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Andrew Hunter 1952-1957

Andrew HunterMy time spent at Malsis ( 1952 to 1957 ) was a marvellous part of my life.

I will never forget meeting Bernard Gadney when we first visited the school and I thought what an inspirational and impressionable person he was. A giant of a man !

The whole School was something completely new in my life and all the teachers and staff were very friendly. I soon settled in and made a group of friends. The seniors were like gods to us.

* Rugby XV 1956 - See full team photo here

My memories from my time there were:-

Mr Barbour and his Latin and Greek lessons in the library looking at books through his very thick glasses, Mr McCadam teaching Maths and I will never forget him telling us to always polish the underside of the leather sole by the heel. Good discipline from the army I think. He even came to see me once play Rugby at The Leys. Leonard Pearcy teaching piano lessons followed by Mr West being quite stern when I was learning the violin under his tuition. David Severn really making a difference with my geography which he made very interesting. He once down marked me for stating that ‘ Chicago is at the bottom of Lake Michigan’  His comment was ‘ Really’!!. Ian Scott-Clark rolling the cricket pitch  to a very high standard.Mr Gadney taking the Scout Group in the cellar and making a campsite near the gardens. We made clay ovens to cook bread and fried sausages and bacon in a pan full of rainwater! I have always remembered his knots when I am out sailing. Miss Lees who taught English and who seemed to reside under the front stairs with her books. The church services held every Sunday in the Playroom – now the library. Carpentry with Mr Dewhurst and Rose from the kitchen who always gave me a list of the Top 20 each week ! ( We were allowed gramophones and records - 78 r.p.m. and the new 45’s.). All this without forgetting Miss West. who always tried to keep us fit and well. Flu injections were the worst Aggghhh !! All the ‘away’ matches we used to go to were a great experience for some-one my age. Without doubt, the annual Gilbert and Sullivan productions in the theatre were one of the highlights. Everyone always nervous and Mr Pearcy , Mr West and Mrs Davies getting frustrated with us. Which parents would give a box of chocolates to the cast !! As a scrum half, Bernard Gadney even taught me some of his rugby skills during one of the holidays which I never forgot.

Also, being part of the Malsis Old Boys Committee for some time, we were able to give guidance to the School on matters of relevance and funds.

I could go on but all this demonstrates what a special and formative time this was in my life which I will never forget. Even now at the age of 71, those days seem like yesterday and I still have many friends from my 5 years at Malsis.

The loss of Malsis School is a major shock to me which I really hope can be rectified. How can such an institution just disappear? The fabric of the School remains – yes it does need some changes to bring it up to the standards of today. Yes - it does need an inspirational Headmaster with foresight to make these changes .Yes – it does need to fit the current educational times and meet parents aspirations. Yes – it does need money spending . I am sure it can be done but it must be sooner rather that later if it is to  stand a chance.

Andrew Hunter