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Ken McHardy (1964-1973)

Ken was born in Fonthill Maternity Home in 1955 and first lived in a tenement attic in Causewayend that would in due course be replaced by an arc of the Mounthooly Roundabout. In 1959 he moved to the first of two homes in Kincorth as the Council strove to accommodate the City’s baby boomers. He started school at Rosewood Infant then Kirkhill Primary. He began 9 years at AGS on entering Jimmy Morrison’s Lower School in Primary 5, one of 7 boys from across the city who had competed successfully for a few additional places there. He was a successful student, and represented various year groups at football, cricket, rugby and hockey winning full hockey colours and captaining the Cricket 1st XI in his final year. He learned to play the pipes in the School’s CCF Pipe Band, holding the rank of Pipe Major (1970-73) and, supported by his AGS science teachers, achieved 3rd place in the 1973 Aberdeen University Bursary Competition.

He studied medicine at the University of Aberdeen graduating MBChB in 1978. He trained in Aberdeen and Inverness as a hospital physician specialising in diabetes, including two spells as a university lecturer. A major research project on insulin and metabolism led to his graduating MD in 1990. From 1993 he was Consultant in Diabetes in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, with additional General Medical duties until 2007. He progressively increased his interest in education of professionals and had sessional commitments as Associate Postgraduate Dean in the North of Scotland from 2002. He was Lead Clinician for adult diabetes services in Grampian, 2007-14, and retired from full-time practice in 2015, doing sessional work for a further three years.

He met Sallie, an Occupational therapist from Yorkshire, in their shared first week at work in Ward 4 ARI. They married in 1983 and have lived in Kingswells for 30 years. Their son, Charlie, is a keen ultra-marathon runner who after 10 years in oil engineering is moving into science teaching; he has two sons. Their elder daughter, Ailsa, is an RGU Dietetics lecturer and runs an online consultation business; her daughter is due to become a big sister in May. Younger daughter, Caitlin, an engineering graduate went on to study primary education and is currently teaching in Aberdeen; she gets married in September ‘22.

Since retirement Ken has done more gardening and bird-watching – and can still get a tune out of his pipes. He worked with the late David Northcroft, his first English teacher at AGS in 1967, on his Aberdeen Lives oral history books, and has been researching, writing and presenting on the major contributions of AGS former pupils in the history of diabetes.

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