Popular vote for AHS hostel name ignored by councillors
An overwhelming public vote was trumped by the informal rules of naming as a council committee decided to call the new Anderson High School halls of residence – the Anderson High School Halls.
Despite sweeping the poll with 44 votes – over half the 80 cast – the overwhelming favourite “George McGhee” was binned for the more prosaic and less popular choice.
The decision by the Education and Families Committee prompted councillor Davie Sandison to question the whole consultation process as a waste of time.
Chairwoman Vaila Wishart acknowledged that George McGhee, who retires this month after 37 years of “sterling service” as warden, housemaster and head of service at Janet Courtney Hostel, was by far the most popular choice.
But, she said, Mr McGhee was still living, which was very much against the norms of naming public buildings, while “at least Anderson’s dead,” she said, raising a titter in the chamber.
Additionally, the committee heard, it would be bad practice for local authority buildings to be named after employees, or council members.
Ms Wishart said that Mr McGhee, who has been a very popular during his time at the hostel, should be honoured in some other way, perhaps being invited to open the new building at Clickimin when it is complete next year.