of us. The Captain could also beat. I
had seen my predecessors do it. There
was a certain master who hit the hand
with a nasty angled piece of leather if
the miscreant had not achieved 6/10
for a weekly piece of work. But the
Captain then could also do the deed.
When I took over, I announced to my
prefects that I would never beat. But I
did, once. A single strike of a plimsoll
on the backside of a 1st former who’d
already been with his parents to Mr.
Holden to discuss his future at the
school. Three of my senior group
were present, but after all these years, I
remember it and am not proud of it.
I could name that boy, but he’s
probably a captain of industry or
hedge-fund manager now and
somehow survived this rather pathetic
What I did enjoy pushing for, and
eventually achieving, was the removal
of the school cap (at least for some).
This will mean absolutely nothing to
present readers, but was a huge issue
forty years ago. All boys had to wear
the school cap, not only in the vicinity
of Colebrooke Street, but on their
journeys to or from school. And there
seemed always to be an appalling army
of ‘Friends of the School’ who would
inform Mr. Holden or others that soand-so had been seen not wearing the
damn thing at such-and-such a bus
I went to battle. Basil Holden I now
remember only for being a slightly
choleric, port-faced and old-fashioned
man (he was probably the age at
which I am now!!). He seemed
generally remote and made
assumptions about a world that had
undoubtedly moved on. But he had
made me Captain, and there was the
cap issue to debate.
I had several discussions with the
Rector, suggesting that 1969 was,
perhaps, a year when this invidious
and so public element of uniform
could be got rid of (there were bad
tales of bad treatment by others on the
subway, but I was trying for a
principle). Mr Holden fought well.
He told me once that the wearing of
the school cap was a good preparation
for what he believed to be the hatwearing norm of grown-ups in
Matters began to get quite heated: I
was annoyed at how often our prefects
were obliged to punish for the nonwearing of caps. One day, I decided I
would ‘address the school’ –
something a Captain could then do in
those days after assembly in the Cargill
Hall if he so chose on a matter of
moment. I held everybody back to
talk about what I was trying to achieve
re. caps and asking the school to trust
us and hang in there and please not
break the rule while it was still in
Thud thud came the sound of Gordon
Carruthers’ shoes coming up the Hall.
The authorities had somehow gathered
what I was going to talk about. I
faltered and merely dribbled out a few
words, rather than the ‘call to arms’
speech I had envisaged. An hour later,
while, I think, I was in an A-Level
French class with ‘Chic’ Varley, I was
hauled out and told not to do that sort
of thing again.
O tempora, o mores! I left at the end
of term, and received, in the envelope
with our report, results and whatever,
a slip of paper from the Rector,
informing the Academy community
that the school cap would no longer
be compulsory wearing for IVth form
and above with immediate effect.
By definition, this was a fascinating
time to be at the Academy. I was an
English intruder into the senior school,
happened to be in the right place at
the right time and was made School
Captain. Undoubtedly the most
powerful position I have ever held!
Nick Utechin (1969)
A Head Girl
Head Boy
Regretfully times have
changed and Corporal
Punishment has been
denied to me this year!
However, there are
other forms of
punishment like
running and press-ups
which I took full
advantage of at eleven
thirty on the first night
of the New Recruits’
Training Camp. I have
to say that I had no
trouble with my
fourteen recruits for the
remainder of the
My first few days of
primary school could be
referred to as traumatic.
In contrast to the exciting
and colourful experience
of Nursery and
Kindergarten, the
memory of waving
goodbye to my parents
from the classroom
window, tears rolling
down my cheeks while I
In Nick Utechin’s day there was only one School Captain. Today, there’s a team – a
Head Boy, a Head Girl, two Deputies and a whole lot of braid! Meet the 2009/10
held Mrs McKechnie’s
team: Alfie Lloyd (Deputy); Lucy Aitchison (Head Girl); Fraser Stark (Head Boy);
hand, is not a fond one.
Anna Smrkova (Deputy); Sam Reilly (Deputy); Zara Reid (Deputy). In 1970 Nick
Five years old and locked
went on to study at Oxford. Of the 2010 group above, no fewer than four have
in the toilet cubicle for a
Oxbridge offers. We wish them all well for the future, whatever it holds.
seemingly indefinite
period of time, threatened by the unfamiliar environment of the
‘big’ school, certainly was a marking ordeal.
Unfortunately, this lack of strict discipline has
resulted in a change of respect among the
How is it, then, that the great unknown soon became the familiar?
younger pupils; on a number of occasions I have
Firstly, it would have to be the people. It was Mrs McKechnie
been tied up with skipping ropes whilst
who rescued me from that cubicle and proceeded to restore my
venturing across the playground during the Prep
faith in school by contributing to make our Primary 1 such a
School break. On a more serious note, I’ve
special year. Soon, it was my parents who were left waving as I
found that Prep school children are more than
turned my back on them and rushed off to discover more about
happy to approach Sixth Year pupils in the
Biff and Chip. Break times equated to absolute anarchy as
playground and start conversations, something
everyone ran around, all joining in to play ‘Red Rover’; to have
which I certainly would never have considered
gone through primary and secondary school with friends is like
when I was their age. This shows the confidence
having an extended family.
that the school is nurturing in the pupils but also
Secondly, the variety of opportunities offered in the ‘big, big’
the close, family atmosphere that has been
school, the Senior School, has afforded me invaluable experience,
created which is, I feel, very healthy for the
further learning, socialising and lots and lots of laughter. After
school and its students.
four years, it still feels a privilege to be part of the mystical Gavel
Along with the usual dismissing of the school at
Club. From debates in front of the whole school and UK maths
assembly, my other duties have involved
competitions, to building igloos in Aviemore and discovering New
returning stolen Christmas trees (some Sixth Year
York’s rich history, I have enjoyed it all. Even the seemingly
pupils thought that the External Relations tree
standard activity of hockey has been a fantastic opportunity to
would look far better in the common room) and
enjoy the banter of different year groups, by uniting as a team.
herding Sixth Years into our weekly lecture on a
With new and exciting endeavours ahead, Sixth Year has been a
useful mix of independent learning and new responsibilities. I
My position keeps me on my toes but I wouldn’t
have, after all these formative years, overcome the terror of a
have it any other way; the fact that most people
locked cubicle. However, although The Academy has readied me
in the school know my name is quite a special
for the next great unknown, there is always a tinge of sadness as I
thing and one which I will miss as I become one
contemplate leaving the place where I have spent most of my
of many first year University students next year.
childhood, and made the best of friends.
Fraser Stark (S6)
Lucy Aitchison (S6)
Paris Loire Valley trip, 1960
More on Moreton...
I was saddened to read the news of
Moreton Black’s death. Aside from
expanding my vocabulary and teaching
me some of the finer points of French
grammar sufficient for a Higher, I
remember a trip to Cannes circa 1961
arranged by Morty Black. It was train
to London and ferry to Calais (no
‘Chunnel’ then). The overnight train
to Nice in couchette accommodations
was particularly memorable for us
mostly sheltered Scottish lads.
Once on the Riviera, we stayed at a
high school. We felt sure every meal
was horsemeat.
There were lots of interesting and
educational side trips – a perfume
factory, Ventimiglia, St Tropez and
somehow even one to a Casino. In
Cannes, the presence nearby of the US
sixth or seventh fleet and the joie de
vivre of the sailors on shore leave
made the nightlife scene even more
entertaining and eye-opening.
I also remember on the ferry back we
met a group of girls from a school in
Victoria BC – perhaps that’s why I
ended up in Canada a few years later!
Oh yeah, it is a bi-lingual country too!
Al Fleming (1962)
In April 1960, Moreton Black ran a
school trip to Paris and the Loire
Valley, which I took part in. I attach a
photograph taken of the group in
I also went on a trip to Cannes with
him in 1964, I think it was.
My form teacher for a couple of years
was Jimmy Jope. He hated school
dinners, but was supposed to sit at the
head of the table and keep order. So as
I was the oldest at the table, he
appointed me to stand, or sit, in for
him. Our table was Table 13, next to
Moreton Black’s table. He sat very
close to him. At our table there was a
lad surnamed Morton. We took
delight when I would call, fairly loudly
‘Morton!’ and Moreton would turn
round. Ah, the things which amuse
childish minds!
I know some found him quite
frightening, especially on the very rare
occasions he wielded the belt, but I
had extra tuition from him, and we
would lean on the window ledge of
his room watching the world go by,
and discuss it in French. From that,
and the two trips with him to France
came not only my love of French, but
my joy in all languages.
He and I also shared an interest in
philately – Moreton’s speciality being
Bermuda, if I recall correctly. It is now
a few years since I saw him at a stamp
fair, and he was becoming forgetful,
but still remembered me immediately.
He always called me Michael, never
Mike Faulds (1965)
Can I make a belated contribution to
the affectionate memories of Morty
Black? My old friend Alex Pollock’s
mention of Morty drilling us to
memorise the text of General De
Gaulle’s defiant speech after the Fall of
France inspires a happy memory of
events in my career much later.
By way of introduction, I should
explain that at the Academy around
1960 I was not a gifted student of
French, having little idea that I would
end up as a book publisher in Canada,
where the official languages are
English and French. But I learned
enough to pass a first-year French
course at Morty’s other alma mater, St
Andrews. There the Academy’s
teachers were so well-respected that an
essay of mine was returned by the
Professor (the Professor!) with one
howler circled, along with the
question ‘What would Mr. Varley say?’
Many years later, I was sitting in my
Publisher’s office in Toronto, listening
to a self-important author declaiming
about De Gaulle. It is one of the trials
of a Publisher’s life that by definition
he or she spends a great deal of time
with authors who know everything
under the sun about their chosen
subject (which is good) but are not shy
about proclaiming this fact, and talking
down to their audience (which is bad).
On this occasion, the author was
pompously listing De Gaulle’s skills,
and lamenting that ordinary people
like me had no idea of the range of his
‘Why,’ he announced contemptuously
‘Nobody in this country has any idea
what a great orator he was!’.
I felt a stirring of hope.
‘For example, nobody knows anything
about the inspired speech he made
after the Fall of France in 1940….’.
Aha! I sprang to interrupt him.
‘Ah, yes’, I said, smiling, ‘the speech
Rugby scores
that goes… ‘S’il est vrai qu’ a travers
les vents et les marees, a ete sauve…
He beamed, and supplied the punch
line, ‘And you thought of me!’
He scowled in obvious irritation, but I
continued to declaim the MortyBlack-inspired words until – just
before my memory ran out – he broke
in testily, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ and changed
the subject.
Some years later, I thought of him,
when my French had improved to the
point that I was able to translate
French essays for publication in book
form with no critical responses quoting
Messrs Varley or Black.
Many years later, when he visited
Toronto, I told Morty about this story.
Douglas Gibson (1962)
Colin Stewart (1970) was about to throw out this lovingly-typed reminder of a
glorious youth when he thought someone might be interested. Impressive stuff...
but what went wrong in the final Hutchesons’ match?
This 1932/33 photo of Miss Walker’s class was sent in by
WN Herbertson (1944). W. Neilson Herbertson is pictured
front, centre but who are the others?
Rory Anderson (1992)
Rory Anderson (1992) and his wife Jenny are delighted to announce
the birth of their daughter Sarah on 15 November 2009.
Ross Beveridge (1975)
We had a second son, Adam John Dunlop Beveridge, born 3
December 2009 in Pittsburgh PA, 7Ibs 11oz. All doing well.
Thuri Bjornsson (1997)
Adam John Dunlop Beveridge
I have recently extended my family and had another little boy, Oskar
Bjorn Moor, who was born on 9 October 2009.
Lesley Bloomer (1998)
Lesley (nee Bloomer) and James Stuart-Gammie celebrated the birth
of their son, Aulay, who was born in Edinburgh on 21 November
Richard Inglis (1999)
Richard and his wife Katy are delighted to announce the birth of their
daughter, Olivia Jane, on 1 February 2010 at the Chelsea and
Westminster hospital, London.
Sandy Nelson (1998)
Wee Baby Dave Nelson was born to Sandy and Elaine Nelson on 26
October 2009, weighing 7lbs 15oz and is doing well, especially at
keeping his Mum up all night.
Baby Dave Nelson with his Uncle and his Dad
His namesake – Uncle Dave Nelson (2000) – is celebrating a
successful year after co-writing several songs on Paolo Nutini’s
number one album ‘Sunny Side Up’ and touring the world with the
Jamie Sim (1992)
Louis James Sim was born on 22 Aug 2009. My wife is called Jo.
Born in Edinburgh, but a Weegie at heart!
Fiona Begley (2003)
Both familes are delighted to announce the engagement of Fiona
Begley CA BA (Hons) to Paul Ferguson BA (Hons) from Lenzie.
Louis James Sim with his Grandpa and his Dad
Aulay Stuart-Gammie
Michael Atkinson (1999)
Our son Michael became engaged recently to Alison Kirkwood. Both
families are delighted. Best wishes.
Moira and Colin Atkinson (1957)
Family news...
Siva Nathan (1995)
Siva is married to Dr Kavitha Gunasuntharam. They had their first
baby, Rosa, on 15 July 2009.
Suresh Nathan (1997)
Suresh is married to Meena and is working as a dentist in Bolton.
Grahame S Blackwood (1945)
September 3 1927 – May 7 2009
Grahame was the second eldest son of
a Glasgow fruit merchant, one of four
Blackwood brothers and the last
survivor of that proud generation. His
younger brothers Kenneth and Jim
were also Academicals.
He attended Glasgow Academy from
1937 to 1945, before going on to
complete a degree in Mechanical and
Chemical Engineering at Glasgow
University. A lifetime member of the
Academical Club, he proudly sported
the blue, black and grey tie until
shortly before his demise. He was also
a fellow of the Institute of Chartered
Engineers and latterly an active and
enthusiastic member of PROBUS.
Grahame passed away at Roxburgh
House, Dundee, in his 81st year after a
brief illness and is survived by his wife,
Sheila, his three children Carolyn,
John and Pam and three
John G Blackwood
Hunter R Crawford (1939)
August 14 1921 – January 31 2010
Hunter Ralston Crawford OBE was
born in 1921 in Glasgow but like
many others of his generation sought
employment in the British colonies.
Shortly before the Second World War
he arrived in the Federated Malay
States and commenced a long and
eventful career in the rubber
plantation industry.
In 1941 he joined a group which
infiltrated the jungle behind Japanese
lines to carry out sabotage under the
direction of Force 101. He was
eventually captured in Sumatra and
endured three years of internment
before being released soon after his
24th birthday in August 1945, ‘by
which time’, Crawford later
commented, ‘both the Emperor and I
had had enough’.
After the war Crawford resumed his
career in the Malayan rubber industry,
living and working through a
communist insurgency dubbed ‘The
Malayan Emergency’ which lasted
from 1948 to 1960. He rose steadily
up the ranks of rubber industry
executives, eventually becoming
Managing Director of Plantation
Agencies, a business which under his
guidance became one of the largest
plantation agency houses in newlyindependent Malaysia.
Hunter was a member and director of
many important bodies within the
Malaysian rubber industry for which
work he received a number of awards
including being made a Freeman of
the City of London. He was the
Honorary British Consul in Penang
and was awarded the OBE for services
to the community. He died in Sussex,
aged 88, and is survived by his wife
and two sons.
H Crawford
Dr DIA (Ian) Cunningham (1950)
February 18 1933 – July 13 2009
Dr Ian Cunningham (retired GP)
passed away peacefully at Fleming
Hospital, Aberlour. He is survived by
his wife Mary, three children and three
grandchildren. Ian is also survived by
his Academical cousins, Antony
Cunningham (1962) of Toronto, who
followed his footsteps into the
Boarding House in the days of
Coleman Smith, and Antony’s son,
Andrew (1987).
After a few years in practice with his
father, Donald, in Dudley, England,
Ian moved back to Scotland and
became a much-beloved general
practitioner in Dufftown. He was a
keen golfer and hill-walker and also
served for many years on the public
side of the Scotch Whisky Association
in disbursing monies for alcohol
education and research. A Memorial
Service was held in Mortlach Parish
Church, Dufftown, on July 17, and
donations made to cancer research.
Antony Cunningham (1962)
Alexander W Dickie (1951)
February 22 1935 – November 21 2009
Alexander Dickie, known to all as
Alex, died after a lengthy battle against
illness. He was a man of many
accomplishments who had a great
capacity for friendship and fun.
Destined to become a building
contractor, he was born in Muirend,
in a house built by his grandfather.
He was a pupil at Glasgow Academy
from 1944 to 1951.
Alex deferred his national service to
learn his trade as a stonemason with
the Glasgow firm Wilsons. Joining the
Royal Artillery in 1956, his time in
the army seemed more sporting than
soldiering. Although he played some
rugby for the British Army of the
Rhine, skiing was where his real
interest lay. Alex spent two happy
winters in the Alps racing for the
Army Team, which then also included
two Olympic skiers. In 1958, he
joined the family firm of John Dickie
and Son Ltd, which by then was being
run by his older brother Matt and,
between them, they built and
expanded the business with
considerable success and in continuous
profit. The company was renowned
for the quality of its work with its
housing developments regularly selling
out off the plans.
Golf was a major passion. Alex was a
member at various times of
Williamwood, Western Gailes,
Machrihanish, Prestwick, Royal
County Down, Crail, Pollok, Royal
Troon, the ‘32 Club and Kilmacolm,
where he was captain in 1994. A
regular visitor to St Andrews from an
early age, he became a member of the
Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1974.
He officiated for many years at various
championships, including the Masters
and the Open. Alex also enjoyed
success in the R&A’s own
competitions including overcoming a
well-known Scottish actor, who was
licensed to kill, in a 1996 final.
Alex is survived by Primmie – to
whom he was very happily married for
nearly 50 years – three sons and eight
Dr George D Kay (1942)
July 13 1936 – December 25 2009
George Davidson Kay, MB, CH.B,
FRCS(C), passed away peacefully in
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. He was
predeceased by his wife of fifty-four
years, Gloria Violet Barwell, and by
his brother, David Alan Reid Kay
(1941-1948), Professor of Materials
Science and Engineering at McMaster
University, Hamilton, Ontario.
George was born in Motherwell and
soon earned the nickname ‘Jacko’ on
account, it is said, of his prominent
ears! He was a representative rugby
player at school and university and,
after scoring his first hole-in-one at the
age of 16, remained an enthusiastic and
competent golfer until very late in life.
He also took great pleasure in fishing,
fine woodworking, reading, bridge,
and an ever-growing collection of
single-malt Scotch.
George emigrated to Canada in 1951.
Seventeen years later he was appointed
Head of Orthopaedics at North York
General Hospital, a position he held for
a further seventeen years! He was
founder of the Pennal Orthopaedic
Society and was also a generous
contributor to the School’s Canada
Prize Foundation and indeed remained
a loyal supporter and proud former
pupil of Glasgow Academy throughout
his life.
Antony Cunningham (1962)
Alexander D Oag (1943)
June 6 1925 – August 27 2009
‘Sandy’, as he was known, was a pupil
at Glasgow Academy from 1935 until
1943. On leaving school, he served in
the Royal Navy as an officer on mine
sweepers protecting Atlantic and
Russian convoys. After the war he
joined the Inchcare Group of which
Mackinnon and Mackenzie were
agents in the East for the British Steam
and Navigation Company. Sandy
eventually retired after service as
Chairman of the company in Pakistan.
It was during a voyage on one of the
company’s ships that he met his wife,
Dorothy, en route from Australia.
They later married in Sydney and had
three sons, eight grandchildren and two
great grandchildren. In poor health for
a number of years, he retained a great
fondness for his old school.
Mrs D Oag
John H Sinclair (1952)
November 5 1935 – November 8 2009
John, who attended The Academy
from 1946-48, passed away suddenly in
November. A former Professor of
Conveyancing at the University of
Strathclyde, he was also a practising
solicitor, author of Handbook of
Conveyancing Practice in Scotland and
editor of the Scottish Law Agents
Society’s Memorandum Book. John
was also a former office bearer of the
Royal Faculty of Procurators in
Robin Veitch MBE (1960)
March 9 1943 – October 26 2009
Following a year at Atholl Preparatory
School, Robin climbed the steps of
Glasgow Academy in 1950 into the
loving care of Nan MacEwan and her
Junior School Staff. As he progressed
through The Academy he successfully
managed to gather, not only an
education, but also a passion for rugby,
an interest in geography, a circle of
loyal friends and a nickname, ‘Sam’, all
of which remained with him
throughout his life.
At the age of 23, he joined the
Cumbernauld firm of Traditional
Weatherwear, manufacturing rainwear
for various uniformed organisations.
This was a fiercely competitive
market, and when the firm began to
fail, Robin was astute and courageous
enough to purchase and take control
of the company. In the years that
followed he worked hard at
establishing a market for his
mackintoshes in Europe, America and
Japan and his achievements resulted in
him being awarded the MBE for
services to export and the Queen’s
Award for Enterprise. He also
ventured into the fashion world and
quickly built up a list of prestigious
clients including Calvin Klein, Ralph
Lauren, Gucci and Hermes.
In 1972 Robin married Hazel who
provided him with invaluable support
throughout a happy marriage of 36
years. He was a founder member of
Clydebank Rugby Club and for fifty
years followed his great interest in
rugby either as player, supporter,
referee, selector or club president. He
served as a church elder at Killearn,
and was a committed Rotarian, being
a former chairman of both
Cumbernauld and Strathendrick
Sadly, in October 2009, Robin finally
succumbed to cardiac problems that he
had endured for many years and passed
away in his garden with Hazel by his
side. At his funeral service, a huge
congregation filled the church to
celebrate the life of a man of great
enthusiasm, drive and energy who
lived life to the full.
DT Salmond (1962)
Sergeant-Lieutenants Dr Donald
JC Angus (2002) and Dr Scott
Jamieson (2002) passed out from
Sandhurst on Thursday 10 December
Ben Bannatyne (1989)
I am the Regional Director for
ProLogis in Central Europe, based in
Warsaw, Poland. We are a real estate
developer and manager of warehouse /
logistics parks with our HQ in
Denver, US.
I have been in Poland since 1997. I
am married with one child, Samuel
(31/2 years) and another one on the
Andy Brown (1999)
I recently became a CFA
Charterholder and completed the
arduous ‘Tough Guy’ challenge.
Alan K Burnett (1964)
Alan left Glasgow Royal Infirmary in
1991 to take up the post of Professor
of Haematology at the then University
of Wales College of Medicine in
Cardiff, which later became Cardiff
University. The post enabled him to
pursue his keen interest in leukemia
research and to develop a number of
innovative treatments for leukemia.
Alan was recognised for the
outstanding progress he made in his
field when he was awarded an MBE in
the Queen’s Honours list in July 2008
for his services to Medicine.
Joanna Cram (2000)
I would like to offer osteopathic
treatment to pupils of the Academy,
and will ensure they will be given an
appointment for the same day that
they (or their parents!) call. I would be
happy to provide further information
on how osteopathy may benefit young
children and teenagers. I do remember
when I was a pupil at the Academy,
students in the sports teams were often
referred to a ‘Physio’ following any
injury. Please see
Antony Cunningham (1962)
After more than forty years in Canada,
Antony Cunningham and his wife
Rena are returning to Scotland at the
end of April. They will be living in
Allan Alstead (1954) recently became
become an Honorary Doctor of Glasgow
Caledonian University. The citation
described him as follows: ‘A retired soldier
and tireless volunteer, Allan Alstead is a
former chairman of Mercy Corps Europe,
which named him a ‘Humanitarian Hero’ for
his work with the organisation, and a
former chief executive of sportscotland.’
Many congratulations, Allan!
Langside and old friends can make
contact at 0798 007 8003 or at
[email protected]
Antony has represented the school and
the Academical community with
distinction over the years. Indeed, for
a while, there was a flourishing section
of the Club in Ontario and Antony
and Rena were always generous hosts
to many visiting Academicals and
school teams. Together with Sandy
Ferns, Antony also conceived of the
Canada Prize and, raising funds and
support from fellow-Academicals in
Canada, brought it to a reality. Over
the years, Antony served on numerous
public boards and committees,
including the Council of the College
of Nurses of Ontario and the Minister
of Education’s Task-Force on Student
Retention. As past-president of two
rugby clubs, the Ontario Rugby
Referees’ Society, as a Life Member
and past-president of the Toronto and
District Rugby Referees’ Society, and
as a former National Refereeing
Coach and IRB Match Official,
Antony is also well-known for his
long-time commitment to Canadian
rugby, especially in the area of
refereeing development.
Chiswick, West London
( The
surgery has now been open just over
12 months and sees patients from all
over London.
Alistair Donald (1974)
I left GA in 1974. After a degree in
Geography (St Andrews) and PhD in
Environmental Science (Wales), I
worked in that field for a number of
years in Wales and Scotland before
becoming a Church of Scotland
minister in the late 1990s having done
a BD (Edinburgh). I was in a parish in
Aberdeenshire till 12 months ago,
when I moved to my current post –
Chaplain to Heriot-Watt University.
Because of my background I’m very
interested in the science-faith debate
(not on the side of Richard Dawkins!),
so you might say I feel very much at
home in the science-based HW Uni.
Diabetes Federation for 2012-2015 at
the recent World Diabetes Congress in
Montreal. For the next three years, he
will serve as President-Elect,
succeeding Prince Jean-Claude
Mbanya of Cameroon in 2012.
Michael’s interest in diabetes started
when his younger daughter Kate
(1997) was diagnosed with Type 1
diabetes at the age of five. He was the
first Scot, and first non-medical
person, to chair the Board of Trustees
of Diabetes UK between 2001-2006,
and was the deputy chairman of the
successful global campaign to secure
the United Nations Resolution on
Robbie Low (1993)
I have moved again. This time to
Hartford, Connecticut to take up a
new position as Finance Director with
Aetna Life Insurance Company.
David Dickson (1996)
Sandy Fitzpatrick MBE (1988)
Scot McRae (1987)
Having completed my Bachelor of
Dental Surgery in 2001 at Glasgow
University, I moved to just outside of
Oxford to complete my postgraduate
vocational training with the University
of Oxford Postgraduate Medical
Centre, before joining a private dental
practice in Berkshire. I have
subsequently qualified with a PGCert
in Surgical and Prosthetic Dental
Implantology from The Eastman
Dental Institute and University
College London.
I have just returned to Glasgow after
nearly 20 years away and am
thoroughly enjoying getting back in
touch with Accies rugby. Sadly I spend
more time on the touchline these days,
but it is pleasing to see the club in
good spirits and be part of such a
vibrant atmosphere where talent is
very evident. More school leavers
should join and support the club.
Those at the helm do a fantastic job
and we should support them by
watching the teams and supporting
their efforts.
Glasgow-based marketing strategy
company fennonmcrae, of which Scot
is a founding partner, shared their first
birthday at the start of the year. The
business helps organisations market and
present themselves better, and they
have played a fundamental role in
successfully growing organisations
across a number of sectors.
fennonmcrae have had a very
successful first year and are continuing
to grow.
I have recently opened my own
brand-new modern, customised dental
surgery close to where I live in
Sir Michael Hirst (1963) was elected
World President of the International
Peter Muir (1987)
I have recently been appointed a
Director of Colliers CRE a firm of
Chartered Surveyors and International
property consultants. I am based in
their Glasgow office covering the
whole of Scotland.
Ricky Munday (1994)
The unbelievable news is that I was
awarded a 2010 Winston Churchill
Travelling Fellowship. I’m absolutely
over the moon about this because not
only will the grant cover some major
expenses (average grant last year was
£5,500), but just as (if not even more)
importantly it gives the expedition
some credibility. It’s great to know
that such a distinguished interview
panel believe in me and my plans. And
without your contribution I wouldn’t
have been eligible for the award. So
THANK YOU! Finally all the hard
work I’ve put in to planning is starting
to pay off.
John Thomson (2001)
I’ve moved to Austria, and I’m just starting a new job this month as an Assistant
Professor at the University of Innsbruck, in the Informatics department.
And in unrelated news, I’m getting married on 8 May this year to Rosalyn Tait
in South Queensferry.
Nigel Robinson (1982)
After a two year stint in sunny Texas,
Nigel Robinson and family have
transferred back to Aberdeen where
Nigel will continue his work with the
marine oil and gas consultants, Noble
Alastair (AJM) Scott (1963)
Alasdair recently retired from the BBC
as an Executive Producer of Television
Golf Programmes and has been
appointed a Coordinating Producer for
the Commonwealth Games in New
Delhi in October and will also be
Senior Director of Hockey at the
Dawn Soutar (2004)
I completed my Bachelor’s degree last
year, and graduated in Japanese BA
Hons with year abroad at the School
of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London. Overall, I had
fun, especially during my year abroad
at Tokyo University of Foreign
Studies, which was excellent.
I also hoped that the Academy would
be interested to hear that my father,
Walter, has opened up a gallery with a
friend in Glasgow’s Trongate area,
called the James Walter Gallery. Their
website can be found here:
Bryan Thomson (1981)
I have just been made Managing
Director North Asia for Bacardi, with
responsibility for Japan, Korea, China,
Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Party time...
Lindsay Crawford (1972) (above)
(Left to right) Iain Jarvie, John
Monaghan, Douglas Anderson and
Lindsay Crawford – all of whom left
GA in 1972/1973 – attended the 9th
Warsaw Burns Supper on 7 February.
John was the Master of Ceremonies;
Iain did (a memorable!) Immortal
Memory and Douglas and I did the
whisky sampling. A great night was
had by one and all!
Russell Gilchrist (1967) (below)
Lesley Peacock (Westbourne 1967)
and I held a party to celebrate our
combined 60th birthdays and
retirements at Glasgow Golf Club
last March. Around 90 people
attended, including a number of
Academicals. The photo is of Lesley
and me with my mother.
James Guthrie (1976)
I had a 50th Birthday last summer
which, despite trying to keep quiet
was celebrated with a surprise party
in a local hostelry in Carlisle.
Unfortunately the organiser did not
have the details of my friends from
Glasgow Accies to invite them
along. My sister Carol, who was
one of the organisers for last year’s
successful Fund Raiser in memory of
Gordon Mackay, held at The
Academy, had a surprise party
recently to celebrate her 40th
Fraser Thomson (1972)
On Friday 5 February nearly 100
Westcombe Park Rugby Club
gentlemen gathered in a surprise
event to celebrate and thank Fraser
for 30 years of service to the club, as
both a player and a coach.
Although he is not one for big
speeches and has always been most
humble with regard to his
achievements, many of us felt it
right to thank him in the only way
we knew how – eat curry, drink too
much, sing loudly and talk rubbish
all night. However, this time we
added a wee amount of finesse. After
speeches from the current President
John Ward Turner and past captain
Rupert Chitty, Fraser was then
presented with a unique Special
Edition Club Cap for the years 19802009. He was also given a framed
replica and Fraser’s ‘All Time Team’ –
of players he played with or coached
over the years – (his wife had gradually
extracted these details from Fraser over
a 6 month period). This was followed
by the highlight of the evening –
Fraser’s unplanned response.
Fraser attended the Academy in the
1970s and indeed was part of the very
small group of boarders at the school
who lived in Belmont Crescent under
the stewardship of Jim Cowper
Bob McDowall (1978)
Cameron Wilson (1999)
I have recently taken over as president
of the London Curry Club, which is a
club that was established three years
ago by fellow Academical Richard
Inglis and me, in memory of my late
father. The club meets once a month
to sample the delights of London
Indian cuisine, in addition to
maintaining a link between young
professionals working and living in
London. The club’s membership is
largely made up of Scottish and Irish
ex-pats, with other Glasgow
Academicals Andrew PS Brown, Fraser
Lundie, Johnnie Peacock, Ramsay
Wilson and Scott Chassels in regular
If anyone is interested in joining the
Curry Club, please email
[email protected] for
more details.
Fraser Thomson
If you would like to visit
The Academy please don’t
hesitate to get in touch –
former pupils are always
Please contact
[email protected]
to arrange a visit at any time
throughout the year.
John Beattie (1975)
BBC commentator John Beattie and
some of his former rugby playing
colleagues from across the fence are
organising a Glasgow rugby friends
reunited at the Fruit Market on 19
June. It’s a dewy-eyed attempt to
recreate the days of New and Old
Anniesland, Balgray, Hughenden and
Burnbrae discos when pubs shut at ten
and all the fun in town was at rugby
clubs. There will be awards, a hall of
fame induction, and music with the
money going to the Hearts and Balls
charity which looks after injured
Just find John on facebook, or email
[email protected] for
more details.
Ryan Dalziel (2000)
Congratulations to Ryan who was part
of the team that won the Daytona 24Hour Race, ‘America’s premier 24
hour-long endurance race’ in the
Number 9 Action Express PorscheRiley Daytona Prototype (a car with a
name almost as long as the race itself!).
Calling all
Crawford Leslie (2009) would like to
hear from all former pupils – young
and old – who would like to play
against Glasgow Academy’s 1st XI this
June or July. To be included in the
squad, just e-mail Crawford at
[email protected] by the end of
The 2010 GALS GOLF outing will take
place on Thursday 19 August at The
Clydebank end District GC. It doesn’t
matter what your handicap is, so
please come and join us there.
For further info please e-mail
Elaine Horner (1970)
[email protected]
Clearly, we could not disappear to
Scotland when our daughter faced
such a challenge. She managed to buy
a house within 200 metres of ours –
another indicator that we were
expected to stay; so the scene was set
as she was taken to Lord Winston’s
clinic in Queen Charlotte Hospital.
Channel Five took over recording
progress and the result was screened in
the ‘Extraordinary People’ series. On
23 March 2006, four healthy girls
were delivered in around four minutes
by a team of thirty, including four
dedicated groups to care for each
Four Charming Reasons
delaying my return to Scotland
Having left the Academy in 1963 and
pursued a business career that took me
everywhere but Scotland, I had
harboured an ambition that my wife
and I could retire to Ayrshire when I
reached 60. The ‘For Sale’ sign went
up outside our Bedfordshire house in
August 2005 just two weeks before
our daughter Julie and her husband
announced her first pregnancy at 38
years old. We left the sign in place –
we could always visit Bedford to see
our grandchild and be around for the
Fortunately, our estate agent took a
relaxed view of our cancelling the
proposed sale when Julie announced
that a scan had indicated the presence
of four babies and that these were
identical quads. This it transpired is a
64 million to one possibility and these
children – if they survived – would be
the only identical quads in Britain.
Survival is the issue with Quads – they
will be delivered around two months
early because mother runs out of space
and the ability to sustain them. The
professor in charge admitted that there
was at least a 50 per cent chance of
The girls are now approaching four
years old, energetically normal, a
delight to be with and have
completely changed my expected
retirement activities. Baggy Aston –
my English Class mentor in Transitus
– had advised that I would never
master the English language because I
had declined to take Latin and Greek
and he suspected that I spent too
much time watching the ‘idiot’s
lantern’ (his term for television).
Perhaps I should have heeded his
caution, because I now want to write
the girls’ story. I wonder what Baggy
would have thought about the Spell
Check in Microsoft ‘Word’ – pure
dismay probably?
David Kay (1963)
Academy pipers
Alasdair Dickson and
Fiona McDonald were
on hand to pipe in
the haggis at the
Spina Bifida Burns
Supper held in
Glasgow recently.
Guests of honour
Jonathan Watson and
Duncan Bannatyne
also enjoyed the
Transitus ‘C’ 1950-1951
Back row: Geoffrey/Mike Arnold, Hugh
Parsons, Jim Band, Jim Buntin, Robert
Logan, ? Greenhill, David Gray
From our own
Dear Malcolm,
3rd row: Raymond Mills, Jimmy Renfrew,
Neil/M MacLean, ? Hunter, John Riddell,
Evan Mitchell, John/David Henderson
2nd row: George Galloway, Hamish Jackson,
Alan Rennie, Mr Rupert Hedger, Christopher
Carrick-Anderson, Timothy Robertson, David
Front row: Drew Isaac, Leslie Davis, Hugh
Hogarth, G Donaldson, Stewart Carswell
Indian Trophy Mystery
Dear Sir,
I enjoyed reading Ken Waine’s story
of the Indian Trophy. There is,
however, a twist to the tale.
I was interested in the class
photograph from 1950-1951 on page 6
of the last issue of Etcetera (No 10). I
was in that class myself and remember
Drew Isaac (very front row extreme
left). I remember well when he left
and indeed have met with him a few
years ago when he was ‘home’.
John McCann, the Academy’s ‘odd
job’ man, was tasked to clear the
basement area, including the ‘dunny’
ready for redevelopment. During this
work I had stopped for a chat with
John when his assistant walked past
carrying two bin bags. These were
then thrown into a skip, which was
parked on the yard. One of these
bags made a strange noise on landing.
When I asked what was in the bags I
was told it was just ‘rubbish’. Still
curious, I climbed into the skip to find
the Indian Trophy wrapped inside the
bin bag. I then took the trophy to
Ken who told me the story.
Glasgow Academy has a superb
collection of trophies. While the
Indian Trophy is the most spectacular
trophy, my favourite remains the
Swimming Champion Trophy, which
must be the oldest.
Rob Littlefield
(former Academy staff)
Thanks to Raymond Mills and David Keddie
whose best guesses at the names of their
classmates have been combined (left). (While
there’s still some doubt, at least we can be fairly
sure that they’ve recognised themselves!)
Dear Mark,
Through Etcetera I was reconnected
with Allan McNicol and his wife
Evelyn. They are coming to visit us
here in Australia at the end of March
2010. We haven’t seen each other in
66 long years!
John M Crombie (1944)
Dear Joanna,
It was a happy class and the room we
used in the main building high up was
heated by a solid fuel stove – Rupert’s
gown (they all wore gowns!) used to
get caught in the wee doors at the
front of the stove and go on fire –
much to our delight!
Seeing some recent correspondence
regarding David Humberstone late of
the Geography Dept, brought to mind
one anecdote. His predecessor (a Mr
(Dodo) Olgilvie), the end of whose
teaching career I just caught had, as I
recall, an ink roller device which
could transfer outline maps of various
lands into one’s jotter. We had to line
up dutifully and the maps were duly
rolled onto the page. David
Humberstone swept this traditional
technology away with something
called a ‘Banda’ printer or some similar
trade name. It worked with alcohol
solvent and could produce colour
outline maps. By recollection, it was a
very primitive predecessor to a
photocopier – but that overstates the
technology – still ‘twas all new then.
On printing these off David – should I
say ‘sir’ – would hold a sheet to his
nose, breathe in the vapours deeply
and cry-out ‘Start the day the Banda
way’. Life was so simple back then…
David Keddie (1958)
Allan Pollock (1973)
Our class master was Rupert Hedger –
a very kind and good man, but not a
great disciplinarian! It’s worth
remembering that in those days
Transitus was the equivalent of today’s
Primary 6 – there being no P6 in the
old Lower School – so we were all
pretty young and mischievous. As I
recall, Rupert Hedger had seen action
in the RAF during the war (which
was after all only 5 years previous).
Dear Sir,
The comment in the most recent
edition of the Etcetera regarding the
necessity of obtaining second-hand
books during war time, brought back
memories, so much so that I had only
to open my copy of The Golden
Treasury by Palgrave to note that it was
purchased from WN Stirling (IVB)
who in turn had acquired it from a TB
It has not only a veritable plethora of
useful notes on almost every page. For
example I note The Lady of Shallot is
the ‘First of Tennyson’s Arthurian
legends, not an allegory, but a series of
imaginative pictures.’
Perhaps of more interest are five
questions, perhaps taken from an old
examination paper, viz.
1) By examining one or two comic
characters from English literature show
wherein the comic exist.
2) How does a story in verse differ
from a story in prose?
4) Discuss and illustrate the features
which (apart from length) distinguish
the ‘Short Story’ from other forums.
5) Under what circumstances can
works on history, travel, or science
become literature?
I would be grateful if the assertion that
modern day exams are as rigorous as
those of yesterday could be put to the
test! Perhaps some of the staff might
I have no idea who Mr Buyers might
be, but I knew of Neil Stirling, for I
think the purchase cost 18p.
I have carried my copy as far away as
the Falkland Islands and I doubt if I
shall ever be able to get a better read
at a better price.
Robin Johnston (1948)
P.S. I understand WN Stirling is still
with us, and is living in the
Nottingham area. Perhaps you could
ask your readers if anyone else still
treasures Palgrave, or has similar
3) Can a ‘Thriller’ be good literature?
Dates for your Diary
Thursday 25 March
London Section Dinner
Friday 30 April
Class of 1959/60/61 Reunion
Monday 24 May
1st XI versus the MCC
Saturday 12 June
The Cargill Ball
Friday 17 September
Class of 1990 Reunion
Tuesday 28 September
Glasgow Academy 100 Careers
Thursday 11 November
Class of 1949/1950/1951 Reunion
Friday 12 November
The Glasgow Academical Club Dinner
Friday 3 December
Class of 1980 Reunion
Friday 17 December
Class of 1990 Reunion
If you would like to attend, be
involved in or receive more details
on any of these events, please
contact [email protected] or 0141
342 5494.
The next step on the road to realising our 2020 Vision
In August last year we completed the
purchase of two entire tenements
opposite the school’s main building on
the corner of Colebrooke Street and
Colebrooke Place.
Considering our ambitions for The
Academy, we as Governors felt it right
to take advantage of this unique
opportunity to buy a large potential
footprint adjacent to the school. We
acquired 19 flats in just 21 months,
which is in contrast to the 80 or so
years it took to purchase all of
Colebrooke Terrace – leading
ultimately to the development of our
new Prep School in 2008.
Our 2020 Vision seeks to capitalise on
all features that make The Academy
special: excellence in learning and
teaching; arts; science; sports; and
personal and social development. In
line with this vision and in order to
take full advantage of our existing
estate and the new purchase, we have
appointed two first class advisors to
help us form a development
framework – Page and Park, Architects
and Muir Smith Evans, Planning and
Development Consultants. Such a plan
will be key to maximising the longterm strategic view of the school and
its needs.
We are considering a number of
options for the site and once the
Development Framework is approved
– which involves the entire campus –
more information will be available
regarding the detail of our short- and
long-term aspirations.
Bryan Duncan (1978)