Heaadmaster's Logbook, December 1941


Headmaster’s Logbook, December 1941


December 1941

Headmaster – Dr William Barry

Dec 4th, 1941

‘Mr Donaldson, Headmaster of Croy, called this afternoon for consultation re pupils from Croy to be promoted at this time. Examined Repetition in Ia during periods 3-4-5 today and speech training.

Janitor reported to me an accident that had occurred to a little boy, Gerald McTiernan, during interval at 10.50am, when running in playground. Pupil, aged 9, had rubber Wellingtons on, without stockings and left foot was badly cut against sharp stone. Sent him to Dr Van Bavel for treatment and reported same to Director.’

Dec 8th

‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Church Holiday. School closed today.

Copy of Letter received from Commander Duffeth, R.N. H.M.S.”King George V”

                                                                   “H.M.S. “King George V”

                                                                      c/o G.P.O. London

                                                                         7th December, 1941

“Dear Sir,

          At a recent meeting today of the Ship’s Canteen Committee, a body controlling the disposal of the ship’s fund, it was approved to provide a prize or trophy to St Ninian’s School to be awarded for any purpose you might consider best.

          It would be appreciated if you let me know in what form you would like this appreciation of the good work your school has done for this ship to date.

          With best wishes, and the thanks of all in the ship.

                   Yours sincerely,

                             C. Duffeth.

                                 Commander R.N.” ‘

Dec 11th

‘Miss Ryan resumed duty today, having been absent since Monday, owing to death of father. Examined Ic in repetition etc.

Dec 17th

‘Had a note from a parent complaining about her little girl being punished for not knowing her Catechism answer. Having enquired into the matter and heard the teacher’s explanation, I drew her attention to the Regulation 5(e) re Corporal Punishment issued to all teachers in this School. The teacher in question admitted having a copy of same, but had forgotten about it. As this is the lowest class of the Junior department I instructed the teacher not to inflict corporal punishment in future without my sanction. Spoke to all Primary Classes & Teachers about punishment for ignorance of Religious Knowledge and later to Sec. Teachers regarding Regulation 5(e) of Discipline in this School.’

Dec 18th

‘Wrote Commander Duffeth, thanking him and his Committee, and suggesting that “a Shield, made from a shell casing, would be very acceptable, not alone for its intrinsic worth but also for its close association with your great Ship and its personnel during the very memorable and historic times in which we live...Your trophy, however, would serve an entirely different purpose: it would have inscribed on it, annually, the name of the pupil, boy or girl, who, in the opinion of Staff and Pupils, did most to raise the standard of the School during the session. All pupils in the Secondary Department would be eligible. The pupil chosen might not be the best in intellectual attainment or capacity or in athletic prowess, but would have to be one who, during the session, had exercised in his own way the widest influence for good on his fellow pupils; who had at all times spoken up and, if necessary, stood up for whatsoever was fine and manly and lovely and of good report; who had never tried to be popular but only did his duty and helped others to do theirs; who had raised the moral and religious tone of the School by his example and so had merited having his name graven on the –

           H.M.S. “King George V” Shield of Honour.” ‘

Dec 19th

‘Today (Friday) I attended the Sheriff Court, Dumbarton to give evidence in the prosecution, by the local S.M. Committee of the parent of W.L., Waterside, a pupil in class IIc. Sheriff Burns presided. I was first witness and explained the procedure in marking Registers in the Secondary Dept. When the 12 Registers are marked, I go through them and issue Absentee Cards to the Attendance Officer in respect of pupils in this area who are absent. I was asked what reasons this boy had given when he returned to School and was seen, like others, by me. This excuse was either sick, late or missed the bus. The parent, when asked if he wished to question me on any point, replied that he accepted all I had said.

The Attendance Officer – Mr Alex Donald – was the next witness and declared that accused had not attended meetings of the S.M. Committee to which he had been summoned for his boy’s absence. The Sheriff said, on hearing that it was the accused’s wife who usually attended, “he was there by ‘proxy’.“ When questioned, the Attendance Officer admitted seeing accused on the road and never mentioning to him that his son was absent. The parent in the witness-box denied knowing anything about his son’s absence, he had never been in Court in his life, had had nine children through the School and as this boy had but four days to go (eligible to leave on 24/12/41) surely he was not going to be punished now.

The Sheriff spoke a few words about an educated democracy and the facilities provided to ensure same, but he accepted “unreservedly” all the parent had said, and found him “Not Guilty”. [This lad, during the 83 weeks he had been here from Gartconner School, had 64 broken and had lost in all half-a-year’s schooling.]

The pupils’ dance – Third Year upwards & F.P.s of past three years to number of 180 – was held on 17th December 1941. Rev. Dr. Tennant and Frs Hamill, Connelly and Dunn attended. Music was purveyed by F.P.s and a friend.

The Infants – 216 in all – had their Xmas Party in the Hall on Tuesday, 23/12/41 from 2 to 3.30pm. They had tea, tea-bread etc provided by the Infants’ teachers.’

Dec 24th

‘This School closed today at 1.30pm for Xmas & New Year Holidays. Prior to breaking up, a concert was given by the girls of Classes Ia & Ib and included:

“The Trout” (Schubert), “Good Christian Men Rejoice”, “An Old Carol”, “The First Nowell”, Piano Soles and Sole Songs viz: “The Rowan Tree”, “The Meeting of the Waters”, “The Grandfather’s Clock” and “Ave Maria” and a Recitation.

Prizes were distributed in connection with K.G.V Fund to which over £50 had been contributed since 1st Sept ’41. War Savings Certificates to the value of £1,000 had been purchased up to date. The Headmaster intimated that he had sent a cheque for fifteen guineas to the Anglican Chaplain of the “K.G.V.” to buy comforts etc for the sailors. Rev. Dr. Tennant addressed the pupils and urged them to persevere in their application to study. He wished Teachers and Pupils a Happy Xmas & Merry New Year!’


‘ Headmaster received on 29th Dec 1944 the following letter from Captain Wilfrid Patterson, H.M.S. “King George V”.

                                                                   Christmas Day, 1941

Dear Mr Barry,

          Thank you so much for your very kind letter and the most interesting book. Will you also please thank the Staff and School from me? I have just been listening to the King’s Speech & was much moved by it. When I wished the sailors a happy Christmas this morning I told them I hoped the Christmas message of Peace and Goodwill would be back on earth and amongst the nations next year & and that we should have our next Christmas at home. In the meantime we would continue to keep that spirit of goodwill, which we already have on board the “King George V”.

          I like to know that we share it with St Ninian’s.

          Again many thanks and every good wish to you, the Staff and the School for 1942.

                   Yours sincerely,

                             Wilfrid Patterson.’