Obituary

18th June 2010 at 01:00
Andy Fraser, who has died at the age of 93, was an outstanding senior official of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

Andy Fraser, who has died at the age of 93, was an outstanding senior official of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), as assistant secretary and depute general secretary, from 1960-77.

It was a time during which the EIS evolved rapidly from a professional body focusing primarily on the professional and educational concerns of teachers, to a fully-fledged trade union and lead player in the politics of education, where campaigning was central to its day-to-day work.

Sandy Fraser led EIS work in pay and conditions matters and membership support, focusing particularly on legal issues. At a time of change, he ensured that the EIS role in the support of individual members was never lost sight of, even when high-profile campaigns on education issues seemed to dominate EIS policy.

Sandy was born at Portmahomack in Easter Ross in 1917. He went to school at Trinity Academy and Leith Academy in Edinburgh, moving on to Edinburgh University. On completing his teacher training he became a teacher at Moray House School but was only there for a few months when he enlisted for war service in the Royal Navy. He went on to become a navigating officer on cruisers and minesweepers and was twice mentioned in dispatches. After the war he was promoted commander in the RNVR and was second in command of the Forth Division RNR until 1958.

After his demobilisation in 1946, he resumed his teaching at Moray House. In 1950, he married Mary Ross and they had three children, Fiona, Alasdair and Mairi.

His teaching career included spells as depute head at Inch Public School, master in charge of the primary department at Trinity Academy and later headteacher of Lossiemouth Secondary.

He obtained an Honours BSc degree (1949), the Academic Diploma in Education (1955) from London University and the Diploma of Religious Knowledge from Jordanhill (1957).

He returned to Edinburgh in 1960 to work for the EIS, where he remained until his retirement in 1977. Sandy was awarded the degree of Fellowship of the EIS in 1965.

He was also chairman of the board of governors of the then Dunfermline College of Physical Education in Edinburgh.

Sandy's interests were many and varied - church membership, the Boys' Brigade, playing the bagpipes, hill-walking, rugby and reading, to name but a few.

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said: "Sandy's commitment to education, teaching and the work of teachers, along with his sense of justice, personal integrity and attention to detail, are examples to all of us who follow him in the work of the EIS and in other fields of education."

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