Caritas 48

December 2021

December 2021


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ISSUE <strong>48</strong><br />



A new era begins<br />

Also featuring<br />

• Success in Tokyo<br />

• Watsonian Bookshelf<br />

• S3 Projects at 60


Welcome 1<br />

President’s Update 2<br />

In Principal Position 3<br />

The <strong>Caritas</strong> Lecture 4<br />

The Pavilion at Myreside 6<br />

A Century of Remembering 8<br />

Fadwa Affara Interview 10<br />

Watsonians in the News 12<br />

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Success 14<br />

S3 Projects at 60 in 2022 16<br />

Dates for your Diary 17<br />

The Watsonian Bookshelf 18<br />

Class Reunions 20<br />

George Watson’s Ladies’ College 21<br />

Dates for your Diary 32<br />

Watsonian Battlefields Tour 33<br />

From the Archives 34<br />

Mary Miller Interview 36<br />

East Meets West 38<br />

Watsonian Sections & Branches 40<br />

And finally 44<br />

COVER:<br />

The refurbished Myreside Pavilion<br />

Read the full story on pages 6 -7<br />


Yasmin Duncan Margaret Peat<br />

Karen Goodman Laura Tyzack<br />

Andrew Grant Carol Wood<br />

Design: HERO-Creative.com<br />

W<br />

Privacy Policy: In line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),<br />

which came into force in May 2018, you can view our Privacy Policy by visiting<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/privacy-policy. You can change your communication<br />

preferences at any time by contacting the Development Office.<br />

WatsoniansLinked<br />


elcome<br />

Welcome to the latest edition of <strong>Caritas</strong>, which<br />

is filled with news, updates and ways that you can<br />

get involved with life on campus and through the<br />

Worldwide Watsonian Community.<br />

None of us could have foreseen yet another year<br />

of disruption to work, education and our hopes for<br />

holidays, weddings and other social gatherings with<br />

family and friends.<br />

For life on campus, that meant that many of the<br />

events that define key milestones in a Watson’s<br />

education such as S3 Projects; sporting fixtures,<br />

musical concerts and drama productions; and the<br />

celebrations that mark the continuing journey from<br />

Junior School to Senior School; and for S6, the<br />

celebration of the end of one journey and the start<br />

of another, were again not as it has been for the<br />

decades before.<br />

Change too for the plans of the Worldwide Watsonian<br />

Community with many of our regional branches not<br />

able to meet and the Watsonian Sections also having<br />

a very mixed year with sporting fixtures cancelled and<br />

the Community Choir coming together online. With<br />

this comes hopes for a busy and exciting year ahead<br />

when we plan to celebrate the 150th anniversary<br />

of the founding of George Watson’s Ladies’ College<br />

(GWLC) in June 2022 - 12 months later than planned<br />

- as well as having events throughout 2022 to mark<br />

the 60th anniversary of S3 Projects. You can read<br />

more about both celebrations and how you can get<br />

involved on page 16 and in the special centre section<br />

celebrating GWLC.<br />

Following the fire at Myreside Pavilion in February<br />

2020, the Watsonian Council asked the School<br />

to consider reimagining its future and following<br />

feedback from the Watsonian Community we were<br />

given the ambitious target to raise £600,000 so that<br />

not only would The Pavilion be reinstated as home to<br />

school and Watsonian sport, but it would be a lively<br />

hub for current staff, pupils and parents; Watsonians;<br />

and our community partners and neighbours. Thanks<br />

to the overwhelming generosity of the Watsonian<br />

Family, the Watsonian Club and the Watsonian<br />

Sections we reached the target ahead of schedule.<br />

You can read more about The Pavilion Project on<br />

page 6. The Development Team have now moved to<br />

the Pavilion, so please drop by to see us and have a<br />

coffee and cake in the new Café.<br />

I hope you enjoy reading about life on campus and<br />

stories about fellow Watsonians. We are always<br />

looking for stories to share on #WatsoniansLinked<br />

and in our online and printed publications, so if you<br />

have a story to share then please get in touch via<br />

development@gwc.org.uk.<br />

Ex Corde <strong>Caritas</strong><br />

Watsonian Council<br />

Watsonian President<br />

Vice President<br />

Principal<br />

Director of Development<br />

Elected member<br />

Gillian Sandilands<br />

Ben Di Rollo<br />

Melvyn Roffe<br />

Karen Goodman<br />

Johnny Bacigalupo<br />

Elected member<br />

Elected member<br />

Secretariat<br />

Heads of Sixth Year<br />

Tracy Black<br />

John Robertson<br />

Laura Tyzack<br />

Lewis Harrison<br />

Maya Lancaster<br />

George Watson’s College, Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG<br />

Tel: 0131 446 6008 | email: development@gwc.org.uk<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/WatsoniansLinked<br />

George Watson’s College is administered by the<br />

Edinburgh Merchant Company Education Board,<br />

a charity registered in Scotland SC009747.<br />


President’s Update<br />

Online platforms have allowed us all to communicate<br />

in different ways, but are not a substitute for the faceto-face<br />

contact we crave and need. It has, however,<br />

provided us all with a meaningful way of sharing and<br />

communicating and WatsoniansLinked will continue<br />

to be a key channel for the School to communicate<br />

with Watsonians.<br />

As I reflect on my first 10 months in Office, it<br />

coincides with us being given back some of our<br />

freedoms and with that, recognition of some of the<br />

things we may have previously taken for granted.<br />

I took up Office, in February 2021, from Johnny<br />

Bacigalupo (Class of 1995), in what was the first virtual<br />

President’s hand over. At that same time, Ben Di Rollo<br />

(Class of 2002) took up Office as Vice President. In the<br />

period to date, we have been extremely resourceful in<br />

how we have undertaken our activities.<br />

The Sections’ meetings moved online, providing an<br />

opportunity for us to bring everyone together to share<br />

both their frustrations of match days cancelled and, on<br />

a more positive note, activities restarting as restrictions<br />

eased. Our online global meetings have continued,<br />

allowing volunteers from across the world to participate.<br />

These have provided an interesting perspective on<br />

the impact of life in each of the countries in which our<br />

Global Watsonian Community is represented.<br />

During my tenure as Vice President I started and I<br />

continue to Chair a committee of George Square Girls.<br />

We have ambitious plans for celebrating the 150 years<br />

since the founding of George Watson’s Ladies’ College<br />

in 1871. Never daunted by challenge and adversity this<br />

intrepid group have continued with their planning and<br />

research. With the support of the Archive Officer, the<br />

Development Office, the Honorary Heritage Officer, staff<br />

and pupils we have undertaken an enormous amount<br />

of research into the history of the School, uncovered<br />

previously untold stories about the lives of former<br />

pupils, and current pupils have interviewed former<br />

George Square Girls and documented oral histories.<br />

We are also working on the design of a tapestry which<br />

will record, pictorially in stitch, the rich heritage of<br />

the Ladies’ College and its amalgamation into George<br />

Watson’s College. Our programme of social events has<br />

been rescheduled to 2022, and we stride forth with<br />

great optimism.<br />

I wanted to end by sharing a wise insight from one<br />

of our Sixth year pupils.<br />

‘Not being able to come into school highlighted that<br />

school is not just a learning environment. Just as<br />

important is the sense of community and belonging<br />

that school provides, which cannot be truly<br />

replicated remotely.’<br />

For me, this highlights that we do not always recognise<br />

or fully appreciate what we have until it is denied to us.<br />

Gillian Sandilands (née Begg) (Class of 1978)<br />

President of the Watsonian Club<br />


In Principal<br />

Position<br />

The Watsonian<br />

Council<br />

Volunteer<br />

Opportunities<br />

Since the incorporation of the Watsonian Club as a<br />

company limited by guarantee in 2019, The Watsonian<br />

Council, as the board of directors of the company,<br />

has acquired an important new role in overseeing<br />

the Watsonian Branches and Sections. The Watsonian<br />

Benevolent Fund, originally established in 1917,<br />

although remaining a distinct charity, also comes within<br />

the Watsonian Club structure.<br />

We are delighted to announce that<br />

our Principal, Melvyn Roffe, has been<br />

elected Chair of the Headmasters’ and<br />

Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) for<br />

the 2022/23 Session.<br />

HMC represents the Heads of 296 leading independent<br />

schools in the UK, Ireland, and around the world,<br />

which between them are responsible for educating<br />

over 240,000 young people. The organisation has an<br />

important voice in the development of education<br />

policy and good practice, and also provides training<br />

and professional development for Heads and staff<br />

of its member schools.<br />

Mr Roffe said: ‘I feel deeply honoured to have been<br />

chosen by my colleagues to chair the HMC during the<br />

2022/23 school session and I am looking forward to<br />

the task with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.<br />

Mr Roffe’s appointment will be the third time in over<br />

150 years that this prestigious position will have<br />

been held by the Head of a Scottish school. He will be<br />

following in the footsteps of former GWC Principal,<br />

Sir Roger Young, who was Chairman of HMC in 1976.<br />

Members of the Council also provide support, guidance<br />

and advice to the staff of the Development Office who<br />

are responsible for promoting and co-ordinating the<br />

range of Watsonian activities that take place at home<br />

and abroad.<br />

We are currently looking to recruit two new volunteers,<br />

one to join the Watsonian Council and one to become a<br />

Trustee of the Watsonian Benevolent Fund.<br />

The Watsonian Council meets four times a year.<br />

Meetings have been held online and it is likely that the<br />

majority of meetings will continue to be online in future.<br />

The Benevolent Fund holds at least two meetings and<br />

Trustees responsible for making grants meet on an<br />

ad-hoc basis throughout the year.<br />

We are looking to recruit new members who have an<br />

accounting background and would be able to act as<br />

Honorary Treasurers to both the Watsonian Club and<br />

Benevolent Fund.<br />

If you are interested in the work of the Council,<br />

or the Benevolent Fund, and have the expertise<br />

and skills we are looking for, then we would love to<br />

hear from you. Please note your interest by emailing<br />

development@gwc.org.uk<br />



The<br />

<strong>Caritas</strong> Lecture 2<br />

After a hiatus of a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, September 2021 once again saw us host the <strong>Caritas</strong><br />

Lecture. In keeping with tradition, our lecturer was of the highest calibre, and we were delighted to welcome<br />

Professor Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome, the distinguished forensic anthropologist who is currently Pro<br />

Vice-Chancellor for Public Engagement at the University of Lancaster and who was shortly to be President of<br />

St John’s College, Oxford.<br />

Professor Black’s lecture titled,<br />

Forensic Anthropology in the Real<br />

World was somewhat ironically<br />

delivered not quite in the real world,<br />

but rather in the virtual online world<br />

we have all become accustomed to.<br />

Professor Black joined us from her<br />

study in Lancaster and her audience<br />

was not only in Edinburgh but, for<br />

the first time in the Lecture’s history,<br />

stretched around the globe.<br />

However, this was appropriate as<br />

Professor Black’s experience is truly<br />

global as is her reputation as one of<br />

the people who established forensic<br />

anthropology as an internationally<br />

recognised and respected discipline.<br />

Professor Black began by explaining<br />

how her journey to her current<br />

career began. Born and brought up<br />

in the Highlands, she first developed<br />

an interest in anatomy at the age of<br />

twelve doing her Saturday job in a<br />

butchers’ shop. She did not initially<br />

consider an academic path, but her<br />

biology teacher at Inverness Royal<br />

Academy insisted that she should<br />

apply to university and so she found<br />

herself studying as an Anatomy<br />

undergraduate at the University of<br />

Aberdeen. She described the feeling<br />

of fascination and wonder which<br />

enabled her first to understand the<br />

biology and anatomy of animals in<br />

the butchers’ shop and which then<br />

helped her when faced with the task<br />

of dissecting human cadavers as<br />

an undergraduate.<br />

Not only did she succeed in her<br />

undergraduate studies, she also<br />

completed her PhD at Aberdeen<br />

before working as a lecturer in<br />

anatomy at St Thomas’ Hospital,<br />

London. It was here that Professor<br />

Black became increasingly involved<br />


021<br />

in forensic anatomy, and before<br />

long she began to work on highprofile<br />

cases for the Foreign Office<br />

and the United Nations. She was<br />

dispatched to various locations<br />

including Sierra Leone and Grenada<br />

and eventually served as the<br />

leading forensic anthropologist for<br />

the investigation of war crimes in<br />

Kosovo in 1999. Professor Black<br />

also contributed to the identification<br />

of victims from the Boxing Day<br />

tsunami in Asia in 2004, as well as<br />

travelling to Iraq to investigate war<br />

crimes there.<br />

Professor Black described with<br />

great sensitivity and compassion<br />

the process of understanding the<br />

circumstances of a human death.<br />

Using some well-known and less<br />

well-known examples she painted<br />

the picture of the painstaking,<br />

meticulous and detailed work<br />

that has so often enabled her and<br />

her team to bring comfort to the<br />

bereaved, to provide answers to<br />

intractable mysteries and to<br />

provide prosecutors with the<br />

evidence to bring some of the<br />

world’s worst criminals to justice.<br />

It seemed unlikely that such<br />

work would have many lighter<br />

moments, but clearly it did,<br />

although Professor Black was at<br />

pains to emphasise that respect<br />

for the dignity of the deceased<br />

was never compromised in any<br />

circumstances.<br />

Most of the time, Professor Black’s<br />

skills and experience are applied<br />

in circumstances of deaths which<br />

have taken place a relatively short<br />

time ago, however, she also gave<br />

a fascinating account of her work<br />

in identifying whether an ancient<br />

coffin in the Wardlaw Mausoleum<br />

contained the skeleton of Simon<br />

Fraser, the 11th Lord Lovat. His fate<br />

following the defeat of the 1745<br />

Jacobite Rebellion had become<br />

the subject of great international<br />

interest due to the TV series<br />

Outlander. Disappointingly to fans<br />

of the series, she proved that the<br />

human remains in the coffin marked<br />

with his name were not in fact those<br />

of Lord Lovat.<br />

Professor Black is one of our most<br />

prominent scientists working at the<br />

intersection of science, medicine,<br />

law and international relations.<br />

She has been instrumental in<br />

developing the discipline of forensic<br />

anthropology in new and important<br />

directions, for example in the<br />

identification of perpetrators of<br />

child sexual abuse from indecent<br />

images of children.<br />

The <strong>Caritas</strong> Lecture audience of<br />

pupils, parents, staff and members<br />

of the public locally and around<br />

the world were grateful to spend<br />

an hour or so learning so much<br />

of such importance from a truly<br />

outstanding lecturer and an<br />

exceptional human being.<br />

You can see the 2021 <strong>Caritas</strong> Lecture<br />

here:<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/caritaslecture2021<br />

Melvyn Roffe<br />

Principal<br />

Photo by David Gross<br />


Your Investment:<br />

Your Commitment:<br />

Your Achievement<br />

Welcome to The Pavilion at Myreside<br />

We are delighted to announce that The Pavilion at Myreside will be open for business<br />

in January 2022. We hope that those living locally will drop in regularly to use the<br />

lovely new facilities and those further afield, please drop by on your<br />

travels to Edinburgh.<br />

6<br />

It is hard to believe that as this<br />

publication goes to print, it is<br />

almost two years since fire ripped<br />

through the iconic and much<br />

loved Myreside Pavilion. Shortly<br />

after 9.23am, on 5 February<br />

2020, six fire crews and a height<br />

appliance started their battle to<br />

save the building.<br />

Hours later, and once the flames<br />

had abated and the smouldering,<br />

century old wooden beams had<br />

cooled, the devastating impact of<br />

the fire was clear. And, that’s when<br />

the School reached out to the<br />

Watsonian family. We needed to<br />

find a shared vision for the future.<br />

A vision that, once decided upon,<br />

would only be possible with the<br />

commitment of many.<br />

The decision was made that,<br />

together, we create a hub for every<br />

member of our community. A space<br />

for former staff and former pupils<br />

to drop in to meet friends, visit the<br />

Development Office and participate<br />

in volunteering opportunities; a<br />

space for parents to relax around<br />

pupil pick-up times and at pupil<br />

sporting events; a space for current<br />

staff to meet visitors and each<br />

other; and a space that welcomes<br />

our community partners and<br />

neighbours. All this while retaining<br />

its important role as home to<br />

school and Watsonian sport.<br />

To achieve our shared vision for<br />

the future we set out, with just six<br />

months to go, to raise £600,000<br />

by 30 June 2021. It seemed like an<br />

almost impossible mountain we<br />

had to climb. It was going to be a<br />

monumental undertaking – could we<br />

dare to believe that this was a match<br />

that the Watsonian Family could win.

This complex reinstatement<br />

project would see colleagues in our<br />

Facilities Team working closely with<br />

the team of architects, surveyors<br />

and builders appointed by the<br />

School’s insurance company.<br />

Let the Game Begin<br />

The First Quarter saw us reaching<br />

out to a small number of individual<br />

donors and by 31 March, gifts and<br />

pledges had reached £191,721.<br />

Now for the Second Quarter and the<br />

Easter appeal to Watsonians, which<br />

raised a further £40,780.<br />

It was now time to get our current<br />

parents, staff and pupils involved,<br />

with Myreside Maynia.<br />

The challenge was to raise £100,000,<br />

the funds required for the lift and<br />

ramp accesses. Funds that would,<br />

for the first time in the Pavilion’s<br />

long history, make the facility fully<br />

accessible to all. Over 300 donations<br />

were received during May and<br />

another £99,902 was added to<br />

the fundraising goal.<br />

With one month to go, we were<br />

just over half way and unsure<br />

what to do next. It was then that<br />

a very generous donor came<br />

forward and offered to match<br />

fund every donation we received<br />

in June. The impossible suddenly<br />

seemed possible.<br />

The Final Quarter - The Match<br />

Funding Challenge - for one final<br />

push, we reached out to every<br />

Watsonian, even those who had<br />

already donated! Thanks to the<br />

overwhelming response we received,<br />

on 28 June 2021 we officially passed<br />

our fundraising goal.<br />

Thanks to the belief and generosity<br />

of over 650 Watsonians, their<br />

friends and families, The Pavilion<br />

at Myreside was officially re-opened<br />

on 26 November 2021 by:<br />

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh,<br />

Frank Ross (Class of 1976)<br />


8<br />

A Century of Remembering –

The George Watson’s College War Memorial<br />

The George Watson’s College War Memorial was unveiled one hundred years<br />

ago this year, on 16 December 1921. It originally stood in front of the main<br />

steps of George Watson’s Boys’ College in Archibald Place.<br />

Even before the First World<br />

War had ended, the Watsonian<br />

Community had been collecting<br />

money to help the children and<br />

dependents of those killed or<br />

injured in the hostilities. The<br />

Watsonian War Memorial Fund<br />

was established to provide for<br />

the design and construction of<br />

the memorial, to assist those<br />

in need, and to publish the<br />

Watsonian War Record which<br />

would commemorate all those<br />

Watsonains who had served in<br />

the conflict.<br />

The end of the war was<br />

marked at George Square by a<br />

celebration of peace, but while<br />

the overriding mood was one<br />

of relief and joy, there was also<br />

humility. Charlotte Ainslie,<br />

the Headmistress of George<br />

Watson’s Ladies’ College, said<br />

in 1919.<br />

‘We fought for Truth and Right,<br />

and the protection of the weak<br />

against brutal aggression.<br />

But let us spare a little pity too,<br />

for our vanquished enemies:<br />

it is a bitter thing to be beaten,<br />

and not all of them we think,<br />

are guilty of the worst crimes<br />

that have stained their<br />

country’s shield.’<br />

In 1932, when the Boys’ College<br />

moved to Colinton Road, the<br />

war memorial was also moved.<br />

The names of those killed in the<br />

Second World War and in the<br />

Korean War were subsequently<br />

added to the memorial.<br />

Today, the memorial is part<br />

of the joint heritage of the<br />

schools which amalgamated<br />

on this site to form the coeducational<br />

George Watson’s<br />

College in 1974/75. It was<br />

therefore fitting that on the<br />

centenary of her death in 2017,<br />

the name of Daisy Coles was<br />

added to the memorial. In<br />

November 2021, we also<br />

added the names Irene<br />

Bathgate and Ruby Grierson.<br />

The George Watson’s College<br />

War Memorial stands in<br />

perpetual tribute to those who<br />

once shared our heritage and<br />

traditions, our uniform, and<br />

our hopes and ambitions.<br />

It remains a poignant reminder<br />

of what was required of them,<br />

and which has never been<br />

required of us.<br />

In total, some 810 Watsonians<br />

made the supreme sacrifice<br />

of their lives in the wars of the<br />

twentieth century. And, that<br />

is why we have Project 810.<br />

To recognise the duty we all<br />

have to do what we can in our<br />

own way and in our own time<br />

to bring about a fairer, more<br />

sustainable and kinder world;<br />

a world where no life is ever<br />

again sacrificed in war.<br />




Fadwa Affara (Class of 1961) came<br />

to George Watson’s Ladies’ College<br />

from Aden, a former British colony<br />

located in contemporary Yemen.<br />

From there she went on to qualify<br />

as a nurse and shape nursing<br />

education standards in over 80<br />

countries. Fadwa spoke to <strong>Caritas</strong><br />

about her extraordinary career,<br />

working with the World Health<br />

Organisation and leading a project<br />

to provide nurses with face masks<br />

during the pandemic.<br />

Born in 1943 in Aden, Fadwa was<br />

educated in a convent primary<br />

school. However, secondary<br />

schooling for girls in Aden was<br />

scarce so her family decided to send<br />

her to Edinburgh to attend George<br />

Watson’s Ladies’ College (GWLC).<br />

After leaving GWLC, Fadwa<br />

enrolled on two concurrent courses<br />

at The University of Edinburgh.<br />

She explains:<br />

‘At that time nursing wasn’t<br />

accepted as a university level<br />

programme. I did an MA and at<br />

the same time I did nursing<br />

education as required by the<br />

General Nursing Council.’<br />

In more recent times, especially<br />

during the COVID-19 pandemic,<br />

nurses have been front and centre<br />

in the response and the profession<br />

is well recognised and respected.<br />

But Fadwa recalls a time when it was<br />

not considered an academic level<br />

discipline: ‘nursing was ‘on the job’<br />

training, where you went into the<br />

school for two to three weeks and<br />

then you went on to the wards and<br />

were working and learning at the<br />

same time. There wasn’t any inkling,<br />

at that time, that there needed to be<br />

a scientific basis to it.’<br />

After qualifying, Fadwa went on to<br />

work in Edinburgh and followed<br />

the traditional pathway of nursing<br />

and then midwifery, before taking<br />

up her first international post in a<br />

French hospital, in Nazareth, where<br />

she taught nursing and french. A few<br />

years after returning and working<br />

in intensive care in Glasgow, Fadwa<br />

noticed that attitudes to nursing<br />

were beginning to change.<br />

She said: ‘I noticed The University<br />

of Edinburgh was offering a Masters<br />

of Nursing Education and I was in<br />

one of the first groups who did this.<br />

I then went on to Dundee where I<br />

got a lectureship. I was involved in<br />

a brand new BSc Nursing degree,<br />

which I found both stimulating and<br />

very interesting.’<br />

With growing recognition of the<br />

nursing profession, a Masters<br />

degree and lectureship under her<br />

(nurses) belt, Fadwa was offered a<br />

life changing opportunity with the<br />

World Health Organisation.<br />

‘I did my first consultancy in Cairo,<br />

Egypt where I was evaluating an<br />

organisation. This led to me being<br />

invited to go to Bahrain, where a<br />

new College of Health Sciences -<br />

at the forefront of competency<br />

based education in the 1980s -<br />

had just opened. I was asked to<br />

go as Head of Nursing and I spent<br />

seven years there developing a<br />

new approach to education, and<br />

opening up new programmes in<br />

community and general nursing,<br />

and midwifery.<br />

With hands-on experience of nursing<br />

practices around the world, Fadwa<br />

went on to become a driving force in<br />

the development and regulation of<br />

the profession.<br />

‘My next challenge was being invited<br />

by the International Council of<br />

Nurses to lead a project looking at<br />

professional regulation worldwide.<br />

Their report had unearthed some<br />

disturbing facts that showed a<br />

lack of regulation and the need to<br />

bring more order to the way the<br />

profession was regulated in different<br />

countries. I spent the next four<br />

years working with 80 countries,<br />

doing workshops with them and<br />

helping them to develop and reform<br />

laws, before being offered a post<br />

as a consultant at the International<br />

Council of Nurses. That’s where I<br />

spent the next 14 years.’<br />

Fadwa’s work caught the attention<br />

of none other than the Thai Royal<br />

Family and she was awarded the<br />

Princess Srinagarindra Award for<br />

Nursing Regulation and Quality<br />

Improvement and People’s Safety.<br />

Speaking about it, she said: ‘I was<br />

very honoured to be recognised<br />

in this way, for what I saw as my<br />

everyday job.’<br />


Even after retirement Fadwa’s<br />

commitment to the nursing<br />

profession continues. She has<br />

been working to establish the<br />

local production and sustainable<br />

supply chains of masks to nurses in<br />

countries where the cost of PPE is<br />

simply too high.<br />

Explaining the work of COVID-19<br />

Africa Action Network for Nurses and<br />

Nurse Midwives and Protect Nurses<br />

Save Lives, she said: ‘Now we have<br />

12 countries involved, and up to<br />

this point have made 750,000 masks<br />

and distributed them to people who<br />

are in need.’<br />

Fadwa’s journey has taken her all<br />

over the world, although that didn’t<br />

stop her reflecting on a corner of<br />

the world much closer to home:<br />

‘My time at Watson’s gave me<br />

an experience where I not only<br />

had an opportunity to achieve<br />

academically, but where I was also<br />

offered the chance to succeed in<br />

sports, the Drama Club, debating<br />

and many other things.’<br />

Fadwa wrapped up her conversation<br />

with <strong>Caritas</strong>, with some advice<br />

for young people thinking<br />

about a career in nursing and<br />

health policy.<br />

‘Nursing has moved so far. Nurses<br />

are taking the lead, not only in<br />

developing practice, but they have a<br />

lot more recognition to deliver care,<br />

to diagnose and prescribe, which<br />

was, in the past, only in the remit<br />

of physicians. With nursing there<br />

are so many different disciplines on<br />

offer, whether you go into practice<br />

or administration, academia or<br />

research. To me it was a profession<br />

that gave me many opportunities,<br />

some unexpected.’<br />

UK Supreme Court<br />


Watson<br />

Congratulations!<br />

In August 2020, Jeff Roberts (Class of<br />

2001) became member 2424 of The Bob<br />

Graham 24 Hour Club, for those that have<br />

completed a 66 mile, 27,000ft circuit over<br />

42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District<br />

within 24 hours. First completed in 1932<br />

by Bob Graham, hotelier of Keswick, at the<br />

age of 42, the 42 Peak Round has become<br />

a ‘bucket-list item’ for the supremely fit.<br />

Each summer around 100 ultra-distance<br />

fell runners will attempt the 27,000ft ascent<br />

within the allotted 24 hours. Well done Jeff!<br />

We send our congratulations to Rachel<br />

Jones (Class of 1982) on receiving the<br />

Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April<br />

2020 for her company SnapDragon<br />

Monitoring. SnapDragon was one of only<br />

eight Scottish companies to win a 2020<br />

award. It was presented by The Lord<br />

Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross (Class<br />

of 1976).<br />

SnapDragon is a software company<br />

that has developed an online brand<br />

protection solution for SMEs marketed<br />

as Swoop. Counterfeit goods sold online<br />

can harm the reputation and profits of<br />

businesses and can be unsafe for users.<br />

Rachel started SnapDragon after her<br />

own invention was counterfeited.<br />

Swoop surveys online marketplaces<br />

identifying counterfeit products leading<br />

to offending links being removed. The<br />

company combines the use of machine<br />

learning and human intervention to<br />

reduce false positives and improve<br />

the accuracy of the algorithms which<br />

identify infringement. The system has<br />

a 96% success rate with takedowns,<br />

protecting clients’ reputations and<br />

increasing sales by removing fake<br />

products from the market.<br />

Andrew Wildgoose (Class of 2005) was<br />

awarded the British Empire Medal in the<br />

2020 New Year’s Honours in recognition of<br />

his charitable fundraising efforts during the<br />

pandemic. Andrew runs Goose’s Quizzes,<br />

an Edinburgh based company who run<br />

more than 45 weekly pub quizzes across<br />

the central belt. As the crisis deepened, the<br />

company adapted their popular quizzes<br />

to be delivered across online streaming<br />

platforms while raising money for charity.<br />

Another Watsonian who featured in the<br />

2020 New Year’s Honours list was Paul<br />

van Heyningen (Class of 1993) who was<br />

awarded an OBE for services to energy<br />

policy. Paul is a Deputy Director in the<br />

Department for Business, Energy and<br />

Industrial Strategy (BEIS) where he works<br />

with his team to ensure the electricity<br />

network is ready for the transition to electric<br />

vehicles and other low carbon technologies<br />

as we move towards net zero emissions.<br />


ians<br />

in the<br />

News<br />

Jake Mackenzie (Class of 1956)<br />

was honoured in the US House of<br />

Representatives upon his retirement as<br />

Vice Mayor of Rohnert Park City Council,<br />

California. Congressman Mike Thompson<br />

paid tribute to Jake’s 24 years of deep<br />

dedication to the Council, which included<br />

five terms as Mayor. We send Jake our best<br />

wishes for a happy retirement after his<br />

many years of exceptional public service.<br />

Catriona Stewart (Class of 1976) was<br />

recognised in the New Year Honours List<br />

with an OBE for her work in advocating<br />

the rights and needs of autistic women.<br />

Catriona was previously an expert advisor to<br />

the National Autism Project and the review<br />

of Scotland’s Mental Health Act. Catriona<br />

also co-founded Scottish Women’s Autism<br />

Network (SWAN) in 2012 after finishing her<br />

PhD on the experiences of anxiety for girls<br />

with Asperger’s Syndrome.<br />

In August 2021, Davy Zyw (Class of 2005)<br />

and team mates including his brothers<br />

Tommy Zyw (Class of 2005) and Sorely<br />

Richardson (Class of 2011), undertook a<br />

gruelling 500 mile cycling challenge ‘Ride<br />

for MND’ with the My Name’5 Doddie<br />

Foundation which took them around the<br />

famous North Coast 500 in just four days.<br />

The team, which Davy captained, raised a<br />

phenomenal £125,000. In recognition of<br />

his amazing efforts Davy was awarded a<br />

Points of Light award from No. 10 Downing<br />

Street and Fundraiser of the Year award<br />

from Cycling Weekly.<br />


Kerr leads way as trio<br />

of former pupils compete<br />

at the Tokyo Olympics<br />

Let’s start with an amazing fact: of the 55 Scottish<br />

athletes selected to compete as part of the GB Team,<br />

three were Watsonians.<br />

Former pupils Josh Kerr (Class of 2015), James Heatly<br />

(Class of 2015) and Grace Reid (Class of 2014)<br />

represented Great Britain at the recent Tokyo Olympics<br />

and judging by the overwhelming response to our<br />

social media stories, the wider Watsonian Community<br />

loved watching them compete.<br />

All the Watsonian athletes had an amazing time in<br />

Japan, but perhaps none more so than Kerr, 23,<br />

who flew home proudly clasping his bronze medal.<br />

Amazingly, it had been 33 years since a British man had<br />

last been on the Olympic podium in the 1500m. Kerr<br />

showed guile and class to join legendary names such<br />

as Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Peter Elliott<br />

in the history books.<br />

In the final, run at lightning pace, Kerr moved into<br />

the top five at the bell, before storming past Kenya’s<br />

Abel Kipsang down the home straight and almost<br />

overhauling Timothy Cheruiyot, another Kenyan,<br />

for second. As it was, Cheruiyot held on for silver<br />

(3:29.01) while Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen clocked<br />

an Olympic record time (3:28.32) to take gold. Kerr’s<br />

time of 3:29.05 knocked two and a half seconds off<br />

his previous personal best and was just 0.24 seconds<br />

outside Mo Farah’s British record time.<br />

After the final he said: ‘I’m blown away, this has been a<br />

hard championships for me, the first run wasn’t great,<br />

it was one of those days and you can have those. Sadly,<br />

mine was in the first round of the Olympics.<br />


‘I had to go back, think about it, recalibrate and come<br />

back to these next rounds fighting every single step<br />

of the way. I feel like you saw that in the semi-final<br />

and then in the final and I’m really happy with that<br />

performance. I have this weird confidence in myself.<br />

Some may call it cockiness, some may call it general<br />

confidence. When you put the effort in and you’re<br />

surrounded by a team like I am, you can’t not feel<br />

confidence every step of the way.’<br />

Meanwhile, back in Tokyo, in the diving pool,<br />

24-year-old James Heatly and 25-year-old Grace<br />

Reid were in action.<br />

Heatly was in great early form to progress comfortably<br />

through the prelims and then the semi-finals in the<br />

men’s 3m event. He went on to finish ninth in the final,<br />

a positive result which leaves him plenty to build on<br />

going forward. James was following in the footsteps of<br />

his late grandad Sir Peter Heatly, who competed at the<br />

19<strong>48</strong> and 1952 Olympic Games.<br />

‘For me, the goal was to make the team and then try to<br />

progress through the rounds, and that’s what I did. I’m<br />

really proud and happy about that, but it’s frustrating<br />

because there’s definitely a lot more in the tank,’ Heatly<br />

said after his event which saw British team mate<br />

Jack Laugher earn a bronze medal.<br />

‘The pros outweigh the cons. Sometimes you win,<br />

sometimes you learn, and today I’ll definitely learn.<br />

It was a shame to have to leave the Heatly Clan back<br />

home, but I definitely feel like he [grandad Sir Peter]<br />

was there with me poolside.’<br />

Grace Reid and partner Katherine Torrance were Team<br />

GB’s first divers in action at the Games, finishing sixth in<br />

the women’s 3m synchronised event. Reid was also in<br />

the women’s 3m event, but just missed out on a top 18<br />

spot in the prelims.<br />

After that outing Reid said: ‘It’s massively frustrating,<br />

I’m disappointed and obviously it’s not the result I was<br />

hoping for. I made a costly mistake on my second dive,<br />

I fought all the way to the end and gave everything,<br />

but it just wasn’t enough. The depth within my event<br />

is so strong, which is amazing. You can’t really afford<br />

to make a mistake like that when those girls are diving<br />

to that level. The experience has been so special. It’s a<br />

wonder that these Games went ahead and were so safe.<br />

To be a part of this will go down in the history books<br />

and to be a part of Team GB was such an honour.’<br />

Gary Heatly (Class of 2000)<br />

It was great to see America-based<br />

Kerr back in Edinburgh recently<br />

when he visited the school.<br />


Diamond Days in 2022<br />

Celebrating 60 years of S3 Projects<br />

‘My most standout Projects memory was falling<br />

in a bog right up to my waist. Mr Vandersteen ran<br />

across the moor like something out of Baywatch<br />

and pulled me out! I was very grateful for that and<br />

have been very wary of marsh land ever since!’<br />

Whether you attended George<br />

Watson’s Boys’ College, George<br />

Watson’s Ladies’ College or<br />

George Watson’s College, outdoor<br />

adventures have been an important<br />

part of a Watson’s education. For<br />

some, those adventures came<br />

with membership of the 9th Braid<br />

(George Watson’s) Scout Group, for<br />

others, through their involvement<br />

with the School’s Combined Cadet<br />

Force, Duke of Edinburgh Award<br />

sceme, and, since 1962, through S3<br />

(Third Year) Projects. This was the<br />

year that outdoor education became<br />

an official part of the curriculum<br />

for every pupil at Watson’s.<br />

No matter the circumstances that<br />

led to each individual participating<br />

in an outdoor experience, all came<br />

with challenges to be overcome,<br />

new friendships to be made and<br />

new risks to be assessed and taken.<br />

For many pupils, their S3 Project<br />

trip has remained the most<br />

memorable moment in their<br />

Watson’s journey, often recounted<br />

as a life-changing experience.<br />

And, it is for that very reason that<br />

throughout 2022 we will be hosting<br />

a year of events that celebrate the<br />

past 60 years of S3 Projects, but<br />

also looking to the future. Events<br />

that celebrate camaraderie and<br />

challenge, life-long friendships,<br />

lessons learned and benefits gained,<br />

sites seen and hopefully revisited.<br />

‘Our classroom for the whole two<br />

weeks was the stunning beauty of<br />

the Cairngorm. No Cathedral could<br />

lead us to anything more uplifting.’<br />

‘The thing I remember most about the food<br />

is the Fray Bentos Pies which Miss Gilles<br />

realised with horror used Argentinian meat!<br />

The Falklands War was underway and I seem<br />

to remember we had fish and chips instead<br />

of the pies!’<br />

Your S3 Projects at 60 Committee<br />

Norman Murray, Chair (Class of 1967)<br />

Liz Smith (Class of 1978)<br />

Maxi Maclaren (Class of 1963)<br />

Dave Pyper<br />

Richard Travers<br />

Laura Tyzack<br />


Dates for your Diary<br />

We will be planning a year long series of residential and day trips, as well as digital and campus events that<br />

celebrate and highlight the health and wellbeing benefits of outdoor activity and volunteering. We hope that<br />

there will be something in the Calendar of Events for everyone.<br />

Backpacks, Blisters and<br />

Bunk Beds - Three-Day<br />

Residential Trips<br />

Friday 10 - Sunday 12 June 2022<br />

Projects at 60 Reunion Weekend at<br />

Aviemore Youth Hostel<br />

Friday 9 - Sunday 11 September 2022<br />

Projects at 60 Reunion Weekend at<br />

Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel<br />

These two special residential events<br />

will give you the opportunity to relive<br />

some of the best (and worst!) bits of<br />

your S3 Project experience. Arriving<br />

on Friday evening - and once bunks<br />

have been bagged - guests will enjoy<br />

a hearty three-course dinner and<br />

have the chance to share memories<br />

(and photos) from their own Project<br />

experience. Saturday will commence<br />

with a full Scottish breakfast, before<br />

heading off on a choice of local<br />

activities, which could include:<br />

walking tours, a foraging experience,<br />

Munro bagging, a visit to a local<br />

distillery or reindeer herd.<br />

However you decide to fill your day<br />

- in true S3 Project tradition - you<br />

will be provided with a packed lunch<br />

to sustain you through your chosen<br />

activity. Following a fight for showers,<br />

Saturday will be rounded off with<br />

another three-course dinner and S3<br />

Project Quiz (optional). The reunion<br />

weekend concludes on Sunday when,<br />

following a final Scottish breakfast,<br />

you can venture out again for local<br />

walks and activities before farewells<br />

after lunch.<br />

The cost of both trips is £95 per<br />

person inclusive of all meals and<br />

two nights accommodation.<br />

Activities can be selected nearer<br />

the time and will be at an additional<br />

cost, where applicable.<br />

Places are limited and will be allocated<br />

on a first come first served basis.<br />

To make an individual or group<br />

booking please visit<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/projectsat60<br />

Are You Up for<br />

the Challenge?<br />

In May 2012, to mark the 50th<br />

Anniversary of Projects and as part<br />

of an amazing effort, a Watsonian<br />

reached the summit of every Munro<br />

in Scotland.<br />

In 2022 we want to challenge<br />

Watsonians again, but this time we<br />

want you to take up a challenge no<br />

matter where you are in the World.<br />

• Challenge One - with your help<br />

can we once again bag every<br />

Munro in Scotland?<br />

• Challenge Two - no matter where<br />

you are in the World, we want you<br />

to set your own challenge and<br />

achieve a new personal goal. In the<br />

spirit of S3 Projects, in 2022 can you<br />

set out on an outdoor adventure,<br />

or support an environmental<br />

or conservation charity. No<br />

matter what you do to challenge<br />

yourself and relive your S3 Project<br />

experience, we want you to share<br />

your 2022 story with us.<br />

You can find out more about the<br />

challenges and how to sign up for<br />

a summit you would like to reach<br />

at www.gwc.org.uk/projectsat60<br />

Diamond Days<br />

The residential trips and challenges<br />

will hopefully whet your appetite<br />

for the many other events we have<br />

planned throughout 2022.<br />

• You can join us on one of our<br />

specially arranged ‘Diamond<br />

Days’ where we will venture out<br />

together on day trips to the Borders,<br />

Perthshire and even a day in<br />

the Pentlands.<br />

• Our wild spaces also need us to<br />

give back by doing something<br />

positive that protects them for the<br />

future, so we will also be organising<br />

‘Diamond Days’ that encourage work<br />

party participation such as beach<br />

cleans, litter picking and<br />

tree planting.<br />

• A specially curated exhibition<br />

Sixty Memories for Sixty Years<br />

will be staged at Colinton Road<br />

in May 2022.<br />

• Engage with talks and lectures<br />

throughout the anniversary<br />

year as we invite high-profile<br />

speakers to join us for this<br />

special celebration.<br />

Photographic<br />

Competition<br />

We will be launching a photographic<br />

competition in February 2022.<br />

Entries will be accepted until the<br />

end of September 2022. The twelve<br />

best images - determined by a<br />

panel of judges - will be used for a<br />

commemorative S3 Projects at 60<br />

calendar. Income from sales will be<br />

split between The John Muir Trust<br />

and the George Watson’s College<br />

Enrichment Fund. More details will be<br />

posted on the Projectsat60 webpage.<br />

Further details on how to get<br />

involved will be released over<br />

the coming months.<br />

To find out more about upcoming<br />

events and how to enter the<br />

photographic competition, visit<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/projectsat60<br />


18<br />

The Watsonian Boo

kshelf<br />

This new <strong>Caritas</strong> feature has been<br />

borne out of the desire to create a<br />

special section in the new Library<br />

at Myreside where books authored<br />

by Watsonians can be curated and<br />

enjoyed by those who visit The<br />

Pavilion. The first book to be placed<br />

on our Watsonian Bookshelf has<br />

been written by Susan Tomes (Class<br />

of 1972) who shared with <strong>Caritas</strong><br />

the story of how it came to be.<br />

My sixth book, The Piano – a History<br />

in 100 Pieces – was published by<br />

Yale University Press in July 2021.<br />

During our lockdowns all my ‘live’<br />

concerts had been cancelled,<br />

leaving only this book’s publication<br />

date as an event in my diary, so I<br />

looked forward to it with more<br />

than my usual intensity. When the<br />

date finally arrived, the pleasure<br />

was doubled because I was invited<br />

to launch the book with a concert<br />

at my favourite hall, Wigmore Hall<br />

in London.<br />

My previous books have been<br />

concerned with performance. I<br />

hadn’t focused specifically on<br />

repertoire – for a long time I felt<br />

that there were lots of people<br />

who had done that, were doing<br />

that and could do it better than I<br />

could. After all, I’m not a historian<br />

or a musicologist. But gradually<br />

I began to see that I had other<br />

qualifications. My experience of<br />

playing, rehearsing, performing and<br />

recording these pieces has given<br />

me a wealth of knowledge about<br />

them – not academic knowledge,<br />

but what one might call ‘embodied<br />

knowledge’, accumulated during<br />

years of grappling with piano<br />

parts and sharing them with<br />

concert audiences.<br />

My original plan was to pick a<br />

favourite area of piano repertoire<br />

and explore it in great detail. But I<br />

worried that such a book would be<br />

of limited appeal. I wanted to write<br />

something of wider interest. How to<br />

do that without spreading myself<br />

so thinly that my remarks about any<br />

particular piece seemed glib and<br />

inadequate? Then someone gave<br />

me a present of Neil MacGregor’s<br />

History of the World in 100 Objects,<br />

which has delighted many readers.<br />

As I browsed through it I wondered<br />

if the same approach could be taken<br />

to piano music.<br />

Putting the idea into practice was<br />

tricky. What criteria should I use to<br />

pick the pieces – my own favourites,<br />

or tried and trusted masterpieces?<br />

Where should I begin? Should I stick<br />

to ‘important’ pieces, or was<br />

it OK to include little gems, oddities,<br />

provocations? My first attempt,<br />

based on my favourites, produced<br />

a frankly lopsided list with about 30<br />

pieces by Mozart, 20 by Schubert,<br />

20 by Schumann, 20 by Debussy<br />

and Ravel, and so on. This wouldn’t<br />

do. I had to take a step back and be<br />

more objective.<br />

I spent a lot of time shoving around<br />

pieces of paper with the names of<br />

pieces on them, making mosaics on<br />

the floor before I found a pattern<br />

which seemed to tell a meaningful<br />

story. I decided to start at the<br />

point where the harpsichord was<br />

supplanted by the piano. That<br />

moment in history felt important<br />

because as the piano developed,<br />

its greater tonal variety inspired<br />

a different type of music. To keep<br />

my choices to 100, I found that<br />

I sometimes had to cheat a bit<br />

and include ‘sets’, such as Chopin<br />

Preludes or Debussy Preludes,<br />

rather than artificially pick out just<br />

one. I didn’t feel too bad about<br />

this – after all, a symphony can<br />

easily last for an hour, but everyone<br />

would agree it is just ‘one piece’. So<br />

why not allow a 40-minute set of<br />

preludes to count as one choice?<br />

Although I tried to be objective,<br />

my 100 pieces inevitably reflect my<br />

character and interests. Solo pieces<br />

occupy the lion’s share, but my<br />

love of chamber music led me to<br />

include many collaborative pieces<br />

which I believe are the best of their<br />

composers’ work. My love for jazz<br />

made me include some of that too.<br />

I’m sure that being a woman also<br />

influenced my approach. Above<br />

all, the fact that I’m a pianist has<br />

stamped itself upon my choices.<br />

I know how a lot of this stuff feels<br />

under the hands, how it finds a<br />

home in the imagination. I have<br />

experience of what it’s like to try to<br />

give it shape and bring it to life in<br />

front of listeners, and it was a great<br />

pleasure to describe it.<br />

Footnote: I was a pupil at GWLC<br />

from Nursery at St Alban’s Road to<br />

Senior School at George Square.<br />

Watson’s was a happy experience<br />

for me, though I can’t say that my<br />

progress in music had much to<br />

do with school. My music lessons<br />

happened outside of school and felt<br />

like a separate world. I did, however,<br />

enjoy playing violin in the school<br />

orchestra, and I still remember<br />

the pleasure I got from playing<br />

the orchestral score of Purcell’s<br />

Dido and Aeneas on the piano to<br />

help the solo singers learn their<br />

parts for a performance conducted<br />

by Miss Traves. In terms of writing,<br />

I received great encouragement<br />

from my English teachers – notably<br />

Miss Clark-Wilson in Junior School<br />

and Miss Carnon and Miss Fortescue<br />

in Senior School. At the time I felt<br />

they were faintly disappointed by<br />

my focus on music, so I hope they<br />

would be pleased to know that I<br />

eventually found a way to bring<br />

music and literature together.<br />

If you would like to have your<br />

book sit alongside Susan’s on the<br />

Watsonian Bookshelf then please<br />

get in touch with the Development<br />

Office (development@gwc.org.uk)<br />

and look out for more books as we<br />

feature them on #WatsoniansLinked<br />

over the coming months.<br />


Reunions...<br />

Back for 2022<br />

After an interval of two<br />

years we are hopeful<br />

that class reunions will<br />

return in 2022.<br />

We will be inviting all of the Class of 1940s, 1952, 1962,<br />

1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012 to join us for The Big<br />

Reunion Lunch in the marquee on the school lawn at<br />

Colinton Road on Saturday 25 June 2022.<br />

Arriving at midday for a welcome drink, and a chance<br />

to catch up with your classmates and former teachers,<br />

will be followed by a two course buffet lunch with wine<br />

enjoyed in your year group. After lunch you can embark<br />

on a guided tour of the School and if you attended<br />

George Square you will be invited to enjoy our special<br />

exhibition in the Entrance Hall celebrating 150 years<br />

since the founding of the Ladies’ College.<br />

Tickets for this event are £25 per person and are<br />

available at www.gwc.org.uk/reunions<br />

Lunch will finish at 2.30pm and we encourage year<br />

groups to make their own arrangements to continue<br />

reminiscing either at The Pavilion at Myreside, or<br />

another local venue. If you have any questions about<br />

the event then please email Laura Tyzack in the<br />

Development Office at development@gwc.org.uk<br />

For those whose reunions were cancelled in 2020 and<br />

2021 we are planning special ‘mid-term’ reunions to<br />

celebrate your 15th, 25th, 35th, 45th or 55th year since<br />

leaving Watson’s. We will be in touch about these in<br />

the years ahead but if you are planning to arrange any<br />

reunions in the meantime then please do get in touch<br />

with the Development Office who can help with sending<br />

out communications to your year group, ensuring that<br />

no one is missed.<br />


The<br />

Chronicles of George Square<br />

at 150<br />

Welcome from The Principal<br />

In 1871, George Watson’s Ladies’<br />

College began its mission to educate<br />

the girls and young women of<br />

Edinburgh and beyond. It is no<br />

exaggeration to claim, and indeed<br />

it is well illustrated in the stories<br />

we share here, that in the century<br />

and more of its independent<br />

existence, no institution in Scotland<br />

did more to prepare young women<br />

for the variety of family, professional<br />

and public roles that they would<br />

go on to fulfil - often with great<br />

distinction - in a period of huge<br />

and often turbulent change at<br />

home and abroad.<br />

Over the last two years, we have<br />

engaged more than ever before<br />

with the GWLC community and what<br />

has been abundantly clear from<br />

the recollections which have been<br />

shared is that GWLC was a school that<br />

engendered great affection amongst<br />

its pupils and that many shared<br />

experiences continue to<br />

burn vividly in the hearts and<br />

minds of Women Watsonians<br />

across the globe.<br />

For those of us without direct<br />

experience of either George Square<br />

or St Alban’s Road, the anniversary<br />

celebrations have been an<br />

opportunity to reflect on the<br />

many notable achievements of<br />

GWLC and of its former pupils and<br />

staff and the contribution of its<br />

heritage to the success of today’s<br />

co-educational school.<br />

Indeed, when writing in the final<br />

edition of The George Square<br />

Chronicle, published in December<br />

1974, Hilda Fleming - the last in the<br />

line of exceptional educators who<br />

served as Head of George Watson’s<br />

Ladies’ College - recalled the motto<br />

of Mary, Queen of Scots ‘In my end<br />

of my beginning’. She continued ‘We<br />

send our School to Colinton Road...<br />

confident that they take with them,<br />

and will maintain, our traditions and<br />

that they have much to contribute to<br />

the future happiness and success<br />

of George Watson’s College’.<br />

As we mark its 150th anniversary,<br />

we understand now more than ever<br />

the distinctive and powerful heritage<br />

of George Watson’s Ladies’ College.<br />

We celebrate not only the past of the<br />

School, but what that heritage means<br />

in the present and how it will continue<br />

to shape the education of all our pupils<br />

in times to come.<br />

Melvyn Roffe<br />



Festal Hymn and lasting Legacy<br />

Emma Bryden<br />

When appointed Head of George<br />

Watson’s Ladies’ College in 1902,<br />

having previously attended as<br />

a student from 1873-1880,<br />

Charlotte Ainslie became the<br />

first female Head of an Edinburgh<br />

Merchant Company school,<br />

holding the position until her<br />

retirement in 1926.<br />

During her headship, Charlotte<br />

Ainslie was a member of the Scottish<br />

Education Reform Committee and a<br />

Convener of the Women’s Education<br />

Sub-committee. Her positions of<br />

Vice-President of the Edinburgh<br />

Women’s Citizens’ Association<br />

and President of the Secondary<br />

Education Association of Scotland<br />

saw her regarded as the leading<br />

Scottish expert on the education<br />

of girls of secondary age. Indeed,<br />

over the course of her teaching<br />

career she inspired thousands of<br />

female students to strive towards<br />

achieving their full academic<br />

potential. That she lived at a time<br />

when the education of women<br />

was often of secondary importance<br />

to those in charge of education<br />

across the UK, makes her academic<br />

and educational accolades the<br />

more inspiring.<br />

The legacy of Charlotte Ainslie<br />

continues to this day through her<br />

published articles on education<br />

but equally through the continued<br />

performance of the Festal Hymn of<br />

George Watson’s Ladies’ College,<br />

Ex Corde <strong>Caritas</strong>. It was not until her<br />

retirement that she admitted that<br />

she had in fact written the words<br />

to the six-verse hymn. Until this<br />

clarification it was only known that<br />

the hymn had been written and<br />

composed by three former members<br />

of the school and so it remains that<br />

she lived true to her words, found in<br />

the fourth verse, ‘God of our life, no<br />

gifts we crave of fleeting wealth or<br />

idle fame’.<br />

The music for the school hymn,<br />

originally composed by Miss Winnie<br />

Fry and Miss Molly Grierson, is a<br />

rarity amongst the body of surviving<br />

school songs. At the time of writing,<br />

only four of the 320 songs in my<br />

collection had been written and<br />

composed by women and, as far as<br />

I am aware, it is the only example<br />

where all participants were alumnae<br />

of the school. The pupil’s familiarity<br />

with the school and the affecting<br />

melodic line, married with the<br />

heartfelt text of Charlotte Ainslie<br />

have rightly earned the hymn a<br />

place in the heart of those who have<br />

performed it.<br />

The melody, originally composed by<br />

Miss Fry and Miss Grierson, was later<br />

elevated by an arrangement of the<br />

hymn undertaken by the prominent<br />

organist Dr W B Ross, Head of Music<br />

at the Ladies College (1908-37)<br />

and Founder and President of the<br />

Edinburgh Society of Organists.<br />

The descant composed by Dr Ross<br />

to be sung in verse two and verse<br />

four bares a similarity to his wellknown<br />

descant for Crimond which,<br />

although written in 1914, was first<br />

aired publicly at the wedding of<br />

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince<br />

Philip in 1947.<br />

Hymn singing became an important<br />

part of morning assemblies<br />

from 1902, under the direction<br />

of Miss Ainslie, and took place<br />

in the School's Central Hall. The<br />

school hymn, having been sung<br />

since 1918 at major events such<br />

as Commemoration Day, was<br />

additionally programmed alongside<br />

the Crimond setting of Psalm 23<br />

with Ross’ descant as part of the<br />

Annual Closing Concert and Prize<br />

Giving at The Usher Hall.<br />

For a hymn to retain its relevance<br />

more than one hundred years<br />

after it was written speaks of the<br />

timelessness and integrity of its<br />

composer’s message and the skill<br />

of its compositional arrangement.<br />

Independent school hymns and<br />

songs form an essential part of the<br />

fabric of a school identity, uniting<br />

its community across generations<br />

through the act of its singing. The<br />

hymns final word, Charity, exists<br />

also in its title as <strong>Caritas</strong> and<br />

underpins the many acts of charity<br />

displayed by Charlotte Ainslie,<br />

and the staff and pupils of the<br />

school towards members of their<br />

community and others in need<br />

during the war.<br />

The hymn was performed at the<br />

Ladies’ College closing concert in<br />

1974 where it was accompanied by<br />

the school orchestra. The surviving<br />

recording of this performance<br />

illustrates Ross’ masterful use of<br />

orchestration in shaping the<br />

varied combinations of vocal parts,<br />

including the descant, to create a<br />

truly rousing hymn.<br />

The grandeur of the orchestration<br />

rivals that of Elgars’ Jerusalem<br />


whilst the text, so skillfully crafted<br />

by Charlotte Ainslie, is equal to great<br />

hymns of the same time such as<br />

Dear lord and father of Mankind.<br />

The corpus of commonly known<br />

hymns is the lesser for not having<br />

within it God of our youth but the<br />

legacy of Charlotte Ainslie, her passion<br />

for education, and her humility,<br />

are preserved through its continued<br />

performance at George Watson’s<br />

College where it continues to inspire<br />

future generations of pupils to<br />

support and serve others.<br />

Emma Bryden is Head of Academic<br />

Music at Stowe School and a Doctoral<br />

Researcher at the Royal Birmingham<br />

Conservatoire. Emma's thesis<br />

‘The School Song: Creating identity<br />

through shared musical experience<br />

in UK independent day and boarding<br />

schools’ explores the role of school<br />

songs in shaping independent school<br />

music education and pedagogical<br />

praxis from 1840 to the present day.<br />


In Conversation<br />

The Lost Recordings of the Voices of George Watson’s Ladies’ College<br />

The 150th anniversary provided an opportunity to enrich the School’s archives and collections by gathering<br />

oral history stories from former pupils of George Watson’s Ladies’ College (GWLC). This project, developed<br />

with The University of Edinburgh, provided an opportunity for current and former pupils to come together<br />

to share their personal experience of a Watson’s education.<br />

<strong>Caritas</strong> joined Gillean Somerville-<br />

Arjat (Class of 1964) and Madison<br />

Jennings (Class of 2021) as they<br />

compared their experiences, 30<br />

years apart, of recording the Voices<br />

of George Square.<br />

With Madison going on to study<br />

History, the oral history project<br />

presented a perfect opportunity<br />

for her to find out how important<br />

it is that we gather information<br />

from people first hand. Speaking<br />

to <strong>Caritas</strong>, she said that the project<br />

has revealed ‘how little things<br />

seem to change over history, but<br />

how much actually does when you<br />

look at things in small detail’.<br />

Madison’s contributions in 2021<br />

will now be added to an oral<br />

history project, that only recently<br />

came to light, that was started in<br />

the early 1990s by former pupil<br />

Gillean. Bringing together the<br />

content captured from these two<br />

projects now means that there<br />

is an oral history record of GWLC<br />

spanning over one hundred years.<br />

A history that captures the life<br />

and times of George Square Girls<br />

from the First World War and<br />

through to the 1920s and 1930s -<br />

something that The University of<br />

Edinburgh’s European Ethnological<br />

Organisation is very excited about.<br />

Explaining how her project started,<br />

Gillean said: ‘It all started when I<br />

found out that there was a grant, I<br />

think the Merchant Company or the<br />

School was offering, if you had a<br />

project that needed some funding.<br />

‘I decided that I would set out my<br />

idea of interviewing former pupils<br />

of the School. By that time, the<br />

School was no longer in existence<br />

and I thought people's memories<br />

of their time at the Ladies’ College<br />

could be lost forever.’<br />

Of course, the interviewing<br />

methods for Gillean’s project were<br />

very different than they are today.<br />

Face-to-face meetings with tape<br />

recorders have been replaced by<br />

online interviews - new technology<br />

that many of us have mastered<br />

during Covid.<br />

Reflecting on the process, Madison<br />

said: ‘The one very positive thing<br />

that came with online meetings<br />

was our ability to interview<br />

people no matter how far away<br />

they live.<br />

‘We interviewed someone in<br />

Australia, they would never have<br />

been able to come for a face-toface<br />

interview. It totally broadened<br />

our reach.<br />

‘Any problem with the technology<br />

could potentially ruin everything,<br />

so that was a bit nerve wracking.<br />

I felt like there was more that<br />

could go wrong online.’<br />

Comparing experiences, Gillean<br />

explained how it was very much<br />

an on foot operation - visiting the<br />

interviewees in person.<br />

‘I just trotted off with the grant,<br />

bought a little recording machine<br />

and tapes and then set off, mostly<br />

going to see people wherever<br />

worked best for them.’<br />

Reflections of events from our<br />

past can often be susceptible<br />

to failure of memory, or rose<br />

tinted glasses. Both Gillean and<br />

Madison shared their thoughts<br />

about discovering the truth and<br />

what that meant in their oral<br />

history interviews.<br />

As Gillean pointed out, truth<br />

is often subjective and what<br />

you get when you ask people<br />

questions about their experiences<br />

is ‘a perspective’. She said:<br />


‘... somebody else who went<br />

through at the same time as I did<br />

might have had a very different<br />

experience and from that, a very<br />

different memory of events.’<br />

Madison felt confident that a lot of<br />

the George Square Girls had been<br />

candid about their experiences,<br />

but for others she felt that they<br />

may have held back on things that<br />

they didn’t feel were significant to<br />

them. She said sometimes it was a<br />

challenge to try and coax out those<br />

pearls of wisdom.<br />

Remembering decades old events<br />

clearly is, of course, challenging;<br />

but conducting these interviews<br />

teaches the need to balance talking<br />

and listening. Only then can you<br />

listen for fine details - details that<br />

may at first seem to have little<br />

significance.<br />

Gillean said: ‘I like listening to<br />

people. I'll talk, but I'm not a great<br />

talker. I don't think I could have<br />

interviewed so many people if I<br />

hadn't enjoyed listening.’<br />

For Gillean, the project created<br />

some memorable experiences and<br />

the chance to have conversations<br />

with a wide array of women.<br />

She remembered: ‘One of the<br />

oldest ladies lived in Corstorphine,<br />

by herself, and she'd grown up<br />

in Sikkim in India. Her father was<br />

an administrator out there and<br />

she talked a bit about that and<br />

she would have been in her<br />

nineties then.<br />

‘I can't remember anything<br />

much more, but I just remember<br />

interviewing her outside on the<br />

garden bench, so it must have<br />

been in the summer. I do<br />

remember that she was<br />

very sweet.’<br />

Looking to the future, the<br />

question presents itself: what are<br />

we going to do with the recordings?<br />

Budding historian Madison,<br />

suggested that once we finish<br />

interviewing current and more<br />

recent pupils we will be able to<br />

track changes and themes over<br />

a wider period of time.<br />

Whatever truths or ‘perspectives’<br />

emerge, these oral history<br />

projects have made the links<br />

in our community stronger,<br />

between current and former<br />

pupils and between our present<br />

and our past.<br />


The Common Tie<br />

That Makes Us One<br />

Throughout the autumn term,<br />

pupils have been deeply involved<br />

in the heritage of George Watson’s<br />

Ladies’ College.<br />

On 2 October, 150 years to the day<br />

since the opening of the Ladies’<br />

College, a video of current pupils<br />

singing the School Hymn dropped<br />

into former GWLC pupils’ inboxes. To<br />

which many reported singing along.<br />

That same day, a group of senior<br />

girls went to George Square to sing<br />

Ex Corde <strong>Caritas</strong> on the steps of a<br />

building that holds its place within<br />

the hearts and minds of generations<br />

of Watsonians.<br />

Maya Lancaster (Head of Sixth<br />

Year) reflected on the poignant<br />

line from the School Hymn; ‘It was<br />

raining, and we did draw a bit of a<br />

crowd, but, standing on the steps,<br />

in our maroon blazers singing ‘the<br />

common tie that makes us one’,<br />

really did make me appreciate the<br />

strong bond I have with all the other<br />

girls who went before me.’<br />

November is for Remembrance. It<br />

was fitting that in 2021 the names<br />

of Irene Bathgate, a pupil at George<br />

Square and Ruby Grierson, a former<br />

teacher, who both died during the<br />

Second World War, were added to<br />

the George Watson’s College War<br />

Memorial. Current pupils from<br />

both the Junior and Senior Schools<br />

joined Rev Dr Christine Clark<br />

(Class of 1980), Liz Smith (Class of<br />

1978) and Irene’s second cousin,<br />

Daði Kolbeinsson (Class of 1969)<br />

in leading a particularly moving<br />

outdoor service.<br />

Later, the traditional Watson’s<br />

Remembrance Assembly, led by<br />

Senior School pupils featured<br />

only stories of GWLC women in<br />

wartime and a particularly eloquent<br />

rendition of Psalm 23 The Lord’s<br />

My Shepherd. The Chamber Choir<br />

sang the Crimond Version with<br />

the descant, that would have<br />

been so familiar to Irene from her<br />

days at George Square. Watsonian<br />

President, Gillian Sandilands<br />

(Class of 1978), represented the<br />

Watsonian Club at both services;<br />

‘Hearing the descant rise over the<br />

last verse of The Lord’s My Shepherd<br />

in the Remembrance Assembly, I<br />

got goosebumps. I was back at the<br />

Usher Hall for the Closing Concert.’<br />

Pupils who took part in the services<br />

were also moved by the experience:<br />

‘Learning about Irene and all that<br />

she did during her lifetime was<br />

inspiring. I was honoured to read<br />

out her name at the Roll of Honour,<br />

especially with a member of her<br />

family present.’ (Isla)<br />

‘I was more than proud to read the<br />

stories of the different women in<br />

war, some only being recognised for<br />

their service in the war this year. It<br />

was very moving.’ (Helena)<br />

‘When we were told Irene and Ruby’s<br />

stories and were shown the words<br />

and prayers we were to read, none<br />

of us could talk.’ (Lottie)<br />

As the outdoor service drew to its<br />

close, School Captain Cara Buttery<br />

stepped forward to read a poem<br />

first published in The George<br />

Square Chronicle in April 1936.<br />

Written by 14 year old Irene<br />

Bathgate at George Square, the<br />

poignancy of its words transcended<br />

across more than eight decades<br />

and provided a fitting finale to the<br />

act of Remembrance.<br />


Matins<br />

The air is swept with palest gold,<br />

Yet, while we watch, it grows<br />

Brighter, finer, and more pure.<br />

That sweet-voiced Herald, the dawn wind,<br />

Calls up the sky,<br />

As, with a silver stream of sound,<br />

The bells peal clear across the cloisters,<br />

And monks, soberly black-gowned,<br />

Move rev’rently to worship.<br />

The bells have ceased, and soon<br />

The deep-toned chant, melodious and rich,<br />

Blends with the far-away<br />

dull crash of breakers<br />

Where the sand lies cold<br />

On the Steps of Day.<br />

Originally published in<br />

The George Square Chronicle<br />

April 1936<br />


omen of<br />

Extracts from the<br />

Throughout the 150th Anniversary year, the School Historian, Catherine<br />

Stratford, has been researching the lives of Women Watsonians.<br />

Gathering stories that celebrate the remarkable contributions they made<br />

to wider society and the lives of others. We are delighted to share a<br />

selection of extracts with you here. You can read the full stories of these<br />

and other Women Watsonians here www.gwc.org.uk/heritage<br />

Agnes Savage<br />

Dr Agnes Yewande Savage is<br />

recognised in Nigeria as the first<br />

woman Nigerian doctor and she is<br />

celebrated amongst the 120 greatest<br />

ever Nigerians.<br />

Born on 21 February 1906, at 15<br />

Buccleuch Place, Agnes joined<br />

GWLC at the age of 5. She was<br />

clearly a very gifted pupil and<br />

her school record card shows her<br />

winning prizes in a range of<br />

subjects including Science, Maths<br />

and Music. She left Watson’s in<br />

1924 to follow in her father’s<br />

footsteps, studying Medicine at<br />

The University of Edinburgh.<br />

By the age of 24, Agnes had joined<br />

her father in West Africa, serving<br />

as a junior medical officer. Due to<br />

the colour of her skin, the Colonial<br />

Office refused to acknowledge her<br />

as a European trained doctor so<br />

she was paid as a local employee<br />

and given accommodation in<br />

the hospital servants’ quarters.<br />

Agnes barely had enough money<br />

to buy food and she had no means<br />

of saving money to travel back<br />

to Edinburgh to see her family<br />

and friends.<br />

Agnes’s plight came to the attention<br />

of Andrew Fraser, Headmaster of<br />

Achimota College. Apart from her<br />

broad range of educational skills,<br />

he saw Agnes as a remarkable model<br />

for his pupils. In 1931 he recruited<br />

her as both a teacher and Medical<br />

Officer for the School. Agnes worked<br />

at Achimota for four enjoyable years<br />

before rejoining the Colonial Office<br />

Medical Service. And, it was not<br />

until 1945 that, as a black woman,<br />

Agnes was offered the same terms<br />

of service, salary and retirement<br />

as her white colleagues.<br />

Fighting racism took its toll.<br />

Agnes became physically and<br />

psychologically exhausted, which<br />

led to her being invalided from<br />

the Service. She returned to live<br />

in Hertfordshire with her friend<br />

Esther Appleyard who had been<br />

Chief Education Officer of the Gold<br />

Coast and their Alsatian, Simon.<br />

Agnes died following a stroke in<br />

1964 at the tragically early age<br />

of 56, just after both Nigeria and<br />

Ghana had achieved independence<br />

from Britain.<br />

She ‘set a sterling example for<br />

generations of Nigerian women<br />

to follow in years to come.<br />

Her life shows that hard work<br />

and self-belief can allow one<br />

to break barriers.’<br />


Watson’s Series<br />

Jean Aylwin<br />

Stage cigarette dangling from her<br />

lips, swagger stick tucked beneath<br />

her chin and steady gaze at the<br />

camera. This photo of Jean Aylwin,<br />

star of the Edwardian theatre, does<br />

not immediately lead you to think:<br />

‘Now there’s a George Square Girl.’<br />

Jean Aitken was born in Hawick, in<br />

October 1884, the only daughter of<br />

John Aitken and Mary Ann Morham.<br />

She registered at GWLC in 1895.<br />

Within two years of leaving school,<br />

Jean was living with her family in<br />

Glasgow and was about to be bitten<br />

by the acting bug. As she said in an<br />

interview later in life:<br />

‘I was living in Glasgow when<br />

Mr Forbes Robertson and Miss<br />

Gertrude Elliott were appearing<br />

in The Light That Failed, and one<br />

night when I went to the theatre<br />

to see that play, I became so<br />

infatuated with the idea of going<br />

on the stage that I wrote the next<br />

day to Miss Elliott asking her to<br />

help me get on it.’<br />

Miss Elliott secured an introduction<br />

to the actor and stage director Dion<br />

Boucicault, but it was not enough<br />

for him to offer Jean any work. He<br />

told her that only a ‘Scotch part’<br />

would suit her. As she later admitted<br />

wryly, ‘To tell the truth, you could<br />

cut my accent with a knife at that<br />

time, but I did not believe it.’<br />

Jean’s luck changed when she<br />

met the manager of a touring<br />

company and she was recruited to<br />

play a variety of character roles in<br />

melodramas touring around country<br />

towns. Jean Aitken became Jean<br />

Aylwin and her career was launched.<br />

By 1905 she was in the chorus at<br />

the Gaiety Theatre in London’s West<br />

End, progressing to playing a maid<br />

in The New Aladdin. It was a show<br />

described as a ‘miscellany of fun,<br />

melody and glitter’ and garnered<br />

Jean some good reviews.<br />

The show transferred to the Royal<br />

Lyceum, Edinburgh in February<br />

1908. However, it seems unlikely<br />

that there was a school trip from<br />

George Square to see it. We can<br />

only speculate what the teachers<br />

and girls would have made of it.<br />

Jean’s career took another exciting<br />

turn when she was amongst the cast<br />

of Our Miss Gibbs which transferred<br />

to Broadway in 1910. That was not<br />

before Jean had made her first<br />

silent film Winning the Widow.<br />

She must have returned to the UK<br />

by the end of 1911 or beginning of<br />

1912, because she was to appear<br />

with Harry Lauder in the Titanic<br />

Disaster Fund Appeal show at the<br />

London Hippodrome on 5 May 1912,<br />

less than a month after the ill-fated<br />

liner sank.<br />

Jean had her admirers, and in 1913<br />

she married Alfred Rawlinson, the<br />

younger son of a Baronet. He was a<br />

widower and seventeen years older<br />

than Jean. The marriage was of<br />

great public interest and attracted a<br />

great deal of press coverage.<br />

Jean seems to have disappeared<br />

from the stage for a couple of years.<br />

This coincides with the return of her<br />

husband Toby, his health wrecked<br />

by his time in Turkish prisons.<br />

Perhaps she took time off to help<br />

him to recuperate. However, the<br />

Rawlinsons were also without<br />

means and Jean returned to the<br />

stage in 1923, taking the predictable<br />

part of the Scottish maid, in one<br />

of the two rival productions of the<br />

musical play Polly at the Chelsea<br />

Theatre. However, by the end of<br />

the year, Jean had withdrawn from<br />

the production, announcing that<br />

she was going to travel to India<br />

and the Far East to work with the<br />

Wesleyan Missionary Society,<br />

combatting leprosy.<br />

The reason for this sudden,<br />

complete change in career direction<br />

seems to be linked to her husband<br />

subsequently suing her for divorce<br />

on grounds of adultery, citing the<br />

composer of Polly, Hubert Bath as<br />

co-respondent. The scandal fatally<br />

damaged Jean’s acting career.<br />

When she died near Margate in 1964,<br />

aged 79, her death certificate stated<br />

that she was a retired housekeeper.<br />

Jean Aitken, the Edinburgh<br />

schoolgirl, who developed a starry<br />

ambition to tread the boards<br />

was not there. Jean Aylwin, the<br />

professional Scottish actress was<br />

not there either. Neither was Mrs<br />

Alfred Rawlinson.<br />


omen of<br />

Extracts from the<br />

Those school days between the ages<br />

of 11 and 18 were spent at GWLC.<br />

Judging by her valedictory account,<br />

it seems most likely that she would<br />

have joined the Edinburgh National<br />

Society for Women’s Suffrage<br />

whilst she was still a schoolgirl. She<br />

certainly took part in the Literary<br />

and Debating Society at school, no<br />

doubt honing debating skills that<br />

would later serve her well.<br />

a vote in the election, they could<br />

not be denied a vote because they<br />

were women.<br />

They lost their case but took an<br />

appeal to the House of Lords in<br />

1908. It took the Law Lords<br />

one month to make a decision.<br />

Unsurprisingly, they ruled that the<br />

word ‘person’ referred to a ‘male<br />

person’ and did not include ‘woman’.<br />

30<br />

Frances Melville<br />

The household into which Frances<br />

Melville was born might reasonably<br />

be described as that of a typical<br />

mid-Victorian middle class family.<br />

Her mother, Helen, gave birth to<br />

seven children in 10 years and when<br />

Frances, her eldest daughter, was<br />

born in October 1873, there were<br />

already four little boys up in<br />

the nursery.<br />

Looking back on her life on her<br />

retiral, Frances spoke of the<br />

good fortune of her upbringing<br />

and education.<br />

‘I personally am conscious of<br />

the great privilege …of being<br />

associated from early life with<br />

the wide forward movement in<br />

women’s education and improved<br />

political status. To have met the<br />

leaders of that movement, men<br />

and women, and been enrolled in<br />

it before school days were over.’<br />

On leaving school in 1891, Frances<br />

followed a traditional route for<br />

middle class girls and went to<br />

study music in Germany. However,<br />

she returned in time to take her<br />

place in the first cohort of women<br />

ever to be enrolled as students<br />

at The University of Edinburgh<br />

in October, 1892, the result of an<br />

historic change in the Scottish<br />

University Ordinances.<br />

Frances graduated in 1897 with<br />

first-class honours in Philosophy.<br />

She worked as a tutor in Edinburgh<br />

and at Cheltenham Ladies’ College<br />

before her appointment, in 1899, as<br />

Warden of University Hall, the first<br />

hall of residence for women at<br />

St Andrew’s University.<br />

Throughout her life, Frances<br />

remained committed to political<br />

and social causes, particularly<br />

those relating to the rights and<br />

experiences of women. In one<br />

celebrated campaign, she and three<br />

other women graduates of The<br />

University of Edinburgh applied to<br />

vote in the 1906 General Election.<br />

They were refused. Undeterred,<br />

Frances and her colleagues went to<br />

the Court of Session, arguing that<br />

as the election rules stated that all<br />

‘persons’ who were graduates had<br />

Nineteen years later, and nearly<br />

ten years after all women had<br />

gained the vote, Frances stood<br />

as an independent candidate in<br />

the by-election to elect a Member<br />

of Parliament for the Scottish<br />

universities which was caused by<br />

the death of former Labour Prime<br />

Minister, Ramsey Macdonald. She<br />

lost to John Anderson, later the<br />

wartime Home Secretary. But<br />

Frances, whose election address<br />

urged her electorate to consider<br />

interests and values other than<br />

material ones, had beaten two<br />

male candidates into third and<br />

fourth place.<br />

Frances was involved in more<br />

practical activity during the War,<br />

helping Elsie Inglis set up and fund<br />

the Scottish Women’s Hospitals<br />

for Foreign Service. The idea of<br />

female medical units serving on<br />

the front line was rejected by<br />

the War Office; nevertheless a<br />

number of units staffed entirely<br />

by women were established.<br />

After the war, and throughout<br />

the rest of her life, Frances<br />

involved herself in the work<br />

of many committees and<br />

organisations devoted to<br />

improving society.

Watson’s Series<br />

She was a member of the Council<br />

of Scottish Justices’ and Magistrates’<br />

Association and one of the first women<br />

in Scotland to be a Justice of the Peace,<br />

dealing mainly with cases under the<br />

Education and Children’s Acts.<br />

Looking at photos of Frances<br />

Melville, it is difficult to see beyond<br />

the reserved and stern demeanour,<br />

but her enthusiasm and concern<br />

come through in her speeches.<br />

And she was never afraid to criticise<br />

male-dominated institutions.<br />

Frances died at her home in<br />

Merchiston Place in 1962.<br />

Letitia Fairfield<br />

Sixteen-year-old Letitia, Winifred,<br />

two years her junior and nineyear-old<br />

Cecily Fairfield arrived<br />

in Edinburgh in 1901 and Letitia<br />

was enrolled at GWLC for the<br />

1901/02 session.<br />

After school, Letitia was accepted<br />

into The Edinburgh Medical<br />

College for Women in Chamber<br />

Street. Although The University of<br />

Edinburgh granted medical degrees<br />

to women, they did not admit them<br />

to medical classes. She was only<br />

able to take up her place because<br />

she was one of the first recipients of<br />

a Carnegie Scholarship and the very<br />

generous gift of £100 from her Aunt<br />

Sophie. Looking back at her years<br />

at medical school, Letitia described<br />

meeting some wonderful teachers<br />

with great minds but noted that ‘the<br />

women were kept under as near an<br />

approach to the purdah system as<br />

a mixed school permits. We were<br />

forbidden to attend university<br />

lectures.’ She remembered how<br />

she and her female colleagues<br />

were barred from several anatomy<br />

classes, for fear of embarrassing<br />

the male students.<br />

Despite receiving the highest marks<br />

in her year and winning several<br />

awards, when she qualified in 1911,<br />

she was recommended only for<br />

asylum positions. These jobs would<br />

have held little appeal to many<br />

young male doctors.<br />

Letitia left Edinburgh and became<br />

a Medical Officer for London County<br />

Council Schools. Before the First<br />

World War, her main responsibilities<br />

were the supervision of child health<br />

and welfare and the inspection of<br />

special schools.<br />

In 1909, during her graduate clinical<br />

training in Manchester, she met the<br />

Pankhursts and for the next decade,<br />

she would combine her considerable<br />

professional workload with<br />

campaigning for Votes for Women,<br />

along with her sisters.<br />

She joined the militant suffragette<br />

organisation, the Women’s Social<br />

and Political Union, but was to leave<br />

when it was suggested that her<br />

professional position as a doctor<br />

might be threatened.<br />

During the First World War, The<br />

War Office turned down Letitia’s<br />

offer of help. They believed that the<br />

help of women doctors was simply<br />

not necessary. However, following<br />

the deaths of many thousands<br />

of soldiers and numerous male<br />

doctors, the Women’s Army Auxiliary<br />

Corps was established. The WAAC; a<br />

corps of 40,850 women volunteers,<br />

of whom some 17,000 served<br />

overseas, would undertake ancillary,<br />

non-combatant duties. Letitia<br />

became the Chief Medical Officer,<br />

with overall responsibility for the<br />

medical care of these women.<br />

As the Second World War began,<br />

the War Office sought her out and<br />

she was appointed Senior Woman<br />

Medical Officer of the Armed Forces.<br />

Between the wars and until she<br />

retired in 19<strong>48</strong>, Letitia returned to<br />

her work for the London County<br />

Council, pioneering the provision<br />

of health care for women. She<br />

was called to the Bar in 1923, after<br />

training in Law so that she had the<br />

right legal knowledge to tackle MPs<br />

about national public health issues.<br />

Letitia was viewed as both eccentric<br />

and inspiring. She developed<br />

an interest in witchcraft and in<br />

parapsychology. She had converted<br />

to Roman Catholicism in the 1920s.<br />

In an interview towards the end<br />

of her life, she said,<br />

‘I always chose, right from the<br />

beginning of my career, things<br />

that I thought were important<br />

but not popular.’<br />

She spent her final days in an NHS<br />

hospital bed, wearing a ‘highly<br />

improbable blonde wig’. She died<br />

on 1 February 1978 in her 93rd year.<br />

Her youngest sister, Cecily, better<br />

known as the writer, Rebecca West,<br />

survived her by five years.<br />


Dates for your diary<br />

The Principal and Watsonian Club<br />

President’s Summer Celebration<br />

Saturday 18 June 2022 - 1.30pm<br />

18<br />

JUNE<br />

School Principal, Melvyn Roffe, and Watsonian Club President, Gillian<br />

Sandilands (Class of 1978), will host a celebratory afternoon of events<br />

at Colinton Road. Guests will have an opportunity to be taken on a tour<br />

of the campus by current pupils, enjoy our specially curated exhibition,<br />

The Common Tie That Makes Us One, on the history of GWLC, as well as<br />

enjoying an afternoon tea and musical performances in a marquee on<br />

the front lawn.<br />

Exhibition at George Square<br />

and Service at Greyfriars Kirk<br />

Sunday 19 June 2022 - from 10am<br />

With kind permission of The University of Edinburgh, guests will have<br />

an opportunity to tour George Square, reminisce and relax with friends.<br />

The culmination of the Anniversary weekend will see a congregation of<br />

former pupils gather to give thanks for the founding of George Watson’s<br />

Ladies’ College at Greyfriars Kirk.<br />

19<br />

JUNE<br />

Tickets to attend the entire Anniversary Weekend are priced at £50.<br />

You can book to attend the programme of events online at<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/GWLC150 or through the Development Office.<br />


We Will Remember Them<br />

Watsonian Battlefields Tour: 26 September - 1 October 2022<br />

A trip for Watsonians, family and<br />

friends is being planned around<br />

the Battlefields of Belgium and<br />

northern France in 2022. The tour<br />

will culminate with a remembrance<br />

event for Daisy Coles, a former pupil<br />

of George Watson’s Ladies’ College,<br />

to mark the 105th anniversary of<br />

her death.<br />

During the Battlefields tour,<br />

attendees will follow in the footsteps<br />

of the many Watsonians who fought<br />

and died on the Western Front<br />

during the Great War, learning about<br />

the roles they played in the ‘war to<br />

end all wars.’ Previous Watsonian<br />

groups who have attended a<br />

previous tour found it both<br />

memorable and deeply moving.<br />


‘I’ve come with my wife and several<br />

old friends from School. It’s a trip<br />

that I’ve been meaning to do for<br />

many years, but I’d never have<br />

got around to it without it being<br />

organised and tailored for us. We are<br />

so glad we came.’<br />

On the 105th anniversary of Daisy<br />

Coles’ death, senior pupils from<br />

her former school will lead a short<br />

ceremony of remembrance at her<br />

grave in the Longuenesse (St Omer)<br />

Souvenir Cemetery, in northern<br />

France. They will be joined by the<br />

Principal, Melvyn Roffe and the<br />

President of the Watsonian Club,<br />

Gillian Sandilands (Class of 1978).<br />

Daisy Coles attended George<br />

Watson’s Ladies' College and in 1914<br />

at the outbreak of war, 21-year-old<br />

Daisy joined the local Voluntary<br />

Aid Detachment becoming a<br />

VAD Nurse. She was working at<br />

Craigleith Military Hospital (now<br />

the Western) in 1917, when she<br />

volunteered to go to France. The<br />

58th General (Scottish) Hospital,<br />

where Daisy arrived in June 1917,<br />

was a base hospital mainly housed<br />

in marquees, bell tents and a few<br />

wooden and corrugated iron huts.<br />

Daisy and her colleagues at the 58th<br />

Hospital were kept busy as large<br />

numbers of serious poison gas<br />

cases arrived.<br />

At 10.40pm, on the night of the<br />

30 September 1917, ‘During a hostile<br />

air raid, three bombs were dropped<br />

[on the hospital]. One bomb struck<br />

a marquee occupied by patients and<br />

nurses.’ Three nurses, Staff Nurse<br />

Agnes Climie and VADs Elizabeth<br />

Thomson and Daisy Coles died,<br />

together with 16 patients. Another<br />

nurse, Mabel Milne was severely<br />

wounded and died two days later.<br />

There were 67 wounded.<br />

On the centenary of her death in<br />

2017, Daisy’s name joined that of<br />

her brother Lionel’s on our School<br />

War Memorial. You can read more<br />

of Daisy’s story by visiting<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/daisy<br />

How to book<br />

Limited places are available for the<br />

entire trip, or for the Remembering<br />

Daisy event only. To note your<br />

interest in this trip, please contact<br />

Laura Tyzack in the Development<br />

Office by email (development@gwc.<br />

org.uk) or by telephone 0131 446<br />

6008 by Thursday 10 February 2022.<br />

It is likely the trip will have different<br />

travel options to allow guests<br />

to either travel as a group from<br />

Edinburgh or make their own way to<br />

the accommodation. The trip cost<br />

will include hotel accommodation,<br />

meals, entrance fees and coach<br />

travel around the battlefield sites<br />

with a guide.<br />

Tuesday 27 September<br />

Ypres<br />

Wednesday 28 September<br />

The Somme<br />

Thursday 29 September<br />

Vimy and Loos followed by an evening reception hosted by<br />

the Mayor of St Omer<br />

Friday 30 September<br />

Remembering Daisy event at Longuenesse and an afternoon in<br />

Ypres closing with the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.<br />


From the Archives<br />

Dr Robert ‘Bobby’ Kho-Seng Lim<br />

Robert Kho-Seng Lim ( ) was born in Singapore on the 15th of October 1897. He was the son of Chinese-<br />

Singaporean Dr Lim Boon Keng ( ), a famous physician and social activist who had studied Medicine at The<br />

University of Edinburgh. At the age of eight, Robert was shipped overseas to Edinburgh for his education and in 1911<br />

he enrolled at George Watson’s Boys’ College. Quickly Robert acquired a ‘scottish burr’ in his accent and was universally<br />

known as Bobby. Bobby was a keen artist and one of the school’s top marksmen in the OTC, winning awards for his<br />

sharpshooting and having drawings published in school publications. He had initially hoped to pursue a career in art,<br />

however his father encouraged him to follow in his footsteps and try the medical profession. Bobby excelled at<br />

Watson’s and at just 15 he left school to also study Medicine at The University of Edinburgh.<br />

However, only a year into his<br />

studies war broke out and Bobby,<br />

despite his age, volunteered and<br />

was assigned to the Indian Army in<br />

France. He joined the Indian Field<br />

Ambulance Corps and worked as<br />

a Junior Medical Officer on the<br />

Western Front for two years before<br />

they were sent to the Levant. In<br />

1916, Bobby was allowed to return<br />

to Edinburgh to continue his<br />

medical studies. He attained the<br />

MBChB degrees in 1919 and was<br />

immediately appointed Lecturer in<br />

Physiology with the responsibility<br />

for teaching histology. The next year<br />

Bobby presented the results of his<br />

research and earned his PhD while<br />

also marrying his Scottish fiancé<br />

Margaret Torrance.<br />

In 1924 Bobby was made an<br />

Associate Professor in Physiology<br />

at Peking Union Medical College,<br />

helping establish Western<br />

physiology in China. The stated<br />

goal of those responsible for the<br />

College was to have Western<br />

medical science taken over by<br />

Chinese people so that it may<br />

become standard practice. Again,<br />

Bobby excelled and in September<br />

1925 the trustees of the School<br />

made him Head of the Department<br />

of Physiology. He also founded the<br />

Chinese Physiological Society, which<br />

began the publication of the Chinese<br />

Journal of Physiology. Bobby<br />

was managing editor and wrote<br />

extensively for the journal.<br />

However, Bobby’s comfortable life<br />

in medical academia and teaching<br />

changed forever in 1937 as the<br />

Japanese attacks began. Bobby<br />

founded the Chinese Red Cross<br />

Medical Relief Commission whose<br />

field units first saw service when the<br />

Japanese moved against Shanghai.<br />

Bobby was quick to understand<br />

the severity of the threat from<br />

Imperial Japan. As fighting spread<br />

along the Great Wall, Bobby had<br />

already organised twelve medical<br />

units which treated over 20,000<br />

casualties. He knew that China<br />

would require a vast number of<br />

persons at all levels of training,<br />

and he pressed upon the Peking<br />

Union Medical College the need for<br />

mass education of technicians and<br />

sanitarians. The PUMC would not<br />

adapt, seeing its mission to solely be<br />

the teaching of teachers. Bobby left<br />

it for good in 1938.<br />

Bobby set up the Emergency<br />

Medical Service Training School<br />

in Guizhou. This was the first such<br />

establishment for training doctors,<br />

nurses, and medical orderlies for<br />

the army and civil relief services.<br />

By 1940, the Chinese Red Cross<br />

under Bobby’s direction, operated<br />

convoys, depots, and medical units.<br />

The Red Cross units, now forty-nine<br />

in number, provided treatment and<br />

nursing services for the wounded;<br />

ambulance units, each with 120<br />

stretcher bearers, transported<br />

casualties, who otherwise would<br />

have been left on the field to die,<br />

into makeshift hospitals. The<br />

medical school at Guizhou was<br />

designed to train 200 personnel<br />

a month as hospital attendants<br />

and stretcher bearers. This and<br />

the similar schools he built were<br />

intended to be the nuclei of future<br />

medical schools. The largest medical<br />

centre in wartime China was built by<br />

Bobby at Kweiyang and served as his<br />

headquarters for much of the war.<br />


Bobby’s talents were recognised<br />

in 1941, when he was appointed<br />

Inspector General of the Medical<br />

Services for the Republic of China.<br />

Despite being one of Chiang<br />

Kai-shek’s most useful officers,<br />

Bobby was not concerned with<br />

politics. He treated Nationalists<br />

and Communists equally and was<br />

reprimanded by Chaing Kai-shek<br />

for personally providing rescue<br />

assistance and medical supplies<br />

for the Communist Chinese forces<br />

in Yun’an during the war. He even<br />

treated injured Japanese POWs after<br />

a riot in a camp in Guizhou. Bobby<br />

also looked after refugees, setting<br />

up an ambulance station every 50<br />

kilometres along the Xiangqian<br />

Highway. He set up tents, treated<br />

passing refugees, and distributed<br />

medicine, food, clothing, and relief<br />

funds. Bobby also had to tackle<br />

Japanese germ warfare tactics.<br />

Plague-infected fleas were spread<br />

by low-flying airplanes over Chinese<br />

cities. Bobby implemented free<br />

outpatient clinics for the citizens of<br />

Changde, provided a vaccine,<br />

and successfully controlled<br />

the epidemic.<br />

Bobby was a thorn in Imperial<br />

Japan’s side and after the Japanese<br />

occupation of Singapore, the<br />

Japanese tried to force Bobby to<br />

surrender himself by executing<br />

members of his father’s family<br />

and forcing his father to raise<br />

money for the Japanese war<br />

effort. Bobby also faced pressure<br />

from his own compatriots. He was<br />

constantly attacked with rumours<br />

of drunkenness and a lack of being<br />

truly Chinese. He was eventually<br />

forced out in 1942 as the Japanese<br />

gained more ground in the war. Still<br />

Bobby found allies in the Western<br />

powers and his work did not go<br />

unnoticed. In 1942 he joined the<br />

newly formed Chinese Expeditionary<br />

Force and accompanied General<br />

Joseph Stilwell in the retreat<br />

through Burma and India. When<br />

President Roosevelt ordered Stilwell<br />

to confer the Legion of Merit upon<br />

Chiang Kai-shek, Stilwell said, ‘it<br />

will make me want to throw up.’<br />

However, Stilwell was allowed,<br />

as an antiemetic, to pin the same<br />

decoration on Bobby Lim.<br />

Chen Changwen, the former<br />

chairman of the Taiwan Red Cross<br />

Organization, wrote of Bobby, ‘if<br />

Nightingale is hailed as the ‘angel’ of<br />

the Crimean War, then Lim Kho-seng<br />

can be described as the ‘angel’ of<br />

the Anti-Japanese War, he is a very<br />

remarkable person.’<br />

In the post-war years, Bobby kept<br />

working within the Republic of<br />

China but as the Communist forces<br />

continued to advance, he shifted<br />

his focus to setting up medical<br />

infrastructure in Taiwan, building<br />

the National Defence Medical<br />

College and ten hospitals across<br />

the island. He turned down the<br />

Ministry of Health position offered to<br />

him and in 1949 moved to America<br />

where he spent the rest of his<br />

career out of the military and back<br />

in academia where he had started<br />

in 1913; before the conflicts of the<br />

20th century drastically changed the<br />

course of his life.<br />


The Performing Arts,<br />

Music, Opera and Me<br />

36<br />

Mary Miller (Class of 1966) has had an<br />

extraordinary career in the world of performing<br />

arts, recently retiring from her role of Director of<br />

the Bergen National Opera in Norway. Mary spoke<br />

to <strong>Caritas</strong> about her distinguished career and the<br />

fate of the arts during lockdown.<br />

Recently returned to Scotland, after over two<br />

decades living and working internationally, Mary<br />

reflected on how her native land has changed over<br />

time, especially when it comes to culture.<br />

She said: ‘I feel that the country is more confident,<br />

more aware of its culture, and getting really good at<br />

celebrating it. In the past there was a lot of emphasis<br />

on tourism culture, and I think now what I find really<br />

impressive is the number of small companies doing<br />

really exciting, interesting and diverse things.’<br />

Over the course of her career, Mary has been<br />

a significant participant in growing this self<br />

confidence. Reflecting on the truly transformational<br />

power of opera and live theatre, Mary recalls a<br />

project she was involved with, whilst working at<br />

The Scotsman, that won the hearts and minds of<br />

children in the local community.<br />

She said: ‘We did projects with kids up in Wick, in a<br />

disused bus depot. The comments we got back from<br />

some of those kids were amazing.<br />

‘Long afterwards, they went as a choir to sing at the<br />

Albert Hall and one of the kids said ‘this is great but<br />

not as good as singing in the bus depot’.<br />

From Edinburgh to Wick to all over the world, the<br />

transformational power and sense of togetherness<br />

that the shared experience of the arts fosters was<br />

needed more than ever in lockdown. With so<br />

many performances cancelled, performers and<br />

lovers of opera found themselves at a loss. But<br />

ever the innovator, Mary worked to bring them<br />

together again.<br />

‘We brought together opera companies from all<br />

over Europe for a project called This Evening's<br />

Performance has not Been Cancelled.

‘We set up a call centre, where<br />

people could call in to opera<br />

companies all over Europe, talk<br />

about opera, make friends, and<br />

make new contacts. It involved lots<br />

of opera makers and masses of<br />

ordinary people talking about how<br />

much they were missing culture.<br />

‘You could be connected to<br />

an extract of an opera; have a<br />

conversation with the make-up<br />

artist, the director, or someone<br />

backstage - it brought a huge<br />

number of people together.’<br />

This golden thread of innovation<br />

and change, runs through Mary’s<br />

extraordinary career. As the<br />

Director of the Bergen National<br />

Opera she certainly raised a few<br />

eyebrows in her time at the<br />

helm. For example, working<br />

with the local prison to offer<br />

inmates apprenticeships.<br />

She said: ‘I've always been a<br />

disruptor quite honestly. Disrupters<br />

are very important in creating art.<br />

I wouldn’t say it's been easy, you<br />

are asking people to do new things,<br />

you are asking people to change<br />

all the time. Particularly during the<br />

pandemic, people felt frightened<br />

and were worried about their jobs<br />

and we had to think about doing<br />

things in a very different way.<br />

‘Pioneering, driving change, or<br />

asking people to think differently<br />

is tough, both on the people you<br />

are asking and your own sense of<br />

leadership. This has to be sensitively<br />

done and everything must be<br />

collaborative. You can’t bully people<br />

into doing things because it is not<br />

going to result in creativity.’<br />

Leading change in such a time<br />

of change and upheaval like the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic was always<br />

going to be challenging; especially<br />

when cultural and arts are often the<br />

first to be cut and viewed as nonessential.<br />

Reflecting on the effect of<br />

the pandemic on arts venues, Mary<br />

said:<br />

‘One of the things the pandemic<br />

perhaps did, trying to be positive,<br />

was give us all a huge kick up<br />

the backside in terms of thinking<br />

laterally and creatively.<br />

‘I hope, as a result of that, it’s given<br />

us a sort of freedom and maybe we<br />

have gotten a bit stuck thinking art<br />

has to be done in a conventional<br />

way, in a conventional venue.<br />

‘I’m not ignoring the fact that people<br />

had an utterly hellish time and<br />

lost livelihoods, but the smaller<br />

organisations who were able to be<br />

flexible have begun to really shine.’<br />

Mary has worked as a music critic for<br />

The Scotsman, as a concert violinist<br />

with the BBC Symphony Orchestra<br />

and Scottish Chamber Orchestra,<br />

so it is perhaps surprising that her<br />

strongest memories about George<br />

Square aren’t to do with music.<br />

‘When I was at school, I led the<br />

school orchestra but what I really<br />

wanted to do was play the trumpet.<br />

Being the youngest child, maybe I<br />

wanted my voice to be heard.<br />

‘I had a terrific English teacher, Nora<br />

Carnon, who was very fierce indeed!<br />

I could never sit still and she used to<br />

regularly throw me out of the room.<br />

The poetry and reading I learned<br />

with her was my most important<br />

memory of school.’<br />

Since returning to Scotland, Mary<br />

is already looking ahead to new<br />

projects, including a reimagining of<br />

Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle as part<br />

of Siste Kapittel festival, which looks<br />

at the science of ageing and the<br />

relationship the eldery have to arts<br />

and culture.<br />

When recalling her experiences,<br />

Mary insists that she has ‘just been<br />

very lucky’. However, it’s clear to see<br />

that her distinguished career has<br />

been driven by dedication to the<br />

performing arts, and the bravery<br />

to lead and implement change for<br />

its benefit.<br />


EAST<br />

MEETS<br />

WEST<br />

Sarah Kwan (Class of 2004) is<br />

an Edinburgh-based artist and<br />

illustrator who has created a<br />

unique collection of work which<br />

shows a fusion of Scottish and<br />

Chinese culture. <strong>Caritas</strong> met with<br />

Sarah to hear more about this<br />

remarkable Series and find out<br />

about her memories of Watson’s.<br />

Sarah, you left Watson’s in 2004.<br />

Do the past 18 years feel like a bit<br />

of a whirlwind, and do you feel<br />

your school days had an influence<br />

on your chosen career?<br />

I would say that the past 18 years<br />

have felt both incredibly long and<br />

terribly short at the same time!<br />

Sometimes I think ‘That went by<br />

so quickly!’, but then I think about<br />

the many hours I have spent<br />

working on my craft and how it<br />

often felt like I was giving my all -<br />

but moving forward at a glacial<br />

pace. I have always been interested<br />

in some form of creative career,<br />

ever since I was very young.<br />

The fantastic Art Department at<br />

Watson’s and the wonderful staff<br />

were a massive influence on my<br />

development as an artist – and<br />

helped me master the fundamental<br />

skills that I needed to move to<br />

the next stage of learning. I am<br />

forever grateful for their guidance<br />

and support!<br />

Can you tell us a little bit about<br />

the journey you went on to find<br />

your style, and how you define<br />

your work?<br />

I understand the need to find a<br />

style, a consistency and brand – it<br />

used to be something that really<br />

concerned me as a young artist. I<br />

think in terms of style, it is about<br />

learning the basics, as a foundation,<br />

then choosing a way of working in<br />

which you enjoy and exploring that<br />

fully and deeply. It doesn’t mean<br />

that you are boxed in to only doing<br />

that certain style forever - just as<br />

we change as people when we<br />

develop over time – your art style<br />

may do the same and I think that<br />

is totally fine. The main concern<br />

for me is to always bring a level<br />

of consistency and quality to my<br />

work. I would define the style of my<br />

current East meet West Series as a<br />

fun exploration of the connection<br />

between my Scottish and Chinese<br />

culture, with pops of bright colour<br />

and pattern, and a pinch of humour<br />

Your East meets West Series is<br />

particularly striking, with a real<br />

warmth and humour. What inspired<br />

you to create this series of work<br />

and does your work always contain<br />

light-hearted elements?<br />

Thank you! A few years ago my<br />

Scottish friend and Chinese<br />

Malaysian friend were getting<br />

married, and they thought I would<br />

be the perfect person to represent<br />

38<br />

Double Happiness Thistles<br />

Aye & Brew Tea Set

Lucky Cat Sith Teacake Dim Sum Blossoming<br />

their two worlds coming together,<br />

so I drew some black and white<br />

illustrations for their wedding invites<br />

as a gift to them. These drawings<br />

lay in my portfolio for a couple of<br />

years, until eventually I decided<br />

to see what they would be like if I<br />

added colour and then there was a<br />

natural progression in turning them<br />

into prints. This particular collection<br />

does have humour and light - which<br />

I love - and I always try to bring an<br />

element of that in everything I do.<br />

However, I have also created other<br />

work that is darker in contrast to this<br />

series. I enjoy conveying many parts<br />

of my personality and experiences<br />

through my work – I find there is a<br />

certain freedom in that.<br />

Do you have a favourite piece<br />

from this Series?<br />

My favourite piece has always been<br />

my Aye & Brew Tea Set, where one<br />

of Scotland’s most iconic orange soft<br />

drinks meets a Chinese tea set. I’m<br />

also enjoying my latest design at the<br />

moment titled Blossoming – where<br />

Peonies and Thistles feature in a<br />

way that looks traditional but with a<br />

twist. It’s just a joyful design that I’m<br />

very proud of!<br />

You were born and raised in<br />

Scotland. From your perspective,<br />

what does it mean to be Chinese<br />

and Scottish? Do you feel a pull to<br />

one culture more than another?<br />

From my perspective, to be Chinese<br />

and Scottish is to have a celebration<br />

of connection, of two seemingly<br />

completely different cultures – but<br />

who at the core have some real<br />

human connections and that’s what<br />

I am representing through this series<br />

too. In terms of being pulled to one<br />

culture or the other, if I think about<br />

how I personally feel - the Scottish<br />

and Chinese parts of me are exactly<br />

50/50. Like I mentioned in my BBC<br />

Scotland LOOP series interview, ‘I’m<br />

Chinese and I look like this, but I feel<br />

really Scottish’ – and I do and I’m so<br />

proud to have experience of both<br />

cultures. You can be a mixture of<br />

many things and that’s totally fine,<br />

brilliant even!<br />

So much around us in the World<br />

today, especially politically, can<br />

seem like a great separation. Your<br />

work on the East meets West Series<br />

seems to be a bringing together.<br />

Were you influenced by current<br />

affairs when creating this Series?<br />

The series started from a place of<br />

connection. It symbolises what<br />

brings us together and doesn’t focus<br />

on what separates us as people.<br />

Now, more than ever, I believe this<br />

work is extremely relevant and the<br />

message is important. I hope that<br />

my series provides a safe space for<br />

people to celebrate what connects<br />

us as human beings - despite<br />

whatever negative rhetoric is out<br />

there in the world today.<br />

What do you find feeds your<br />

creativity? Can you tell us<br />

about your process for creating<br />

an artwork?<br />

I find inspiration in many things,<br />

some seemingly mundane or<br />

every day, and some interesting<br />

conversations that can spark ideas.<br />

What I think always helps feed my<br />

creativity is giving myself time and<br />

space to really think about the<br />

connections between ideas and<br />

how I can best present them. I also<br />

tend to do a lot of research online<br />

and read more about the subjects<br />

I want to draw. I try to make sure<br />

I have enough time to rest. Your<br />

brain needs to switch off sometimes<br />

for you to be in optimal condition<br />

to be creative. Creativity is a form<br />

of problem solving that requires a<br />

high level of concentration. In my<br />

own process, I tend to think about<br />

the ideas, do my own research and<br />

gather references. I may then create<br />

some form of collage or mock up,<br />

and then I will move on to creating<br />

the final piece - usually through<br />

drawing or painting.<br />

Do you have forthcoming<br />

exhibitions planned? Where can<br />

we see your work?<br />

My work is always on display<br />

and available from The Red Door<br />

Gallery, on beautiful Victoria Street,<br />

Edinburgh. Upcoming events and<br />

other stockists of my work are also<br />

available to view on my website at<br />

www.sarahkwan.co.uk<br />

And finally, if you had one piece<br />

of advice to pass onto a pupil who<br />

will be leaving Watson’s at the end<br />

of this school year, what would<br />

that be?<br />

Keep going and never give up.<br />

Pursue your goals and work on<br />

developing the skills you need<br />

for the career you want - always<br />

believe in your own abilities and<br />

never be afraid to put yourself out<br />

there. One of my favourite quotes is:<br />

‘Sometimes you win and sometimes<br />

you learn.’ Failing is just learning by<br />

a different name!<br />



Sections<br />


Community Choir<br />

Covid put pay to any chance of the Choir rehearsing or performing together during session<br />

2020-21, so they undertook a number of ‘virtual choir’ projects over the course of the session,<br />

following regular Tuesday evening rehearsals over Zoom. Despite the challenges, around 35<br />

members attended online rehearsals regularly, learned a range of repertoire and shared virtual<br />

choir recordings of arrangements of tunes such as What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet<br />

Love by Burt Bacharach and All For the Best from the musical Godspell. The choir also took<br />

part in GWC’s 2020 virtual St Giles’ celebration at Christmas.<br />

The Choir retains a waiting list, but they are still encouraging those interested to email<br />

watsonianchoir@gmail.com to note interest in joining the choir.<br />

Bra<br />

Rifle Club<br />

In line with most sports, the Club activities were severely curtailed. The County Team<br />

Leagues went ahead, albeit in a reduced format. The Lothians team won Division 1 for the<br />

first time in its history. Oliver Barron was top scorer and Adam Dove won the County Silver<br />

Medal. Dave Caughey was the other team member from the Club. In National Leagues,<br />

the A Team finished 3rd in Division 1 and in the Women’s League the A Team finished 2nd<br />

in Division 1. The local Lothians League format was changed to a ‘best improvement’<br />

calculation. The A team continued their dominance of the league by winning Division 1.<br />

Bev Burnside, Jonty Barron, Susan Jackson, James Gutteridge and Chris Scobie were the<br />

winning team. A one off event was held in Aberdeen to determine the Scottish Champion for<br />

2021. Robin Thomson, Ian Thomson and Andy Coates qualified for the final. Andy won the B,<br />

C and D section and finished 6th in the Championship.<br />

Swimming Club<br />

The Swimming Club survived the pandemic although at a lower level of activity than in normal<br />

times. The Galleon Club had to follow strict guidelines, but the pool was open from September<br />

to November 2020 and from May 2021 onwards. The fire at Myreside prevented members<br />

having their usual get-togethers after swimming on Wednesday evenings but they are looking<br />

forward to these resuming in January 2022.<br />

The Club noted the sad loss of Geoff Bulmer (Class of 1954), their long-time Social Convenor.<br />


AN<br />

nches<br />

The Watsonian Club<br />

All current and former pupils, staff, and parents are<br />

eligible for membership of either the Watsonian Club,<br />

or its Sections. The main purpose of the Club is to<br />

promote and maintain relationships at home and abroad,<br />

strengthen friendships, to promote the Club’s recognised<br />

Sections and Branches and encourage participation<br />

in sports and other activities. We would encourage all<br />

Watsonians to be involved in Club activities.<br />

Hockey Club<br />

The 2020-21 season reminded us that you don’t need competition to enjoy sport.<br />

Whilst the pandemic meant no leagues or cups, players trained and played intra-club<br />

and friendly matches whenever restrictions allowed.<br />

Youth players enjoyed 28 weeks of coaching, and the Boys’ Colts continued until the<br />

end of July. Their constant positivity and smiles reminded us of the physical and mental<br />

health benefits of sport for young people.<br />

In the only Scottish Hockey competition to be played, the U14 girls became national<br />

champions in Dundee; and the U14 boys reached the finals.<br />

We are also very proud of all our players who played for Scotland at youth and senior<br />

levels. Sarah Jamieson and Dan Coultas played in the respective Women’s/Men’s<br />

EuroHockey championships; Euan Burgess captained Scotland U19s who won the Home<br />

Nations’ tournament; and Molly Morris, Ellie Stott and Maddie Boyes played for Scotland<br />

U19’s girls in their Home Nations.<br />

Seven of the U16 girls played for the Edinburgh Lightning squad who won the Scottish<br />

Academy series in July, reflecting the depth of talent in the Club. And in early August<br />

the following players played for Scotland’s Emerging squads v Wales: Girls: Sophie<br />

Anderson, Ruby Crawford, Darcy Littlefield, Kirsten Murison; Boys: Owen Hunter, Drew<br />

Lobb, Ally Paul, Henry Porter.<br />

During lockdown members kept busy, fundraising for charity and keeping fit, and the<br />

coaches provided youth players with weekly drills and delivered hockey balls to help them<br />

practice at home.<br />

Scottish Hockey have awarded the Club ‘Silver Club Accreditation’, giving a strong<br />

endorsement of the way the club operates. This reflects the work done to increase<br />

participation in hockey and achieve high standards while developing coaches,<br />

volunteers and players.<br />

The Club is always open to new members aged 5 to 65. For more details,<br />

please visit: www.watsonianshockeyclub.com<br />

If you would like to view the Watsonian Club Branch and Section full reports go to:<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/community/the-watsonian-club<br />



Belgium (Brussels)<br />

Not unexpectedly the Belgian-based<br />

Watsonians have not been able to<br />

meet since the pandemic hit this<br />

small country. At an early stage the<br />

Covid virus spread with speed with<br />

all the attendant consequences.<br />

The last communication to the<br />

Watsonian in 2019 covered a joint<br />

Belgian-French initiative in Paris<br />

to celebrate on 7 April 2019 the<br />

re-hanging of the Donald Caskie<br />

cross at the Scots Kirk in Paris.<br />

This cross was donated by the<br />

School in 1959. The Caskie story,<br />

as told in his book The Tartan<br />

Pimpernel, so enchanted the<br />

‘Ville de Paris’ that agreement<br />

was reached to place a plaque<br />

in Caskie’s honour on the outside<br />

wall of the kirk in the rue Bayard.<br />

The unveiling ceremony took<br />

place on 10 June attended by<br />

the deputy mayor of Paris, Mme<br />

Laurence Patrice. She spoke<br />

admiringly of Caskie and his<br />

remarkable WW2 achievements.<br />

It is indeed a rare honour for such<br />

a plaque to be erected in Paris.<br />

The Belgian Watsonian Club<br />

was founded in 1994, the first in<br />

Europe outside the UK. One of the<br />

founding members was Professor<br />

Francis J Thomson. It is with much<br />

sadness that we learned of his<br />

death in Antwerp earlier this year<br />

at the age of 85. We must, however,<br />

celebrate his outstanding academic<br />

achievements. ‘The Professor<br />

Francis J Thomson Legacy Project’<br />

is now housed at the University of<br />

Leuven and is partnered with the<br />

University of Innsbruck. The aim of<br />

the Project is to preserve, digitise<br />

and extend access to Professor<br />

Thomson’s card index in order<br />

to preserve his inestimable and<br />

unique academic legacy as well as<br />

to promote and support further<br />

research in the field of Byzantine-<br />

Slavonic studies. He began his<br />

distinguished academic career in<br />

1961 as a lecturer in Russian at the<br />

University of Cambridge, where in<br />

1964 he was awarded a PhD in the<br />

Faculty of Divinity.<br />

Thereafter, he spent his academic<br />

life at Antwerp University<br />

passionately devoting himself to<br />

research into literature in Slavonic<br />

translation and the interrelation<br />

between Slavonic and Byzantine<br />

written culture. An internationally<br />

renowned Slav specialist, Professor<br />

Thomson is justly acknowledged by<br />

fellow academics as a pre-eminent<br />

bridge builder who initiated a<br />

rapprochement between the<br />

scholarly paradigms of Slavonic and<br />

Byzantine Greek studies.<br />

In the course of his lifetime of<br />

scholarship, Professor Thomson<br />

meticulously analysed the findings<br />

of his research and recorded the<br />

entirety in condensed form on several<br />

thousand handwritten index cards.<br />

This catalogue encompasses a vast<br />

amount of knowledge concerning<br />

Old Slavonic literature,namely South<br />

and East Slavonic literature dating from<br />

the beginning of the 9th century up<br />

to the late 17th century reforms of<br />

Peter the Great. His research largely<br />

concentrated on the history of the<br />

early Slavonic translations as well<br />

as the relationship of these<br />

translations to their mostly Greek<br />

originals. Thomson’s archive is<br />

legendary among Slavists and<br />

Byzantinists alike because of its<br />

completeness and breadth of content.<br />

It is a tool of singular relevance to<br />

any scholar dealing with the Middle<br />

Ages and the early modern period in<br />

Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.<br />

The complete cartotheca contains<br />

almost 100,000 small and large index<br />

cards, mostly with information on<br />

both sides.<br />

Andrew Brown (Class of 1963)<br />

Highland and Moray<br />

Unlike many of the Branches, the Highland<br />

and Moray Watsonian Club held its annual<br />

dinner on 17 September. The Principal and<br />

his wife were due to attend, but alas Covid<br />

put paid to their plans. Despite this, guests<br />

had an enjoyable time catching up with<br />

old friends.<br />

London<br />

On Friday 3 September, the London Club Cenotaph Observance<br />

took place. Liz Smith (Class of 1978) was invited as guest of<br />

honour as the Club commemorated the 150th anniversary of the<br />

founding of GWLC. Jodie White (Class of 2016), Events Secretary,<br />

gathered together artefacts that related to London women<br />

who had attended the Ladies’ College. Guests also attended a<br />

reception at the National Liberal Club.<br />


Australia (Sydney)<br />

While Scotland was in lockdown,<br />

Watsonians in our Australia<br />

(Sydney) branch came together<br />

for their annual Burns Supper. An<br />

invitation that they extended to<br />

others who had attended Edinburgh<br />

schools and they were pleased to<br />

welcome a ‘Fettesian’ as well as<br />

a Mary Erskine ‘old girl’ who flew<br />

down from Coffs Harbour (over 500<br />

kms away).<br />

Following the ceremonial haggis<br />

procession, Kenny McGilvary (Class<br />

of 1995) delivered the Toast to the<br />

School and shared his memories<br />

from Colinton Road. The school<br />

canteen featured prominently, with<br />

‘square sausage rolls’ and ‘baked<br />

beans with cheese on top’ served in a<br />

polystyrene cup being a big highlight<br />

of school life. There was a lot of<br />

agreement with this!<br />

Harry Laing (Class of 1980)<br />

performed his interpretation of<br />

Rabbie Burns’ Comin’ Thro’ The<br />

Rye as well as other pieces in his<br />

inimitable style. Harry had the<br />

audience rolling with laughter –<br />

something which was a good<br />

release after the preceding<br />

12 months.<br />

Angus McGhie (Class of 1993)<br />

delivered a very heartfelt tribute<br />

to former staff, including in<br />

particular Rod Slater and Les Howie,<br />

who had made a significant impact<br />

on his time at Watson’s. Many<br />

memories were recalled by others<br />

in the room also. Before the ‘Vote<br />

of Thanks’ Angus played Auld Lang<br />

Syne. Although we couldn’t join<br />

hands we were able to enjoy the<br />

sentiment it conveys.<br />

We look forward to the 2022 Burns<br />

Supper which will be on Saturday<br />

29 January.<br />

Pat Stevenson (Class of 1969)<br />


LGBTQ<br />

Tuesday 22 February 2022 •7pm | The Pavilion at Myreside<br />

Hosted by Past President Johnny Bacigalupo (Class of 1995) this event will open with a panel discussion<br />

focussed on the role of LGBTQ networks in the 2020s. Following this there will be an open-floor discussion<br />

where attendees can help inform how the Section will be shaped and share ideas about what types<br />

of activity they would like to see in the future. We are particularly keen to welcome and hear from<br />

Watsonians who would consider an office bearer role to help build the membership and gain momentum.<br />

The event will be rounded off with a drinks reception and the chance to meet the Principal Melvyn Roffe<br />

and Watsonian President Gillian Sandilands (Class of 1978).<br />

BAME<br />

Thursday 31 March 2022 • 7pm | The Pavilion at Myreside<br />

Following the recent launch of the Watsonian BAME Section Facebook Page, which has been sharing<br />

stories and celebrating the successes of BAME Watsonians, our small group of volunteers want to reach<br />

out to the wider Watsonian community to share their plans for the future and to grow their membership.<br />

Attended by School Principal Melvyn Roffe and Watsonian President Gillian Sandilands (Class of 1978),<br />

the evening will include a panel discussion and the chance to meet the Section’s committee members<br />

over a refreshment. This is planned as an informal and open event where you can share your own ideas<br />

and comment on what you would like to see from the Section over the coming year.<br />

Please register your attendance at these free events by emailing development@gwc.org.uk<br />


And finally...<br />

Copenhagen Concerts<br />

60 years since<br />

touring Denmark<br />

The choir and orchestra’s tour of Denmark was the first of several major events organised by the Music<br />

Department, under Norman Hyde’s directorship, in the early 1960s. Others included a trip to France for<br />

concerts and broadcasts in Paris; an invitation to Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, to visit the school;<br />

and the commissioning of a work by British composer, Alan Rawsthorne, to mark the opening of the then<br />

futuristic Music School building at Tipperlinn.<br />

After assembling in the school<br />

grounds, the combined forces<br />

of singers and instrumentalists<br />

journeyed to Copenhagen by road,<br />

with ferry crossings at Dover, and<br />

between Jutland and Funen, and<br />

Funen and Zealand. Transport<br />

for the several dozen boys and<br />

accompanying masters was<br />

provided by two coaches from the<br />

Pentland Garage, one of which<br />

blew a tyre somewhere on the A1<br />

(no motorways then), the damage<br />

recorded in detail on ciné film by<br />

Jim Jardine, Head of Physics, whose<br />

45 minute movie (now in the School<br />

Archive) documents excerpts from<br />

the entire experience. Despite the<br />

inauspicious start, the buses made it<br />

to Stamford School, Lincolnshire, for<br />

the first overnight stop.<br />

Only in retrospect can one<br />

appreciate the mountain of<br />

organisation required for such<br />

a venture. Aside from securing<br />

transport for dozens of performers,<br />

music and instruments, group<br />

and individual passports were<br />

required for the French, Belgian,<br />

Dutch, German and Danish<br />

border crossings. Norman Hyde<br />

and his team chose schools,<br />

youth hostels and a convent for<br />

accommodation en route, but at<br />

the end, in Copenhagen, somehow<br />

found families prepared to host<br />

a member or two of the party in<br />

their own homes. On top of the<br />

basic practicalities, there were the<br />

concerts to stage, some on the way<br />

and a couple in the capital, one<br />

of these a broadcast recorded for<br />

Danish State Radio.<br />

Recreation was not forgotten, with<br />

detours to the beach at Dunkirk for<br />

ice creams; the National Monument<br />

to the Second Schleswig War at<br />

Dybbøl Mill, Sønderborg; Hans<br />

Christian Andersen’s cottage in<br />

Odense; Frederiksborg Castle; and<br />

the Amalienborg Royal Palace and<br />

Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.<br />

Most memorable was the Carlsberg<br />

Brewery outing which, after a<br />

guided tour of the plant, culminated<br />

in a product-sampling session:<br />

beer for the masters, soft drinks<br />

for the boys. As Jim Jardine’s film<br />

attests, hundreds of bottles-full were<br />

consumed, necessitating several<br />

roadside stops on the way back,<br />

as the coaches lacked onboard<br />

facilities.<br />

The drivers’ professionalism and<br />

patience were heroic with miles<br />

to cover each day on Continental<br />

roads, through unbypassed towns<br />

and cities (including London -<br />

no M25 in those days) and with<br />


perpetual noise from the excited<br />

occupants in the seats behind.<br />

One bus, stuck in mud during an<br />

excursion to a prehistoric site in<br />

Denmark, was extricated by several<br />

ranks of boys, large and small,<br />

forming a rugby scrum at the rear<br />

and pushing it to safety.<br />

School uniform was the dress code<br />

for the boys, with thick pullovers<br />

allowed as the season was early<br />

Spring. However, kilts with tweed<br />

jackets were encouraged and chosen<br />

by many, much to the delight of<br />

the school and youth hostel staff in<br />

the Low Countries and the billeting<br />

families in Copenhagen.<br />

The educational impact of the Tour<br />

on its members was considerable,<br />

particularly seeing how European<br />

nations ravaged by war and<br />

occupation were recovering and<br />

modernising. Differences in crosscultural<br />

norms between Denmark<br />

and Scotland were striking with<br />

pipe-smoking by Danish youths<br />

being widespread and the drinking<br />

of mild ale by Danish families at<br />

dinner habitual.<br />

The concerts went well and no one<br />

became obviously ill despite the<br />

hectic schedule; unaccustomed<br />

plumbing; daily ice creams and fizzy<br />

drinks; and a heavy diet of sausages,<br />

soup and doorstep bread served by<br />

institutional kitchens on the way.<br />

The journey home was a quieter<br />

affair than the outbound, everyone<br />

by then tired, though mildly<br />

triumphant. As well as parents,<br />

the buses were welcomed by<br />

Headmaster, Roger Young, on reentering<br />

the school grounds.<br />

Some of my memories of what was<br />

a highlight of my early teens are<br />

fresh, but recall of detail, after over<br />

half-a-century, is patchy. While<br />

many faces are familiar, here is a list<br />

of participants whom I can name<br />

confidently from photographs and<br />

the film: Norman Hyde (Music),<br />

Mr Hughes (Physics), David Bruce<br />

(bassoon), David Hughson (clarinet),<br />

and Christopher Whitehead (oboe);<br />

Bruce Graham, Alistair Mitchell,<br />

Donald Nisbet and Peter Ord (choir).<br />

To the many others I cannot identify,<br />

my apologies.<br />

Dr Peter Griffiths (Class of 1966)<br />


The Pavilion<br />

at Myreside<br />

Opening Monday 10 January 2022<br />

For more details about opening times and menus,<br />

the new facilities and how to book, visit:<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/the-pavilion<br />

or email thepavilion@gwc.org.uk

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