The vacancy caused by Mr. Dewar’s resignation was filled by the appointment of Mr. James W. Chadwin, M.A., BA., L-ès-L., Depute Rector and Principal Teacher of Modern Languages in Glasgow High School for Boys. Mr. Chadwin, on taking office, was not faced with a need for drastic reconstruction. He had to consolidate, and here and there to modify, in the light of altered conditions. The acute problem of accommodation was to some extent relieved when the severe building restrictions of war-time were relaxed. In the spring and summer of 1950 the Domestic Science Department was at last adequately housed and a new dining-hall with proper facilities was opened. When the Rector was given the option of turning the old one into a library or having it made into another classroom, he had no hesitation in choosing the library and satisfying a crying need in the school.
A further step was taken in adjusting the curriculum to conform with modern trends in educational practice. Two periods of instruction at the playing fields in games and athletics were provided weekly during school hours for every class in the school.
One other important matter remains to be recorded. At the end of the First World War money had been raised for a War Memorial to Former Pupils, and it was decided that the most fitting way to remember them was to use this money in helping to provide playing fields for the school. As it was not possible to acquire the exclusive use of a sports ground, the school became a partner in the Fort Matilda Playing Fields Union. After the Second World War a plaque was erected in the school hall to commemorate the former pupils who had fallen in both wars and a special prize fund was instituted. The plaque was unveiled in 1950, the ceremony being performed by Miss J. Allison MacGillivray. The sum of money raised was sufficient to endow War Memorial Prizes throughout the whole school. It is appropriate at this point to mention that the generosity of the Parents’ Association in gathering together a substantial sum as a Centenary Prize Fund will relieve the school of any further responsibility for providing for an adequate number of prizes.
Finally, mention must be made of several teachers who have left the school in recent years after long and worthy service. In 1949, Mr. Alex. Dunlop, a mathematician of distinction and a teacher of great ability, resigned. The same year saw the retiral of Mr. Barr Turner, Principal Art Teacher, and of Mr. James Gunn, Head of the Handwork Department. These two had been associated with the Academy for twenty-eight and thirty-eight years respectively. In recent months the school has been deprived of the services of Dr Percy Elton, from whose notable musicianship it has benefited since 1925. A saddening event was the death in 1951 of Mr. T. M. Wylie, who had managed the Science Department with outstanding success since 1930 and had started many brilliant scientists on their careers.
The Academy is a hundred years old and that, in itself, would mean very little if we felt it had outlived its purpose, or that its character could be radically altered without loss to the community, or that, if it disappeared, another, any other school, could take its place. A survey of its growth and development leads to opposite conclusions. That, over a century, it has produced, for its size, a surprising number of notable men is some evidence of its scholastic standing. What is equally important is that its living tradition of service, self-reliance, and a communal spirit has influenced thousands of its pupils to the benefit of their town and of their country. Centenary celebrations are a tribute to our predecessors whose worth we estimate from a vantage point in time: may those who celebrate the bi-centenary find a retrospect as rewarding as ours.