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Chapter 12: The Grammarian Fair & the Amenities Fund

Less than a year after the disappointment over the Sept-centenary plans, a fresh matter engaged the attention of the Executive which was to prove of great benefit to the School. Dr. Gilbert Hamilton (1921-30) put forward a suggestion to the Executive on 22nd June 1955 that the Club might do more to assist the School, and he proposed the establishment of a School Purposes Account. It was known that changes were about to be made in the framework of the Aberdeen Endowments Trust, and the Rector confirmed that the School would lose a sum of £150 each year, being money which could be spent at the Rector’s discretion. There was evident agreement about the idea and the meeting unanimously adopted a motion that they “approve in general principle the establishment of a Special School Purposes Account, and that steps be taken to raise the necessary funds”.

With hindsight it is interesting to note from the Minutes of that meeting that the view was expressed that it would not be difficult to raise a Capital Fund of at least £1,000. The Chairman’s Committee was instructed to explore the idea and report back with recommendations to a meeting at the end of August. Not only did that Committee have a detailed report, with proposals for a Fair to be held in the Music Hall organised jointly by the Club and the School – they had a provisional booking of the Music Hall for Saturday 23rd June 1956. It was agreed that funds be raised by such a Fair, including a large-scale Raffle, and also by letter Appeal to all members of the Club. Mrs. A. H. Gray, wife of the recently retired Head of the Mathematics Department, was appointed Fair Convener, with Miss Beatrice Brown of the School Staff and Joseph Carry (1918-30), Chairman of the Executive, as Vice-Conveners, Douglas Patterson (1929-36) as Secretary and James Munro (1922-28) as Treasurer. An energetic group of parents, staff, members of the FP Sections and individual FPs engaged in much pre-Fair fund-raising as well as in preparation for the Fair itself.

The day of the Fair was one of tremendous activity and infectious enthusiasm. The result, far surpassing the cautious view referred to earlier, was £5,366.11s.5d after all expenses were paid, forming a very substantial capital sum for the new Fund, which it was decided would be known as the School Amenities Fund. Terms for the operation of the Fund were speedily agreed. The Deed of Trust was drawn with great care to ensure that the Fund, vested in the Club’s three principal officials, remains for all time independent of the Education Authority. The Fund is administered by a Committee comprising four FPs, two Staff members (one being the Rector and the other elected by the Staff), and one Parent, who must not be a Former Pupil or married to one. The capital of the Fund has suffered some erosion over the years and its income is augmented each year by grants from the Club and the Club Centre. The Fund has been augmented recently from a number of sources, including the profit on David Yule’s book 1256 & All That. Grants are made annually to fund the activities of School extra-curricular clubs and to help with the travel costs of School sports teams. In session 2007-08 grants to the School amounted to £2700.

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