Mr. Peter Moncrieff – born in Perth in 1928, he grew up in the prison quarters of Perth Prison where his father Alex worked as a prison officer.
A keen football fan he started playing for the 12th Perth District BB Company and later was a founder member of Kinnoull Junior Football Club – playing with them for 18 seasons. The team still play today in the Perthshire leagues.
In 1950, he graduated from Edinburgh University with a BSC in Chemistry and then went on to do a one-year teacher training course at Moray House, followed by two years national service, based in the educational core at Harrogate. He then took up his first teaching post at Goodlyburn Primary School in Perth, before moving on to become head teacher at Aberuthven and then onto Mallaig.
In 1970 Peter took up a post at Rutherglen’s Stonelaw High School where he remained for four years before accepting a job at Blantyre High. Full of optimism at his new role, he realised it was short lived upon discovering the dilapidated state of the Blantyre building with unfinished classrooms, leaking roofs and no heating. As well as enduring staff shortages it was to be a challenging first year with the school.
However, the following August he returned to a full complement of staff and a new building at Boswell Drive and quickly settled into life at Blantyre High. Often lending his spare time to assist with after school activities, work experience, outings and school sports, he was delighted when his hard work paid off and the school was upgraded to sixth year status in 1976 with a role increase to 1150.
He was often seen out in the playground with a megaphone, the most effective means of communicating with pupils en masse.
Known as Monty, he knew each and every one of his pupils by name and earned great respect and affection from staff, students and the Blantyre community, finally retiring in 1991.
Away from school life he became a member of the Lanarkshire Philatetic Society in 1975, governor with the David Livingstone Trust in the mid 1970’s and became involved with the Children’s Panel in North Lanarkshire.
In 1990, he became a founder member of Blantyre Rotary Club and the following year was named International Convener of the Malawi Educational Project, later receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for outstanding achievement. He played bowls with Hamilton Bowling Club, returned to golf and loved to watch St Johnstone play – especially against Hamilton Accies.
In 2009, he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.
Peter died on August 31st 2012, aged 84 at his home in Machline Court, Hamilton having lived a full, active and rewarding life. He left behind his wife Vera – his first wife Doreen had passed away in the 1980’s – children Sandy, Duncan and Morag: step children Kirsty, Kenneth and Jackie and grandchildren Peter, Victoria, Katie, Sarah, Connor, Kerr and Benicio.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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