Brian bids farewell to staff and kids

THE ROYAL family may be no stranger to Aboyne Academy, with Prince Charles and the Queen Mother paying visits in the past, but now the school is saying a reluctant farewell to its very own V.I.P.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:27 pm

Fresh from a nomination at the prestigious Scottish Education Awards, head janitor Brian Paterson will be retiring from his role after 36-years.

The Aboyne man, was one of three shortlisted candidates in the category of educational supporter of the year, and travelled to Glasgow last week for the ceremony.

And in preparation for his final shift on Friday, July 2, Brian enjoyed a leaving party at the school on Saturday evening.

Brian, 62, was surprised to have such a warm reception at the send-off. He said: "I felt so humble, I was expecting my family and friends to show up, but was surprised at the number of staff, ex-staff, members of the community and even ex-pupils who came along."

Brian continued: "Initially when I first talked about the idea of having a leaving party, I thought maybe there would be around 40 folk, so it was quite overwhelming when there were around 220."

First starting work at Aboyne Academy in January 1974, Brian has seen many changes over the years, most notably the move to the new building in 1975, which was unveiled by the Queen Mother.

Married to Eileen, a sheltered housing officer at Bonty Court, he says there have been numerous highlights from his time at the school.

"Carrying on the royal theme, it was great to meet Prince Charles when he was here for the Prince's Trust, and we've had some great nights with the Corries, Scotland the What and even the MacDonald Brothers playing here.

"Apart from that, Children in Need has been a personal favourite time of year - I've dressed up every time."

With the many highs, there are always lows, yet for Brian there have been very few at the school.

He joked: "Working every third weekend, especially during the Aboyne Festival isn't fun, you can have late nights on a Saturday and Sunday evening, And I especially won't miss getting call outs from the alarm company or fire brigade at all times of the night."

After a busy few days receiving honours in both Glasgow and Aboyne, Brian has another hectic week with his wife Eileen's 60th birthday, son and daughter-in-law's anniversary, and a new grandchild on the way

Grandfather-of-two Brian, will be hoping to welcome a new addition to the family with his pregnant daughter over-due by several days.

When he retires he is looking forward to spending some more time with his family, and will be taking a walking holiday around Catalonia.

Other plans include working as a gardener and helping with the allotments at the primary school. However, he says it will be sad to leave the school.

"I'll miss the kids, having a bit of banter with them. I'll also miss the staff, I've formed a lot of good relationships with them. It has been so much fun, and I've never not wanted to go to work."