Former Montrose teacher hopes for reunion with pupils after 40 years

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A former Montrose teacher is looking to organise a reunion with pupils who went on a school trip to Edzell 40 years ago this past weekend.

Stan Cordiner is hoping to reconnect with students who were members of the Montrose Academy Scripture Union and went on a retreat to Angus House in Edzell on February 13 and 14, 1976.

Around 19 youngsters, mainly first and second years and a few seniors, attended.

They were accompanied Mr Cordiner, who was a geography teacher at Montrose Academy at the time, along with his wife, Rita, who had been a teacher at Maisondieu Primary School in Brechin, and teachers Rosemary and Alan Crow, who Mr Cordiner believes now live in Dundee.

Teachers Pat Mitchell and Sheila Weaver, from Brechin, also helped out over the weekend.

Mr Cordiner said: “I want to catch up with the former pupils, find out what they’ve been doing and what their family news is and to see if we can try and build relationships.

“I thought as it was 40 years since the trip I would give it a try. It is going to be a one try only attempt.”

He believes the students will now be in their 50s.

Mr Cordiner began his teaching career at Montrose Academy in 1973 and spent almost three years at the school teaching geography as his main subject specialism, as well as modern studies.

The month after the trip, he moved back to his hometown of Peterhead, transferring to Peterhead Academy where he worked as geography teacher and then as a guidance teacher. He became a supply teacher in 2011 and retired in 2014.

Mr Cordiner said he has been in contact with one former pupil, the Rev. Lesley Bilinda (nee Strachan), who would like to attend a reunion.

She was the only senior girl on the trip. After school, the Rev. Bilinda went on a missionary trip to Rwanda. She married a Rwandan pastor, Charles Bilinda, who was sadly killed in the Genocide in 1994. She is now curate for St Andrew Fulham Fields Church in London.

If you went to the retreat in 1976 please contact Stan Cordiner by emailing stan_rita@yahoo.co.uk