Friends reunited at event

NEARLY 60 former pupils of Glen Tanar School took their places in the exact spot where they were pictured as primary pupils anything between 40 and 80 years ago.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 22nd May 2012, 9:28 am

A whole-school reunion in one of the most unusual educational buildings in the North-east attracted 57 ex-pupils (with more managing along to a later reception), along with their partners and companions.

Glen Tanar School was built in Victorian times in a quaint style, based on an English oast house, or hop kiln. The interior includes many worthy proverbs carved into wood and granite, and many of the children who attended school there remember these sayings with fondness...except, perhaps, the grim: “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Reunion organiser Lesley Davidson (nee Glass) said the FPs were very grateful to the tenant of the adjoining school house, who had allowed such a large number of people to traipse through her garden so the school photo could take place where it always had in days gone by.

The later reception in Aboyne and Glentanar Memorial Hall (also known as the Victory Hall) attracted 101 people, who enjoyed a two-course buffet, prepared by Robbie Geddes of Aboyne Golf Club.

“There were lots of stories and also some far better memories of things which happened at school than I had – the chat never stopped,” said Lesley.

The oldest FPs on the day included Jim Hepburn from Ballater, Jock Strang from Kincardine O’Neil, Jock Peters from Angus, Pierre Fuin from Peterculter and Nessie Deas from Cupar.

The farthest travelled were from Western Canada. Former Canadian MP John Williams from Edmonton and his sister Dorothy Middleton, a vet school professor from Saskatoon, made the journey to visit their mother school and catch up with old pals.

Lesley said the FPs were also delighted to receive the son of inspirational dominee Charles Gauld. Allister Gauld and his new wife of just one week came out from Aberdeen, bearing with them a message of congratulation from Allister’s two sisters Evelyn and Alison, who had attended the school in the 40s, and are very well remembered, although they now live some distance away.

Many old photos added to the nostalgia of the day, including one produced by Ian Hepburn of Ballater, showing the laying of the school’s foundation stone.

“It was lovely, really,” said Lesley. “So many people from the past, all very enthusiastic and all over the moon to be part of the reunion.”