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Scotian News

Febuary 2013

Issue 96

Congratulations to the following Former Pupils who have reached milestone birthdays in March:-

70 Andy Lonie; Eric Archibald; David Nelson; Geoffrey Melville; Vincent DiCiacca; Zbigniew Majsterik;

65  John Reid; John MacDonald; George Muldoon;

60 Richard Thomson; Michael Balchun; Donald Somerville; Andrew Malone;  

50  Derek Carroll; Duncan James;


 School News

We have to report the death of the following related to the school family:-

Marco Pelosi’s nephew.
Andrew Lindsay’s father
The father of Vince and Mark Delicato.

Older members of the school may remember the odd job man at school, who used to drive the dumper truck, and the Bedford van that had bald tyres, poor steering, and no lock on the back door. That man was Jack Robinson, who used to swear like a trooper, but had a huge heart of gold. He died many years ago, but his widow, Jean, died recently aged 98. Another link with the early school lost.

It is always a sadness to report the death of a fellow former pupil. This time it gives your reporter great sadness to announce the death of a good friend at school, and a fellow Corstorphineite. Mike Donoghue passed away on Sunday night, after suffering a long illness with cancer. For any of you interested the funeral will take place on Friday 26 March in Taunton. Further details from his brother, Kevan at kevan@kevandonoghue.wanadoo.co.uk

Our condolences are offered to all members of the families.

e-mail changes:- Charlie Duthie; John Timms;

We advised that George Powell was visiting the city for the Irish Rugby International. He met Eddie Jones and Ken Somerville, and met Ricky Demarco at his studios. Ricky e-mailed us about the visit:-

I have had a most rewarding meeting with George Powell and, of course, with him came greetings from his brothers – George himself -1955 –62; David 1955 –62, John 1957-62 (who was probably taught by my wife, Anne, as she was the art mistress at Craiglockhart.
We have been looking, together, at the Scotus section of the Demarco Archive exhibition and we have therefore been going down memory lane, noting the fact that there is a section devoted to Scotus Academy production of ‘The Mikado’ staring Leo Forsyth as The Mikado, Christopher Pope as Nanki-poo, his son, and Giampaolo Gunn as The Lord High Executioner who also played the Chief of Police in the Scotus production of The Pirates of Penzance.
We are also thinking of Eddie Jones with whom George had a drink last night at The Baillie in Stockbridge. He played the Major General in the Pirates of Penzance. Please note that George’s mother played Nanki-poo in the Paignton Operatic Society production of The Mikado circa 1935.
I have also just discovered that George’s family connection with Scotland goes back to great-great grandmother who hailed from the North East of Scotland named Miss Anderson in the 1860s.
I have shown George the main hall of Summerhall which was of course the main hall of The Royal Dick Vet. George agrees with me that it would be an ideal place (subject to numbers) for a gathering. If numbers were not so great, The Royal Dick (now a pub) could provide a suitable alternative and is situated in the courtyard. We are looking at certain names from the cast list of The Mikado and George has noted in particular Christopher Pope, Roddy Zentil, John Bacigalupo, Leo Forsyth, John Barry, Charlie Duthie, David Edie. All of them having been at recent Scotus reunions. I did mention the fact to George that I was very happy to meet at Summerhall one of my first students at Scotus, who is now in Western Australia in a very senior position. I was delighted to find that George brought a photograph of a painting I have given to his parents in 1962. This painting is a classic of Edinburgh at that time. It is of Lamb’s House when it was in a pristine condition as one of the great historic landmarks in Leith. Legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots that when she arrived in Scotland, was welcomed into that house by the Leith merchant who owned it, Andrew Lamb. It is recorded that ‘she remanit the space o’ane oor’. This photograph is a great gift that I shall not forget.’
I am now going to ask George to give his thoughts on what that painting has meant to him.
The painting has been in our family since 1962 and has not only given pleasure to the senior member of the family who have a recollections of Lamb’s House in Leith but also to the the younger generation who have admired it when growing up and now when they visit us at home from time to time.’
Also from George – ‘I found the Demarco exhibition absolutely fascinating, both the references to Scotus and Holy Cross Academies and to being able to see in greater detail the exhibits from Richard’s many activities which I have followed from time to time in the press.’
I asked Richard did he remember Brother Miller. I then told Richard that Brother Miller had left The Christian Brothers and taken further Religious Orders to become a priest with the Benedictine Order and the last I heard that he was a member of the community at Buckfast Abbey. I remember that one of the main products of Buckfast Abbey, its famous wine, is used as a gentle medicinal drink in Surrey and West Sussex, whereas it has a more robust application in Glasgow when mixed with Vodka to produce a restorative effect with rather different qualities.
Other Italians that I remember are (Umberto) Bertie d’Astigino and Ricardo Macari.’
I am very pleased to have the thoughts of George Powell to consider today. He told me as we were saying farewell that he sang in the Cathedral Choir in its halcyon days when the Director was our beloved Music Master at Scotus, Arthur Oldham. I wonder exactly how many Scotus boys can say that they sang under the direction of one of the great chorus masters of the 20th century. George also mentioned the fact that he has been to at least fifteen Scotland-Ireland Rubgy Internationals in both Edinburgh and Dublin. George’s visit to the Demarco Archive under the section devoted to the history of Scotus, juxtaposed with the history of Holy Cross Academy, has re-assured me that the story of the cultural and educational life of Edinburgh and Scotland must have at its heart, a Scotus dimension. So I am hoping that many Scotus old boys will come to explore the exhibition at Summerhall, and also explore the magnificent pub that is part of its complex of buildings. I took George to see it and it would certainly provide an ideal setting for the next Scotus re-union in Edinburgh as it also happens to be a restaurant.
I have at least 100 photographs of Scotus, together with other memorabilia. I think the time has surely come for these to be screened in one of Summerhall’s theatre/cinemas. George told me that he and his family have one or two of the photographs of Scotus and I am wondering how many other photographs are in the possession of Scotus old boys. We talked about the visit of Leo Forsyth in January this year. He was on his way back to Perth, Western Australia. It was such a delight to meet him and to catch up with those memories I have of the early days of the Scotus in the 50s and 60s which co-incided with the opening of The Traverse Theatre in January 1963. It should be noted that when I was the Vic-Chairman and co-Founder of The Traverse, I was still Art Master at Scotus, and indeed the first exhibitions that I put on in Edinburgh were those of my Scotus art students in Jim Haynes’ Paperback Bookshop, which was the precursor to the Traverse.
Please note that I am sending this email also to Leo Forsyth.
With best wishes and I hope you enjoy the match at Murrayfield tomorrow.

We had a follow up from George:-

A great weekend in Edinburgh was had by all.

Many thanks for facilitating a pleasant evening at the Baillie with Eddie Jones and Ken Somerville, and a most interesting time with Richard Demarco and Terry at Summerhill on Saturday morning, viewing his archive exhibition, and assisting him with some research into Scotus characters.

I had not been inside Summerhill before and was impressed by the scale and general facilities of the institution as well as the unique décor in the Royal Dick bar.

However I think we would need to assemble a throng of 50 or more to do justice to the spacious main hall of the institution. My first impression of the room was that it resembled the ballroom of a traditional 4-star hotel.

Do keep me apprised of any emerging details of the proposed Royal Scots lunch/dinner in September.

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