At the whole-school Easter Assembly at church this morning, Mr Urquhart thanked Mrs Rosemary McRae for being a PSA at our school ‘for longer than anyone can remember’.
We recently celebrated Mrs McRae’s retirement with a special staff dinner, and Mrs McRae gave a fantastic speech, in which she recalled some highlights and anecdotes from her 30+ years at South Morningside. We have had the pleasure of working alongside Rosemary for just some of those years, and are full of admiration for her wonderful, gentle manner with the children and her unbelievable patience, which have no doubt helped generations upon generations of children to blossom.
Mrs McRae will officially be retiring on Friday, and this, we know, is definitely going to be an end of an era. We love this speech, and are very thankful to Rosemary for allowing us to share it with everyone. Please see below.
I would first like to say a huge thank you to everyone for coming tonight. I have attended many of these events over the years and can’t quite believe tonight is my own
There’s only one very special person that was in school when I started, and will, even if only for a little longer, remain after me!
I began my association with South Morningside when my children started school and seem to have only succeeded in supporting one of them to leave! It was when Elaine was in Primary 3 and Colin in Primary 2 that the then head teacher Mrs Perry asked me if I would like to cover for the school auxiliary whilst she had her lunch. And so my 34-year career at South Morningside began. The medical room at that time was a table and four chairs on the landing. I kept an eye on the upper school whilst they ate their lunches in the classroom, covered the medical table, did a tour of the playground and then back to the medical to check nobody had appeared with a bump.
How did 500 or so children manage with only one lunchtime supervisor? Well in part because one boy who was described as “too big for the playground” and another who wore steel toe caped boots being told they had to go home for lunch and indeed many more children did go home for lunch at that time.
However, as time went on and I became the only school auxiliary the job too started to expand. I was based at a table in the staffroom and there teachers left jobs for me and I tried to help as many as possible. My tasks were varied from working in the infant classes in the afternoon doing handwork to recording many television and radio broadcasts, and on occasions setting my alarm clock for 4 am for a programme I had missed, AND when we eventually got a photocopier, photocopying endless infant materials, as well as copying and binding the P7 Year Book, keeping all resources in good order (well except for Cupboard 7), annually cutting 18 banners for Christmas, making a stable for the Nativity plays ( I do not know why we never kept it from one year to the next.) Taking over the Medical Room and as more medicine appeared in school keeping up with all the rules and regulations that it brought with them.
One of the lovely jobs I got to do was go shopping with Fiona Bland who in 1995 became the second Auxiliary but was based down at the Annexe. Fiona and I were sent out shopping for suitable food for 600 children’s Christmas Parties and P7 Ceilidhs and I think or know we caused mayhem in many shops and car parks as we sorted out the food.
There have been many memorable occasions and even on one – acting as bouncer for Billie Piper when she performed to the school
Fortunately, times have changed and over ten years after I started Learning Assistants were appointed giving more help to staff and pupils
Over the years my job title has changed from Lunch Time Supervisor, to Auxiliary to Classroom Assistant, Learning Assistant and now PSA. But in essence the job is being a Jack of all trades. My love for what I do has never changed and it really has been a privilege to work with such fantastic colleagues and pupils. I still get most pleasure from working with groups and individual children and seeing them achieve and I will greatly miss them and my many friends at school. However, I leave with many many happy memories and a great deal of gratitude for the wonderful time I have had. THANK YOU.
Rosemary McRae, March 2017