This week’s memories are being shared by Paul Maxwell, a former teacher and boarding house master from Daniel Stewart’s College. Paul tells us that when he joined the staff of Daniel Stewart’s College in 1957, all the secondary school teaching took place in the main building except for Art and Technical. Its size, three form entry, was one of its greatest strengths. From the start Paul felt part of a happy community in which education flourished. What follows is Paul’s attempt to recreate for younger readers something of the ethos of the then College. Paul says:
“Young masters like me rather stood in awe of our seniors; the Head himself of course, Dr Robbie, Charles Stewart (“the Moon”) Depute Head and John Baird (“Jab”). These latter two were inveterate pipe smokers so any caller at the staffroom door courted instant asphyxiation! In the winter months, the coal fire generated sufficient convection currents to make respiration less hazardous.
It was a condition of appointments that one agreed to take on a rugby fifteen and join the Cadet Force. I enjoyed both of these. Although coaching a team meant that the weekend didn’t really begin until lunchtime on Saturdays, it was a great opportunity to get to know boys in a different light. As National Service was still part of the national fabric the CCF offered a relevance which it wouldn’t have today. Perhaps the highlights were summer camps, specially the one at Pirbright where the boys, but not the Staff, were drilled by the NCO’s, and the Arduous Training Camps at Easter. Three such camps were based at Comer under the east face of Ben Lomond. There in the snow-filled gullies I trained groups in the easier aspects of snow climbing, including ascents to the summit on three consecutive days!”