Thora Paton (1955) died on 29th November 2003 in the Adamson Hospital. On leaving school Thora went to work in a local shop, but later she moved to London to take up a post with Beecham's Pharmaceuticals. Her time there was disrupted by ill health, when she began to suffer from the rheumatoid arthritis which dominated the rest of her life. She was finally forced to give up work and returned to live in Cupar, where her deteriorating health caused her to move into sheltered accommodation.
Once again a Bell Baxter pupil was chosen as one of only 10 from the whole of Scotland to travel to the Johnston Space Centre in Houston, Texas on the ‘Learning Journey’.William Patrick left on 15th October 2011 for the week-long visit. For William, the high-light was the visit to the Mission Control Room and the prototype Orion Capsule. He also met astronauts, one of whom, Gene Kranz, told the pupils to ‘Dream, aim high and never surrender’. William is now the sixth Bell Baxter pupil to have been selected for the honour, making it one of the most successful schools in Scotland. For this, congratulations must go to the Physics Department as well as to the pupils themselves.
Scott Pattie (Freuchie) was Head Monitor (3rd year) for the Session 1997-8.
Alison M Pearce
The School Captain for Session 1999-2000 was Alison Pearce from Cupar. Alison was also the Balgonie Dux Medallist for her year.
Janet F I L Pearson
Jenny Pearson entered BBS in 1936. She was the only daughter of John M Pearson, who farmed Bannaty Mill to the west of Gateside. She married David Coke, a farmer at Lacesston, near Gateside, and moved to Bridge of Earn after his death. She had a son, Robert. Her brothers were Joseph Black Pearson (qv) and Tom Pearson (qv) and Joseph Black (qv) was a cousin.
During the 1996 Easter holidays Pat Clark (née Pearson) of the PE Department and her nephew, John Pearson, who was in fifth year, undertook a sponsored cycle-run, using the West Highland Way. Although cycling is not possible in all parts of the ‘Way’, they raised £620 which was divided between the MacMillan Nurses (Fife) and the Respiratory Unit of Perth Royal Infirmary.
John is the grandson of Joseph Black Peason (qv).
Joseph Black Pearson
Joe Pearson (1940) died in hospital on 26th November 2005 after a short illness. On leaving school, Joe joined the army, where he served in the Pay-Roll Department. When he returned to civilian life, he became a clerk with Fife County Council. From there he moved to work with the Strathmiglo firm of Eric King and Skene, which manufactured embroidery threads. When this firm became Irvine Thread, he became a Director. He retired when the firm amalgamated, but immediately set about building a workshop on the end of his house. Here he made embroidered badges (such as school and club badges) for jerseys, calling his business ‘Blue Crags’. He worked until three days before he died. Joe was an enthusiastic Rugby fan and supported Howe of Fife, sponsoring the annual match with Morgan Academy FPs. He also served as Secretary and Captain of Strathmiglo village cricket team, was President of the Horticultural Society and Match Secretary of the Bowling Club, of which he was also a Past President.
Joe and his wife Bunt had a daughter, Pat, and a son, Ian, both of whom attended Bell Baxter.
During the 1996 Easter holidays Mrs Pat Clark of the PE Department and her nephew, John Pearson, who was in 5th year, undertook a sponsored cycle-run, using the West Highland Way. Although cycling is not possible in all parts of the "Way", they raised £620 which was divided between the MacMillan Nurses (Fife) and the Respiratory Unit of Perth Royal Infirmary.
Pat retired from teaching at Bell Baxter at the end of the 2008-9 Session.
Pat’s father Joe (qv) was also an FP, as was her uncle, Tom Pearson (qv).
Roy Pearson (1959 or 60) died very suddenly on 17th October 1997. He studied Art and Design at Aberdeen and set up a Design Consultancy in 1987 with two friends. He branched out on his own in 1995. He was an active member of Queen's Cross Parish Church in Aberdeen and was responsible for many of the publications issued by the Church. He worked with the Samaritans and through this work he met his wife. While at school, he learned to glide with the Air Cadets and was much involved with that sport, acting as an instructor with Deeside Gliding Club. He is survived by his wife and one daughter.
(Thanks to David Smith, Stonehaven, for sending us notification of this. David is also a member of the Deeside Club, and although Roy and he had both flown at the Club for many years and had known each other, it was only a fortnight before Roy's untimely death that they realised that they were both FPs.)
This piece appeared in Issue 2 of the FPA Newsletter in 1992.
By happy coincidence, the Midlands Centenary and a Midland man's tenure of the presidency of the Scottish Rugby Union occurred in the same year.
A farmer's son from the Howe of Fife, Tom was a pupil at Bell Baxter in the war years, and he was captain of the School XV in 1943-44. At Jordanhill College, he captained the students' side in 1945-46. He returned to Fife in 1948 to teach PE in Buckhaven High School, where he spent his entire teaching career, eventually being Principal Teacher and then Assistant Rector (Leisure).
Rugby prospered in the school during his career there, and Howe of Fife, too, prospered, as he and the club became inseparable. He was captain in 1948 and again from 1954-58, and played at wing forward for North and Midlands. He had particular influence in the success of the Howe team in the Midlands seven-a-side circuit. After his playing days were over, Tom continued for a long time to coach, particularly the seven-a- side teams.
After Presidency of Howe from 1964-66, Tom turned to refereeing. His wide experience of all aspects of the game led to involvement in the work of the SRU, to which he brought much needed fresh thinking, and he was quickly recruited to the selection committee.
During the years of his work with the SRU, the reputation of the international side grew and twice the Triple Crown was within its grasp. In 1976-77, the demanding job of convenor of the selectors became his. The severe demands this put upon him, added to the visit to the Far East in 1977 as Tour Manager, finally took a toll on his health, and a heart attack in 1980 cut short his time as a selector. Tom had a successful triple bypass operation in 1995.
But his contribution to Scottish Rugby was not yet finished. The vital work of the Coaching and Youth Development Committee came under his Convenorship in 1982-83 and for a further 4 years after that. Further illness led to retirement from Buckhaven School in 1984. This left time for golf, curling and, in particular, SRU affairs. Under his influence, youth policy became more and more important. When Tom became President of the SRU in 1988, he made clear the importance of youth involvement and the recruitment of more referees. His 50 plus years in the game have seen many changes, inconceivable to players of the 1940s. He is very strongly conscious of the importance (for the Scottish teams) of touring, and at the end of his year as President he again accompanied the Scottish team to Japan. The coincidence of his Presidency of the SRU with the centenary of Midlands rugby led to many visits to Midlands clubs, with whose welfare he is deeply concerned, for it is among them that much of his rugby life has been spent.
Since demitting office as President of the SRU Tom still continues to be father figure of the Scottish Students' Rugby Union and will accompany them to Italy in July, to the Students' Rugby World Cup. His loyalty to his local club, the Howe of Fife, is still apparent, where his administrative advice and assistance is still given willingly, and sometimes forcefully, particularly in the fields of youth and coaching, sponsorship and facilities, where in his opinion only the best is good enough.
His continued belief in the Team game is obvious, as he was a very active and influential member of The "Team Sport-Scotland" Committee, set up by the Ministry of Sport, which has produced Sports Co-ordinators, and Youth Development Officers for all Team Sports. He sincerely hopes Bell Baxter School and local Sports Clubs will avail themselves of their expertise.
His father's simple philosophy of life was: (i) Work hard at your job in hand and (ii) have interesting and creative hobbies, and work hard at them too; and find time to serve your community in some way, for the sheer satisfaction of serving. GOOD ADVICE FOR THE YOUTH OF TODAY.
He is a "Youth" member of Lundin and Upper Largo Bowling Clubs; a "crazy" member of Lundin Golf Club; an active member of Leven Curling and Wayfarers Clubs; he enjoys the rigours of gardening, and keeps fit by the vigours of walking, and to ensure he uses any other spare time advantageously, his wife Betty is taking him on an Art Course this Summer.
Tom wishes the FP Association (he was President of the FP Club in 1947/48) every success in the future.
And the Association in turn wishes him many more valuable years of active involvement in Scottish Rugby and sport generally.
Tom died on September 2010. A number of obituary notices marked his passing:
Former SRU president Tom Pearson
Howe Of Fife Rugby Club is in mourning for the loss of one of the greatest figures in its long history — the former Scottish Rugby Union president Tom Pearson, who died this week at the age of 83.
By Steve Scott, rugby correspondent
Published in the Courier : 17.09.10
Published online : 17.09.10 @ 06.51pm
Bottom of Form
Tom was synonymous with the Cupar club over six decades as a player, coach, referee, school teacher and latterly as an administrator at a national level, both in a ceremonial post as SRUpresidentin season 1988-89 but also as a hands-on innovator in developing the game in this country.
He was chairman of the Scottish selectors from 1976 to 1980 and was one of the figures behind the move to form the SRU coaching panel which installed the union's first technical director and laid the groundwork for the likes of Jim Telfer and others to succeed at a national and international level.
A PE teacher himself at Buckhaven High School, he was instrumental in forming youth rugby initiatives both at Howe, in the Midlands and at national level.
Born at Gateside and educated at Bell Baxter High in Cupar, Howe was where his heart lay and he viewed the successes of the club in recent seasons with great pride, the four successive promotions into Premier League Rugby and especially the all-conquering youth team based at the club that won the Scottish Schools Cup and Youth League three years ago.
Tom was a former principal PE teacher and assistant rector at Buckhaven and was first elected to the Scottish Rugby Union general committee as Midlands District representative in season 1969-70. He managed the Scotland tour to Japan in 1977 before ill-health caused him to retire in 1980, but he later returned as SRU president.
He and his wife Betty marked their 60th wedding anniversary this year. He is also survived by son Colin, daughter Marjorie, and three grandchildren.
From the Scottish Rugby Union website:
Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of former President of the Scottish Rugby Union and a past chairman of the Scotland selectors, Tom Pearson. He was 83.
Pearson gave a lifetime of service to the game, as player, coach, referee, school teacher and administrator and he was never happier than in recent years while watching a resurgent Howe of Fife at his beloved Duffus Park in Cupar.
Born in Gateside, Fife and educated at Bell Baxter High School in Cupar, Pearson was a former principal PE teacher and assistant rector at Buckhaven High School and was first elected to the Scottish Rugby Union general committee as Midlands District representative in season 1969-70.
Pearson, as befitting his background in education, was a staunch advocate of youth rugby and chaired a number of Union initiatives to increase the scope of youth rugby.
He was chairman of the Scotland selectors between 1976 and 1980 and recovered from ill-health to become President of the Scottish Rugby Union in season 1988-89.
He celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Scottish Rugby extends its sincere sympathies to his wife Betty, son Colin, daughter Marjorie, three grandchildren and all Tom’s friends.
Tributes pour in as 'Mr Howe of Fife' Tom Pearson dies at 83
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SCOTTISH rugby lost another great servant yesterday with the death of Tom Pearson, known across the country as 'Mr Howe of Fife', after a long illness, aged 83.
Pearson was a wing-forward and scrum-half for the Cupar rugby club and would go on to be captain, coach and president, but it was as an enthusiastic administrator that he became more widely known and respected. David Rollo, who won 40 caps in the front row for Scotland out of Howe of Fife RFC, only started playing rugby at the age of 19 and said yesterday that Pearson was an inspiration.
"He was a great mentor and really was 'Mr Howe of Fife' to me," he said. "He guided me through my career really. In his playing days, when he was captain, everything revolved around him and everyone appreciated how he handled players.
"He always had time to listen to you as a player, and give you his report, without ducking the criticism.
"There were no coaches then and you were made captain because of what you knew about the game, and Tom knew what he was doing.
"He also had great expertise in the sevens game and was a major influence on sport at Buckhaven and developing rugby at the Howe and further afield with his work at the SRU.
"I still remember how he would encourage boys from Buckhaven to come over the hill to the Howe to play, but whatever age they got to they still called him 'Sir, not 'Mr Pearson' and certainly not 'Tom'. He held that respect."
Pearson was elected as the North and Midlands representative on the SRU in 1969 and, after playing a key role in the creation of new coaching models, he took over as the chairman of selectors for the national team and appointed Nairn MacEwan as Scotland coach in 1977.
Jim Telfer, the former Scotland coach and director of rugby, recalled: "Tom was one of the originators of the SRU coaching panel that would establish the first coaching courses nationally and regionally.
"We had a very good coaching advisory panel with a number of PE teachers closely involved, and he was part of the SRU when it appointed the first technical director John Roxburgh.
"Other sports in Scotland went on to copy what that panel had done with the SRU and we had visitors from across the British Isles and Europe coming to the courses. I remember Tom as a hard-working chap who was a stickler for details and high standards."
Ian McLauchlan, the Scotland prop and now SRU president, said: "Tom was our team manager on the tour of Japan in 1977 and he had a big input into the SRU at that time. Tom was a very dedicated rugby man, who served the union very well and an altogether decent lad."
A PE teacher and latterly assistant rector at Buckhaven High School, where he was credited with widening the PE curriculum, Pearson suffered a heart attack in 1980, and stood down from the SRU.
Tom Pearson; Former president of the Scottish Rugby Union
Published in the Glasgow Herald on 16 Sep 2010
Tom Pearson, who has died aged 83, was a teacher whose love of rugby eventually saw him rise to be chairman of the national selectors and president of the Scottish Rugby Union.
He was a stalwart of the game in Fife, making these rather sombre days for the sport in Kingdom, with his death coming hard on the heels of that of Dunfermline-born former Scotland captain Jim Greenwood.
Mr Pearson was known across the country as Mr Howe of Fife but, while his commitment to the Cupar club was absolute, he left his mark further afield, as a teacher, player, coach, referee and administrator. In this last capacity, he rose from being the Midlands district representative on the Scottish Rugby Union to president of the union in 1988-1989.
Born in Gateside, Fife, he was educated at Bell Baxter High School in Cupar, before going on to Jordanhill College to study PE. Shortly after qualifying, he obtained a post on the staff at Buckhaven High School, where he rose to become head of PE and assistant head teacher prior to his retirement.
His National Service in the immediate post-war period saw him continue his teaching career, with the Army Education Corps, based at Elie, in his native Fife.
Like so many rugby-playing PE teachers, he worked tirelessly to recruit youngsters into the game and guide them towards clubs, particularly Howe, where he was a small but vital cog, either as a flying flanker or tenacious scrum half, operating behind a pack of mainly robust farmers.
His form with Howe, the club he also captained, won him representative honours with the Midlands district and, among the young men whom he inspired in the game was Dave Rollo, who would go on to become Howe’s first internationalist.
On retiring from playing, perhaps under the influence of international referee Douglas McMahon, his head teacher at Buckhaven, he took up the whistle as a referee, and was also one of the first Scottish club coaches.
But it was after being nominated as Midlands district representative to the SRU in 1969 that he really began to have an influence on the game beyond Fife.
He was one of the driving forces behind the SRU’s conversion to coaching and, with his background in education, was a key figure in setting up the SRU’s coaching courses and guidelines.
In 1976, Mr Pearson was elected chairman of the national selectors, a post he held until 1980, only standing down after suffering a heart attack.
He recovered from this setback, however, and, following his retirement from teaching in 1985, he returned to Murrayfield’s corridors of power, initially as youth convener, a post for which he was tailor-made, and was SRU president in 1988-89.
He never lost touch with his Howe of Fife roots and was a regular supporter at Duffus Park until the end of his life, particularly relishing the recent successes of the Howe of Fife youth XVs, which he had worked so hard to create.
Away from rugby, in his younger days he had swapped Howe’s blue and white hoops for cricketing whites, with Cupar Cricket Club, who shared Duffus Park. He also curled but, after he retired from cricket, camping and hillwalking became increasingly important passions.
Every summer the Pearson family would load up the car and head for Europe, to walk and soak up the sun, these summer trips would then be recalled over the winter with the Wayfarers Club, a local society, dedicated to touring and camping. The final years of this dedicated rugby man were made harder by illness. He died in Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Infirmary.
He and his widow, Betty, recently celebrated their diamond anniversary and they had a son, Colin; a daughter, Marjorie; and three grandchildren.
Former president of the Scottish Rugby Union;
Born October 4, 1926; Died September 14, 2010.
This obituary notice appeared in the FPA Newsletter Issue 39:
Tom Pearson (1937) died on 14th September 2010. On leaving School Tom went to Jordanhill to train as a PE Teacher. While he was there he played goal-keeper in the Football Team and captained the Rugby Team. He joined the staff of Buckhaven High School as a PE teacher and latterly became Assistant Rector. He introduced a wide variety of sports to the School, convinced that sport should play a part in every child's education. His active involvement in Scottish Rugby continued unabated throughout his career and after his retirement. He captained Howe of Fife for 5 years and was selected to play for North and Midlands. He was President of Howe of Fife from 1965-67. He was Midlands representative in the SRU and played a vital part in the development of Rugby as a hands-on innovator in developing the game in this country. He was chairman of the Scottish selectors from 1976 to 1980 and was one of the figures behind the move to form the SRU coaching panel which installed the union's first technical director and laid the groundwork for the likes of Jim Telfer and others to succeed at national and international level. He was Chairman of Selectors throughout the 1970s at a time when many very distinguished players were around.
A PE teacher himself at Buckhaven High School, he was instrumental in forming youth rugby initiatives both at Howe, in the Midlands and at national level. Born at Gateside and educated at Bell Baxter High in Cupar, Howe was where his heart lay and he viewed the successes of the club in recent seasons with great pride, the four successive promotions into Premier League Rugby and especially the all- conquering youth team based at the club that won the Scottish Schools Cup and Youth League three years ago. Tom was first elected to the Scottish Rugby Union general committee as Midlands District representative in season 1969-70. He managed the Scotland tour to Japan in 1977 before ill-health caused him to retire in 1980, but he later returned as SRU president in 1988-89. This was the time when the team was creating the platform on which their 1990 Grand Slam was founded. He and his wife Betty marked their 60th wedding anniversary this year. He is also survived by a son and a daughter and was predeceased by another son some years ago.