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:
“Much the most memorable event in the first term was without doubt the moment when I had to interrupt the evening Prep to tell the boys of the assassination of President Kennedy. Those FPs who attended the DPH Reunion Day in 2013 and who had been in S1 at that time remembered the occasion very clearly.
Sometimes it proved impossible to arrange for the boys to get home overseas or to their guardians in the UK during the holidays. When this occurred, we would take them by bus to St Andrews, for example, where we explored the history of the town and the challenge posed by the Himalayas putting green! We also took them further afield twice. Each of these hillwalking expeditions saw the weather at its worst. Mist to low levels and such rain that Murdoch couldn’t get his pipe to light! To many of the boys from overseas, this was their first experience of the hills, and for some their last. To be told that on a good day they could see Arran from Ben Lomond and Ben Nevis from Ben Lawers was cold comfort indeed. Some of the Seniors also visited industrial sites such as the them new Bilston Glen Colliery, Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell and British Aluminium in Fife. It’s a sad comment that all of these sites, which were great advances at the time, are now no more.
This is necessarily a highly selective reminiscence. Readers may ask with some justification, why did he not mention this or that? Should they feel particularly strongly, then I suggest they follow my lead and add their own memories.
W Paul Maxwell”