Bill Gilmour's Retirement Speech - Dunfermline High School July 2006
by William Gilmour
(Kirkcaldy, Fife, SCOTLAND)
Do you know I've been coming to this prize-giving ceremony for over 30 years and this is the first time I've got a prize! I knew that if I kept turning up I would eventually get one.
This is the first time in over 25 years I have been on this stage. We all used to have to attend morning assembly. You were timetabled to teach each day at period 1a which lasted 20mins. You turned up wearing your academic gown and listened to the words of wisdom of the then Rector Andrew Millar..
They say that old teachers never die - THEY JUST LOOSE THEIR CLASS!!
I remember the first class I ever taught was a 4th Year Technical Drawing class and a boy named John McGouldrick asked, 'Are you our new TECHY teacher?' Being very proud of my new status, I promptly told him I was his new 'Technical Education teacher'. But I grew to accept the fact that I WAS a 'TECHY' teacher as this was indeed a term of endearment.
I will also take with me the memory of the LAST class I taught yesterday - 3rd year, and the last PUPIL -little Nicola Greer, who politely said 'Thank you Sir' and said 'See you later Sir' as she left the room empty.
THAT'S WHEN IT FINALLY DAWNED ON ME THIS IS THE CLASS I HAD LOST.
I came into teaching as a Special Recruitment Student in 1970 at the recommendation of Mr Sandy Mair, a Lecturer at the then Kirkcaldy Technical College.
I'm sure the man never liked me!!
When I arrived there were 4 other members of staff in the department, P.T.George Simpson, Ben Russell (GOD REST HIM) Ken Sinclair and Bill Wallace.
I have worked out that I have taught in D.H.S. for 31 years .
That's over 480,000 periods----
TEACHING over 360,000 pupils ----
That's nearly 1million contacts ---
Under three Rectors,
Two Principal Teachers
Had to eat......... School dinners --- (I'm not that daft.)
AND over 1200 YIFTAES !(Absence Substitutions)
I would like to thank the Rector for presenting John and I with these beautiful Plaques which every time I see it will remind me of the many happy years I spent in D.H.S.
I would also like to thank the SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM for their support and congratulate them for getting their emergency response time down to 1hr 25 mins.
The AUXILLIARY and OFFICE Staff for their help ESPECIALLY at the last gasp when I needed some work done at short notice.
The JANITORIAL staff for MUTUAL cooperation at many times of crisis.
And of course the members of the TECHY Dept who have not only been colleagues but VERY good friends over these past 31 years.
AND FINALLY to my beautiful wife Lorna who has over these years listened to my many moans and groans, and put up with my many mood swings and only being able to go on holiday during the school holidays. THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED LORNA.
BUT REMEMBER SHE GETS TO SPEND MY LUMP SUM!
AGAIN, THANK YOU, AND HAVE A NICE LIFE.
Note: Look up this Wikipedia entry to read about Dunfermline Highschool's proud and ancient history. It reaches back over 800 years.