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Douglas High School for Boys

Class of 1959 Reunited 40 years on

The reunion included a dinner at the Masonic Hall and a tour of what is now St Ninian's High School. About 90 former pupils went to the reunion, including a number who returned to the Island for the weekend. They included Graham Haddock from Middlesex, Eddie Jepson, from Holland, John Whitaker, from York, John Mills, from Cheshire, Roy Christian, from Wirral, David Cowell, from Warwickshire, Billy, Creer, from Manchester, Ashton Gill, from Surrey. William Hayfield, from Bury, Jonathan Chandler, from Manchester and Colin Marling, from Northampton. The other former pupils from the 1959 intake still live in the Island but some had not seen each other since leaving school 35 years ago.

The top table guests incluned ten former teachers - back row - George Quayle (Head Master St. Ninian's High School) Frank Gregory, Frank (Slipper) Smith, Bob Forster,John Slater, John Timson, Fred Goddin, Lawrie Morrissey, - front row - Erie Colville, Win Musgrove, Mrs. Chandler and Rev. John Chandler.


Many other teachers from the 1959-64 period sent their greetings which were read out by former pupil, Manx Independent columnist, Peter Kelly. He went on to list many of the teachers, reminding the audience of nicknames and amusing incidents and on a more somber note, he listed the former pupils who had died.

Former history master Bob Forster, who later became head teacher of the Queen Elizabeth 11 High School, Peel, confessed to his former pupils that when a teacher carrying out a caning told the pupil it would 'hurt me more than it hurts you', they were not being completely truthful.

Howard Hilton proposed a toast to the old school and jokingly asked what happened to all the sweets confiscated by Frank 'Slipper' Smith, and whether they went to his wife, who was a dental nurse. Present head teacher of St Ninian's George Quayle, a former pupil, gave the reply and commented it was probably the last reunion he would attend where he was the youngest present.

The next morning Mr Quayle gave a guided tour around St Ninian's to about 40 pupils, explaining the changes which had taken place. For some the highlight was to sit at their old desk position, for others It was to go through a door which had always been locked, behind it pupils knew, was a spiral staircase, but they did not know where it went to. All was revealed on Sunday - it went to the astronomical observatory, Bruce Hannay confessed he had been there before, Peter Sumner said he knew how to pick the lock, 'and as prefects we would go up there to play cards..' he revealed.

Following the success of the reunion it was decided not to wait another 40 years and to hold them on a more regular basis. The chance to purchase a special commerative school tie was offered to all present.

Who Was There?

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