Thank you to Ian Jones, former King's Park pupil, who suggested that we set up an Alumni page for all past students to trade life stories, and maybe even cast some pearls of wisdom from around the world for the students to expand their horizons for their futures.
Also, click on the Achievers UK logo above, for information about former pupils of King's Park Secondary and their achievements.
Dr Colin Millar – started at King’s Park Comprehensive, 1964. - Colin Millar 17/11/2011 22:21:15
I was one of the first intake to go from KP Primary to the new Secondary in Simshill in 1963. It was a vibrant place that reflected the swingin’ sixties, with brilliant teachers and great enthusiasm all-round for the comprehensive system. I’ve forgotten many teachers’ names now, but we had a great Science teacher who let us build (and then demonstrate on the girls’ hockey pitch in play) rocket-powered model cars; a French teacher (“Beaky” Boyce) who rather loved his garlic; and a lady German teacher whose long legs and short skirt I fell in love with. To be 15 in the 60’s was awesome! Joking apart, these people were exceptionally talented and inspirational. By the looks of the website, that tradition seems to be continuing today. One other notable classmate from that era was footballer Willie Donnachie, who played for Scotland, and was (and probably still is) in management in England, often with Joe Royal.
Only a few of the class went on to University (it was not as common a progression as it is today), but others embarked on great careers in, for example, the Civil Service and in Business. I went to Glasgow Uni to do a 4-year course in Electronics. This I found quite difficult, but the foundation in Maths, Science and English at KP served me well. I stayed on to complete a PhD in the related field of optics – using light rather than electrons in circuits. I was extremely lucky that I was in at the start of the use of optics in communications, and joined the Post Office Research Centre - which became BT Research Laboratories - at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Based on an experimental WW2 airfield where the first Spitfires flew and Douglas Bader was based, this had a great history in innovation which continues to this day. I worked with a great team of exceptional people developing and finally testing the world’s first optical fibre system between the Laboratories and the towns of Ipswich and Woodbridge. I spent a happy 24 years there, travelled the world, and progressed in my career to become a Chartered Engineer and Physicist, and by being honoured as a visiting Professor at the University of Bournemouth.
This success allowed me to take a voluntary package to retire early from BT at the age of 50. But I kept on working by creating a consultancy business – Millar Associates – and a healthcare research business called Bio-Care Systems Ltd. I’m certain that the confidence and ambition given to me when at school was crucial in making these transitions. Now nearing 60, I’ve finally hung up my working boots. I look back with great fondness of my time at King’s Park. Education like that is SPECIAL , and I guarantee that it will stand you all in great stead in the future.
The great commentator Fyfe Robertson once came to the School to give a pep-talk at a Prizegiving.
“ You are at the best school in the best area of the best city in the best country in the world”
That is to say that you are not enjoying the most-privileged education as in Hutchie or Eton, but that, when put together, you have a fantastic launch-pad to compete in the world. And, in my modest experience, you can.
Never Give Up - Roy Summers 03/08/2011 16:07:52
I was a pupil at the old King's Park School, and was fortunate to be in the 'move' to the new school at Simshill. I wasted my years at school, messing about. I stayed on until my 6th year and still only had a few O levels to show for it. Eventually I decided I wanted to be a Press photographer but couldn't get a job. I was fortunate to be offered a job as a Medical photographer in Glasgow University. It was photographing dead bodies and the previous three recipients of the post had only lasted one day. I got the job, stuck in to studying and after 5yrs became the senior photographer in Physiology at Glasgow University. A few years later I moved to Oban to work in the Marine Research Laboratory as Senior Photographer. I learned to dive, and take underwater photographs. After 14 years I left to run my own Studio and eventually was offered a job with the Oban Times. I now had the Press job I wanted, but it got better. The Oban Times bought Scottish Field Magazine and transferred me to Edinburgh to work as Chief Photographer, a few years ago they bought SCOTS heritage magazine and I now do most of the photographs for both magazines. I believe I have the best job in Scotland. I am supposed to retire this year but hope to stay on for a few more years. It took me over 20 years to get the job I always wanted but the hard work was worth it. Never Give Up!