When did your word no longer become your bond?

On the 28th of April 2016, Mrs Helen Budge, Director of Children’s Services and Mr Mark Clarke, Project Director from Morrison Construction came to the Janet Courtney Halls of Residence. All the residents, available house parents and managerial staff were asked to attend a meeting in our conference room. The meeting focused on the progress of the construction of the new school and hostel but swiftly shifted onto discussion over bedroom sizes, en suite facilities and the naming of the halls.

Mrs Budge spoke at length about how our involvement in this process was indispensable, the process of voting was explained and she proceeded to hand out small leaflets with the web address of where we could put forward our suggestions for the new title. Mr Clarke then gave details of how he would award prize money to the person who first suggested the winning name. This greatly appealed to younger residents however in conversation later that evening, older residents came to the conclusion this could be an unreliable offer, which has now proved to be a true assumption.

Since the proposed name “Anderson High School Halls” was made public and details from the vote, where a majority (44 of 80) suggestions were for the “George McGhee Halls of Residence,” current members of the hostel have spoken out about feeling ignored, lied to and that their chance to leave their footprint in the new hostel was ruined.

This opportunity was deeply valued by long term residents as they know once the doors of the current hostel are locked they will have nothing to return to of what was a home from home for so many years. We understand that the name will most likely not be changed as councillors have made their decision. However, due to pure ignorance from councillors, the residents of the Janet Courtney hostel (2015-17) would like an apology for the unfair decision that was made.


Katrina Anderson

Lorwi Best

Sula Brookes

Lucy Brown

Erin Clark

Harry Cartwirght

Ryan Davies

Amber Eunson

Heather Graham

Robson Gray

Dean Guthrie

Lydia Hay

Nicole Hughson

Charlotte Hutchison

Lowrie Hutchison

Caroline Irvine

Chloe Irvine

Jack Irvine

Maria Irvine

Michael Jamieson

Kay Johnson

Lauren Johnson

Logan Johnson

Scott Andrew Johnson

Scott Johnson

Bobby Kay

Peter Muir

Ashleigh Nisbet

Megan Nisbet

Joe Niven

Rhona Polson

Arthur Poleson

Bryden Priest

Hayden Robertson

Ming Sandford

James Sandison

Anna Scott

Fyntan Shaw

Ronnie Simpson

Brydon Smith

Anna Sutherland

Bryden Sutherland

William Tait

Ellis Thomason

Louise Thomason

Keira Thomson

Chelsea Thompson

Magnus Thompson

Edwin Veenhuizen

Sophie Williamson

Janet Courtney Hostel,


Add Your Comment
  • Wayne Leask

    • October 7th, 2016 18:06

    Hear, hear!!!

    I think that the councilors have neglected their roles and position by renaming the halls of residence against a majority vote and against the wishes of others. This is a blatant sign of disrespect of others.

    I will also add that the name they are changing it to is a seriously unimaginative name. The fact that they are changing the name because Mr George McGhee was still alive is quite frankly ridiculous. People are naming a boat after sir David Attenborough and yet he is still alive.

    Yours in hope,
    Wayne leask

  • Iris Sandison

    • October 7th, 2016 18:41

    So who gets Morrison’s money prize for naming the new hostel? Vaila Wishart?

  • Haydn Gear

    • October 8th, 2016 16:08

    The Cunard liner QE2 was launched and named by and after her in1967. Is there a real need to name things only after the person concerned has died? I think that a show of respect for the still living is most appropriate. As for the naming of the school in Shetland, I’ll steer clear of that one, but the actions of Councillors to ignore the majority choice is yet another example of upstarts who claim to be the servants of the people only to then turn turtle and operate as though they are the masters. It happens time and time again and clearly what arrogant, egocentric no marks they actually are to manipulate or ignore public wishes. I wouldn’t pay them in shirt buttons.

  • Tom Patterson

    • November 1st, 2016 21:41

    I’m sure it can be known as Budgie McBudgeface , despite the official undemocratic nomenclature?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.