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Albert Road Academy
Page 18

The following photos were submitted on behalf of Irene Kirkland, (nee Armour) who attended our school 1927-39. At the time of the submissions, December 2012, Irene was 90 years old and using a computer. Irene wrote the descriptive notations by hand...we hope they are placed correctly. Thank you, Irene, and your daughter Fiona for these treasures.

Irene Armour, Margaret Walker, Christine Johnson, Flora Black

Sports Day, held at Hagg's Estate

School trip to France (St. Malo) 1938. French teacher Miss Hepburn. Had a great time..

School trip to Western Isles as far as St. Kilda. Teacher Mr. Andrew Crawfod. I think the ship was called The Tascania.

We are saddened to report that former pupil Irene Kirkland, nee Armour, who provided us with the great photos above, passed away on April 4th, 2013, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Irene was 91 years old and was still using her computer up to a few months before her death. We are grateful to her daughter Fiona Steele for the photo to the left and the copy of her mother's obituary.

Extracted from Obituary of Mary Irene Kirkland:

"Irene was a long standing member of Canadian Girl Guides as a Girl Guide leader and as a Division Commissioner. She volunteered for many years at Chedoke Hospital and was the recipient of the Ontario Governor General's Volunteer Award".

Shalom, Tom


It is with great sadness we must announce the passing of one of our most reknowned former pupils,Tom Berman. Tom died, as the result of an accident, whilst on a trip to the Galapagos Islands in April 2013. We cannot begin to describe what an influence this dedicated, distinguished scientist had on the world, one need only Google his name to see a part of it. But Tom was also a poet, philanthropist and loving family man. He will be missed in all those fields of endeavour. We are grateful for our brief connection to this brilliant man. In the annals of academie his name is dutifully etched. In our short experience, he will be remembered as a humble, joyful friend and classmate who impacted our lives with his special gift of sharing an obvious love of life.



ARA Reunion 2003

As an adjunct to the above announcement, I have chosen to add a copy of Tom's poem, The Leather Suitcase, which was published inTom's books, Shards and Rambles, It is probably appropriate for this space, given the circumstances of his arrival in Scotland, and his first attendance at our school, at the age of five. Tom was a child of the Kindertransport scheme which operated in 1938-39, where some 10,000 mostly Jewish children (unaccompanied by parents) were brought by train from Nazi-controlled Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to Britain. It is generally agreed that few, if any, of those children would have survived the war had they stayed in their homeland.

The Leather Suitcase
by Tom Berman

They don't make suitcases
like that any more.

Time was,
when this case was made
solid, leather, heavy stitching
with protective edges
at the corners.

Time was,
when voyage meant
train, steamship,
distances unbridgeable
waiting for a thinning mail
weeks, then months,

From Prague
Children's train across the Reich
stops....and starts again

a lighted gangplank,
night ferry to gray-misted
sea-gulled Harwich
again the rails
reaching flat across East Anglia
to London

In my bedroom, the suitcase
a silent witness
with two labels
"Wilson Station, Praha"
"Royal Scot, London-Glasgow"

Leather suitcase
from a far-off country,
containing all the love
parents could pack
for a five year old
off on a journey
for life.

New photos in 2018

Former pupils, Iain and Alan Henderson at Albert Drive, 2018.

Liz Hamilton, formerly known as Betty,
is our oldest former pupil. Liz celebrated
her 103rd birthday recently, and I think
you will agree, is looking great!
So proud of this dear lady.
Slainte, Liz!
I am in touch with her son, so if you would
like to contact her, I will gladly forward
any messages to him.
Her attendance dates will follow soon.

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