Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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James Erwin Dunlop


BBHS 1956-62

After leaving BBHS, wandered about Scotland aimlessly for about 4 years, and accomplished nothing except for the invention of a new and questionable diet consisting exclusively of beer and cigarettes. Drove father crazy (-er), until he retired early from Bell-Baxter, probably at least in part to illustrate to me the imminent need for me to find gainful employment and support myself - a hint which I cheerfully ignored for several more years. I then went into hibernation and graduated BA from University of London in 1968. Visited Florida as graduation present, then returned to the University of Florida on scholarship, married Diana in 1969, and got MA in English in 1970. This is what they call in America ‘Graduate School’. The academic standards are pretty much all that you have heard them to be. A partially-trained Orang-utang would excel.

Got drafted and was told I was going to Vietnam. Told the Draft Board to go hang, packed up my guitar, my passport and my wife, and returned to Scotland and taught at Lathallan for one year, son Philip born in Montrose in 1971. Had no money, no food, and no heat for the entire year. Then emigrated to US, after winning a lengthy argument with US immigration about the stupidity of Vietnam and the immorality of war in general. I think they just got tired of listening to me (as indeed you all are probably too now …) Pasted John Lennon's photograph on my British passport and threw it out of the plane at Heathrow just before take-off for Miami.

Taught in various schools in Florida and Nashville, Tennessee till about 1978. Told an obscene joke at a dinner party in Palm Beach hosted by a student's mother, was fired, sued the school for $100,000.00 and won (though the settlement was much less). Formally admitted to US citizenship in 1978.

Operated own mortgage brokerage firm in Orlando from 1978 till 1989. Not interesting, but profitable - kind of a semi-normal period in my life, but naturally I took care of that.

Got back into the music business briefly - a complete disaster. Stagnated in the studio aimlessly for another 3 years, teaching part-time at the University of Central Florida. The University used me in an effort to begin a Classics program (the idiots). The first class was entitled ‘Latin’. Innocuous enough, right? I mean we all remember ‘Bandy’ and ‘Tich’ Howie, right? Unfortunately the word also has a visceral appeal to Puerto Ricans who jammed my office demanding that I teach them Salsa, Merengue and other intercourse-simulating dances of which they are seemingly inordinately fond. It remains unclear who was the more disappointed when it became apparent that the class was actually about Caesar tramping through Gaul, without the benefit of the terpsichorean excesses of later generations. Even the obscene poems of Catullus could not resurrect their flaccid interest.

Joined MENSA, admitted with wife (astonishing luck for us!) to College of Law at University of Florida at age of 48. Unlike ‘Graduate school’, this is serious stuff - doctors and lawyers have all the money in America, and law school is a 3-year graduate program. They accept one in twenty qualified applicants. Received Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1995. Admitted to Florida Bar in 1995, admitted to Federal Court, Middle District of Florida, 1995.

Practiced divorce law with wife and son in Winter Park, Florida since 1995. Pictures, etc. on our updated website at

Erwin’s father was Dr James Erwin Dunlop, Rector of School (qv).

Erwin left the following message on our eBoard on 2 March 2012:

After leaving Bell-Baxter in 1962, I graduated from London University and finally emigrated to Florida, USA in 1971.  I am a practising Attorney in Winter Park, Florida, as also are my Wife of 43 years, and my son, Philip, 41, who lives with his wife and children just South of DisneyWorld.  He is running for election as Judge in September, 2012.  I live on a horse farm with several thoroughbred horses.  I have just completed my third CD -- Celtic Songs, by Erwin and the Selkies for release in April, 2012.  All my CDs are available for purchase or download on I-Tunes, Amazon, or on CD Baby. I remember with affection and appreciation the quality of education I received at Bell-Baxter, which continues to be light-years ahead of anything over here.  Best wishes to all at Bell-Baxter.

James M Dunlop

The names of FPs appear suddenly in surprising places and catch one unawares! One Sunday afternoon in the middle of June, a leisurely perusal of the Sunday Telegraph revealed the name of Dr James Dunlop. Robert Matthews has a weekly column answering scientific queries from readers, and James had sent in one about the rainbow. Thank you, James! As a result of your query, the Newsletter Editor now knows things about the rainbow which were hitherto among the many scientific mysteries. (If anyone wishes to know more - although most of you are probably much better informed than the Editor! - a version of the answer will be included in the next issue, on request.)

Jean Durie

Mrs Jean Aitken (née Durie) (1925) died on 12th March 2004 in hospital. On leaving School, Jean trained as a Primary School Teacher, and her career took her to posts in St Andrews, Newport and Leuchars. She married Alexander Aitken, who taught Science subjects in Bell Baxter in the 1940s. Later he became Headmaster of Leuchars Primary School, and he predeceased Jean by a number of years. She is survived by her son David and four grandchildren.

Luke Dyke

Luke Dyke was a member of the School’s under-15 Boys’ Relay Team that won the Scottish Title in the 4x100m in 2003.

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