Tribute to teacher

Kirriemuir man Hamish McTaggart, who died peacefully last Friday.
Kirriemuir man Hamish McTaggart, who died peacefully last Friday.

WARM tribute has been paid to former Brechin High School teacher Mr Hamish McTaggart of Kirriemuir, who died peacefully at Ninewells Hospital last Friday at the age of 62 (writes Janet Thomson).

A dedicated teacher for over 30 years he not only nurtured the pupils in the classroom but was instrumental in organising ski-ing trips for the pupils over the years as well as running a badminton club.

Born in Grantown on Spey, he spent his earlier years in Banff before going on to study geography at Aberdeen University.

After completing his teacher’s training he took up his first post as teacher of geography at Brechin High School, where he was to teach until his retiral.

During his career he spent a spell as principal geography teacher and was active in teaching pupils to ski, organising numerous trip to Glenshee, Aviemore and Italy which, over the years, involved hundreds of Brechin High School pupils.

He was also an advisory member with the ATC in Brechin and was also heavily involved in raising funds for charity, including Wateraid, Sports Relief and Red Nose Day.

Away from teaching Hamish (pictured right) was a keen golfer and skier. He was a member of the Kirriemuir Operatic Society and Kirriemuir Golf Club, where he met his wife, Denise.

After they married in 1979 the couple set up home at Careston and also lived in Brechin and Montrose, before settling in Kirriemuir.

Hamish is survived by his wife Denise and their three children – David, Yvonne and Michael.

His funeral takes place this Friday at 12.15 pm at the Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, thereafter to Parkgrove Crematorium, Friockheim, arriving at 1.30 pm.

Donations, if desired, will be accepted for the British Heart Foundation.

In paying tribute to his former colleague, Steve Dempsey, head teacher at Brechin High School, described Hamish as “a gentleman”.

He said: “Hamish joined the staff at Brechin High School in August 1972 as a teacher of geography and later being promoted to the post of Principal Teacher of Geography.

“At his retiral in 2010, he was the longest serving member of the teaching staff at Brechin High School. Parents who were taught by Hamish remembered him with great fondness after he retired and frequently asked about him. Hamish was a dedicated colleague who was a complete professional in the way he went about his job.

“He was universally popular and respected by the whole school community. He contributed to extra curricular activities throughout his teaching career, being keen on sport and a regular participant in staff sporting events. He was a keen supporter of the Brechin High School’s involvement in the Cairngorm National Park project. He touched the lives of many young people and he will be sorely missed by the school and local community.”