Former Arduthie head teacher celebrates 100th birthday

Retired teacher Joseph W Simpson reached a notable milestone today (Friday), celebrating his 100th birthday at home in Stonehaven.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 6:00 am
Time to celebrate..Margaret and Joe Simpson.

Joe, who lives in Mearns Drive with his wife, Margaret, spent his entire teaching career in the North East, firstly at Pitmedden before being appointed Head Teacher at Catterline Primary School in 1956. He spent three years in the village before filling the same position at St Cyrus, where he taught for nine years before moving to Fetteresso Primary in 1968.

On the opening of the current Mackie Academy in Edenview two years later, the original building was renamed Arduthie Primary School with Joe becoming the first Head Teacher. He remained there until his retirement in 1981.

Glasgow-born Joe was educated at Hutchesons Grammar School and interrupted his studies at Glasgow University in 1941 to volunteer for service in the RAF during World War II, spending five years in the Signals Corps in India.

On his return to Scotland, he enrolled at Aberdeen University and graduated with an M.A. Dip Ed degree. A passionate sportsman, he was also awarded a Football Blue and represented the Scottish Universities against the English Universities.

While at university, he met his future wife, Margaret, who subsequently taught Physical Education in a variety of schools in the old county of Kincardineshire including Carronhill in Stonehaven.

During his spells at Catterline, St Cyrus, Fetteresso and Arduthie, Joe was closely involved with Kincardineshire schools football and enjoyed watching one of his ‘discoveries’, Don Masson from Banchory, go on to play for Scotland. Football has been an enduring passion along with golf. He was a member at both Stonehaven and Edzell Golf Clubs.

The couple, who are both ‘weel kent faces’ around the town, have four children – Gordon, Alistair, Jacqueline and Keith – along with seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at all these schools, engaging with the children and the wider communities,” said Joe. “It was a pleasure to teach so many enthusiastic pupils and to follow their progress in life afterwards.”

Joe’s centenary will be marked in the style it deserves once lockdown ends.