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According to President Mike Dow a “stalwart” is recognised as “a loyal, reliable, and hard-working supporter of or participant in an organisation or team”.
That, he continued, applied most certainly to George McIntosh, one of the founder members of the Rotary Club of Kilrymont 26 years ago.
Modestly, George got to his feet to give what he described as “A Belated Job Talk – Tales Of The Unexpected”.
He took an entertaining and comedic route through his beginnings as a lad in Dundee to his retiral as a teacher a year or two back.
His grandfather and father had both been railway workers, so on leaving school George followed in the family tradition and had a job interview to be an assistant ticket collector. Whereupon the interviewer suggested there were better careers to be had and recommed a place in Dundee Technical College to train as an engineer.
Which he duly went for, leading to several years doing sciences of one kind or another. Then, said George, he had delusions of grandeur and applied for a job with the Atomic Energy Authority. He got the position and travelled to a number of venues, which included the nuclear plant at Windscale in Cumbria where plutonium was produced.
His stint there ended when he was asked to do some work by climbing inside the 300ft radioactive chimney. Not surprisingly, he declined the offer - and the job!
Next stop was the Electricity Board, based in Stirling, then a move to Glasgow where George and his new wife Jean rented a flat in Sauchiehall Street – from the sinisterly named landlady, Mrs McGrottie.
Then it was Newcastle to work in a manufacturing plant, then back to the north. “I had this grand title working in Stirling again as ‘a 4th assistant engineer’. Not exactly the boss,“ recalled George.
A radical change of plan then sent George on a different career route. He joined what was called The Scottish Special Teachers Recruitment Scheme and was accepted for teacher training in engineering subjects.
Said George, “My first teaching job was in Coupar Angus. I chose that school because I had been the told the chef there made great steak pies!”
After qualifying George went back to Dundee as a teacher in Kirkton High School, followed in 1967 by an offer to got to the High School in Dundee as a maths teacher.
His experiences there allowed him to seek promotion and in 1974 he was invited to open his own department at Waid High School, Anstruther.
This enabled George to put an end to his peripatetic lifestyle and remain at Waid for 25 years, where he was popular with his students. Particularly those whom he chose not to strike with his “Lochgelly Heavy” – the belt! In fact, he never used that teacher’s implement.
After retiral, George was invited to help out as an exam invigilator at both Dundee High and Madras College for a 10-year spell.
Since full retiral George worked to reduce his golf handicap, but was saddened to report it is rising quickly again.
Giving a vote of thanks for an amusing and interesting account, Isobel Clifford noted that George’s career choices had been strongly influenced by steak pies and three-course meals. A comment which George did not dispute!
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