17th October 2017

Not the AHS halls! (Peter Gear)

Last week’s Shetland Times article with Barbara Rosie was brilliant, and a fantastic prelude to the hostel reunion which takes place this month.

However, when reading the words “Anderson High School Halls of Residence” it was a reminder that this is still the current proposed name for the new building.

The SIC education and families committee seemed mainly concerned about the idea of “setting a precedent” in naming the building after a public servant who is still alive.

This precedent was set some time ago, eg the Whalsay ferry Hendra, Edward Thomason House etc, each named after a deserving (and living) retired public servant who devoted a good chunk of their life to our community.

George McGhee is unquestionably one of our most well-respected and hardworking public servants, and there is clearly a great deal of support for honouring him in this way.

A spontaneous online petition set up well before the Education and Families decision, supporting “the George McGhee Halls”, attracted over 700 signatures.

The results of the SIC’s consultation on the hostel name overwhelmingly echoed that it should be “The George McGhee Halls”.

A Facebook petition launched soon after the education and families committee decision, entitled “Not the AHS Halls” and supporting the “George McGhee” option, attracted several hundred likes, shares and signatures.

A very well-written letter appeared last year after the decision, which summed-up public opinion at the time and was signed by a large number of people.

While last year’s committee decision ran contrary to the voices of hostel residents present and past, there is still time to set this right, as the building’s “official” opening ceremony is not due to take place until next year.

We urge you to take another look at this, in light of the strength of feeling on this issue.

Peter Gear, Debbie Jamieson, Kim Anderson, Aaron Smith, Agnes Jayne Smith, Alana Henry, Alex Hutchison, Alison Eunson, Amanda Gray, Ann Thomson, Anne Brown, Calum Burgess, Charlotte Beattie, Cheyenne Blair-Walker, Chloe Miller, Chris Coles, Christine Sinclair, Claire Morris, Colin Dickie, Daniel Aqualina, Daniel Gear, David Pattinson, David Thompson, Davy Shearer, Debbie Murray, Dione Paul, Elke Mchale-Smith, Emma Nisbet, Gary Andrew Mouat, Hannah Ruth Sawford, Ingrid Pottinger, Jack Jamieson, Jan Sawford, Jenna Thomason, Jim Quinn, Jim Tait, Joe Finnie, Jolene Tindall, Kair Hamilton, Karen Wood, Kerri Eunson, Kieran Wilbourne, Laura Hodge, Laura Lyth, Laura Polson, Lauren Brewster, Lauren Kelsey, Layla Sawford, Leona Gear, Lisa Jamieson, Loanna Leishman, Lorna Leask, Louise Sales, Lyall Campbell, Lynda Hutchison, Mairi Polson, Margaret Gear, Marie Manson, Marlyn Watt, Mary Hill, Mary Watt, Mathew Roberts, Matthew Laurenson, Matthew Saunders, Megan Burns, Megan Nisbet, Melanie Mouat, Michelle Stove, Neil Anderson, Nicky Henderson, Nicola Polson, Paul Mullen, Peter Arthur, Rachael Boxall, Richie Hutchison, Robert Gray, Ronald Poleson, Rose Young, Ross Thomson, Sara Fox, Sharon Mullen, Stewart Abernethy, Stuart Cameron, Sue Beer, Valerie Sales, Victoria Anderson

c/o Bell’s Road, Lerwick

One comment

  1. James Paton

    Many thanks to Peter Gear for his eloquent and timely letter, which also speaks for many who have not have had the opportunity to sign it.

    I am left wondering what is wrong with councillors and senior officials?

    How many of them would refuse the great honour of having a building named after them. Assuming the merited it of course.

    Just do it and get on with more important things.

    Reply

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