JOHN T ROBERTSON

5th October 2007 at 01:00
JOHN T ROBERTSON, who died recently at the age of 87, touched the lives of thousands in his teaching roles at Bella-houston Academy, Dum-barton Academy, Hermitage Academy and finally Clyde-bank High, where he was headteacher for 15 years.

A multi-talented individual, he will be remembered not just for his role as a teacher although I believe he had an extremely unusual style but also as the writer, producer, musical director and "chief cook and bottle washer" of dozens of fantastic school shows, including The Lost Chord and Transports of Delight. His philosophy was to involve the whole school, absolutely everyone from the most talented performers to those who were tone-deaf and had two left feet and stage-fright.

He also wrote and produced Risingest for the Clydebank centenary celebrations in 1986, shortly afterwards being awarded the title of "Bankie of the year" an achievement in itself for a Paisley "Buddie".

John T's vivid imagination, linked to his writing skills, led to a parallel career writing comic scripts for D C Thomson, for whom his creations gave adventure, excitement and humour to millions of boys and girls for more than 30 years in titles such as The Hotspur, The Rover and The Wizard. He wrote stories about Alf Tupper, the tough of the track, Wee Bandy, Gorgeous Gus and Ugg the Caveman.

When John T retired from Clydebank High in 1984, D C Thomson retired him as well, much to his chagrin although it was more to do with the decline in circulation of comics than anything else.

That led to his third "career", as organist in Dalnottar crematorium where he played in his unique "Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer"-style until just a couple of years ago and continued to make a few cameo performances until as recently as the start of this year.

John T had a huge range of interests and activities. He was a past president of Clydebank Rotary, where he supported many fundraisers, education exchanges and social functions. At Clydebank and District Golf Club, he spoke and played at umpteen prize dinners and Burns suppers. He was a seasoned collector for the annual Poppy Day appeal. He joined Cartha, then Clydesdale, hockey clubs and was president of Cartha when he, along with John Harris, took the club to Clydesdale, where he played as an outfield player until he was 54.

Other interests included all kinds of music, from Wurlitzer organs to jazz and opera, the theatre, photography and his wee dogs everything done with the same enthusiasm.

He was married to my mother Rita, for 49 years, then to Margaret in 1997. For the past 10 years, he and Margaret have "done the world" in everything from an MG to a whitewater raft, the "QE2", the "QM2" and even Concorde.

John T Robertson was a wonderful father and grandfather.

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