Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Betty McDonald

Trained at Dundee College of Education; taught in Boreland; then at Methil Primary School; Mrs Tom Pearson (qv), Lingmoor, Carberry Park, Leven. Attended BBS in the early 1940s.

Carol MacDonald

BSc (St Andrews); was Senior Insect Infestation Inspector with Ministry of Food; Mrs Blair, 349 New Malden Road, New Malden. Attended BBS prior to 1930.

Elizabeth McDonald

Elizabeth McDonald (1948) died tragically as a result of a road accident on 27th June 1997, six weeks after the death of her brother, John (qv). Lisbeth had retired in November 1996 from her job as Higher Clerical Officer in the Child Health Records department of Fife Health Board.

John McDonald

John McDonald (1942) died on 15th May 1997 in Ashkirk, near Selkirk. John was sports champion at school, and after school he qualified as a chartered surveyor, taking up a career in rating valuation. He worked in offices in Cupar and Perth, moving to the Borders in 1970, where he became Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer. He took early retirement in 1988. He was a keen sportsman throughout his life, and singing was another great interest. He was an Elder of Ashkirk Church. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and one daughter and one son. His sister was Elizabeth (qv).

Margaret Beveridge McDonald

Margaret (Mattie) Beveridge McDonald died on 10th October 1991. She was the elder sister of David and Barbara.

Iain McFarland

Iain McFarland (1937) died in a nursing home after a long period of poor health on 18th July 2007. When he left school Iain studied dentistry, in the days when the St Andrews course was run in conjunction with University College, Dundee. He served as a Dental Officer with the RAF during the war and then set up his own practice in Wormit and Newburgh which occupied his entire career. He was Session Clerk of Balmerino Church for many years. He was also a Past President of North East Fife Rotary Club, a keen poultry and bee keeper, active in the Scottish Rights of Way Society and a member of the Dundee Highland Society. He had a deep love of the Western Isles, where he had a holiday home in South Uist and where he learned to speak Gaelic. He was predeceased in 2005 by his wife and is survived by a son and two daughters.

Edward Graham Macfarlane


Edward Macfarlane (1923) died on 19th December2006, aged 95, in Vancouver at the home of his son. On leaving school, he trained at Dundee Training College and, in 1932, took up a post in Rockwell School in Dundee as a Technical Teacher. He spent many years there but he had many other interests. He also taught in the USA.

He established the World Parliament Party in 1949 and contested several elections in Dundee East. He described himself as ‘a cosmopolist’, believing that the world should be unified under a parliamentary system of government.

He edited a humanist newspaper and was a prolific writer of letters to papers throughout the world. His last letter to the Courier was dated October 4th 2000. He is survived by two sons and two daughters.

2 books "TRUTH" 1982; "COSMOPOLIS" 1984. Contested Parliamentary Election for W.W.P. 1952.

Ian George Stewart MacGregor


BBS 1939-42

Ian MacGregor was born in Newcastle and began his secondary education at Altrincham Grammar School, moving into fourth year at Bell Baxter in 1939. He studied at St Andrews University from 1942-45, then took an honours degree in History at Edinburgh University, graduting in 1947.He was president of the SRC at Edinburgh and represented Scottish Students at an international conference in Prague in 1946. In 1953-54 he had a Teaching Fellowship in Psychology at New York University.

He spent three years as an Assistant Principal in the Ministry of Finance in Northern Ireland, but turned to teaching after returning to Edinburgh University to take an M Ed. After a spell in Buckhaven High School he moved to the administrative side of education, becoming Senior Depute Director of Education for West Lothian (1964-70). In 1970 he returned to the school scene, as Rector of Bathgate Academy, where he remained until retiral in 1988.

In 1993 he was a General Council Assessor of Edinburgh University Court, a member of the Committee of Glasgow and West of Scotland Outward Bound Association and on the Committee of the Edinburgh Branch of the Institute of Management. Rotary, bowling, golf and the Scottish Arts Club took up what time was left.

Among other duties, he was a member of the University Central Council on Admissions, and a member of the Admiralty Interview Board. For 11 years he was a member of the Business Committee of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh, serving for 6 years as the Convener.

His major interest outside the world of education was the Scout movement, in which he was a Scottish Headquarters Commissioner for 25 years, with a special interest in the development work of the Scout Association. Ian was awarded an OBE for services to the Scouting Movement in Scotland in the 1992 New Year’s Honours List.

Ian died very suddenly at home on 9th August 1996.

At a memorial and thanksgiving service in St Columba's Church, Blackhall, tribute was paid to the great influence for good he had exerted on thousands of young lives.

Isobel MacGregor

The redevelopment of the Westport site, which gathered pace in February 2012, stirred the pupils of the Bell Baxter Publicity Group into action. They caught up with some teachers who remembered their time teaching (and even on occasions being taught) at Westport. This is one of their stories:

Mrs MacGregor arrived at Bell Baxter as an excited third year pupil. This was a time when the Junior and Senior school was divided between Westport and the current school building. When she returned to teach at the school, Mrs MacGregor particularly remembers the ‘terrors of bus duties’ on the main road, the dark, bleak corridors of the school and on rainy days, the steaminess of the dining room hut. ‘I absolutely loved teaching history in the huts,’ she commented ‘and the camaraderie of staff was great.’ Mrs MacGregor also remembers a time when the school was on three sites – Home Economics was based at Kirkgate – and so when pupils travelled between buildings teachers felt a great sense of responsibility for pupils’ safety. The current Enterprise Rent-a-Car building was where a BP garage was located, so she remembers when pupils would stop off between classes to buy sweets. ‘I have fond memories of the place and I feel quite sentimental seeing Westport coming down.’

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