Andover apple tree honours late teacher

Pictured are members of the Andover School pupil council, including Wallace Mathieson, fourth from left, and Craig Ryan, third from left, the school's eldest and youngest puils respectively, who were given the honour of planting the tree. They are pictured with Miss Murdoch's niece Anne and Provost of Angus Ruth Leslie Mellville, far right, next to the tree and plaque in the late Miss Murdoch's honour.
Pictured are members of the Andover School pupil council, including Wallace Mathieson, fourth from left, and Craig Ryan, third from left, the school's eldest and youngest puils respectively, who were given the honour of planting the tree. They are pictured with Miss Murdoch's niece Anne and Provost of Angus Ruth Leslie Mellville, far right, next to the tree and plaque in the late Miss Murdoch's honour.

An APPLE tree and commemorative plaque were unveiled last Wednesday, in the eastern playground at Andover School, in memory of former head teacher Miss Elizabeth Murdoch.

Miss Murdoch, a long-serving teacher who died in May 2008, left a legacy of £5,000 to the school, which was used to purchase two electronic whiteboards, sets of novels and percussion instruments.

After retirement, she remained active within the school and took a keen interest in the school and its pupils.

Addressing the whole school, members of the community and guests, current head teacher Miss Howson said: “We’re here today to pay tribute to Miss Murdoch.

“After she retired she was always very interested in what the Andover pupils were doing.

“Even when she wasn’t a teacher she used to come back and find out how the boys and girls were getting on.

“She was very supportive of the school. In her back garden, she had an apple tree.

“She used to pick the apples off and make apple jelly and that was when I first met her - when she was bringing in apple jelly to sell for the school fayre.

“The parent council thought it would be a good idea to plant an apple tree in the garden so that each year we could pick the apples.

“I don’t know whether our apple jelly will be as good but we will be able to do something with the apples.”

Also in attendance were former employees and friends of the late Miss Murdoch, her niece Anne Murdoch, who had travelled from Ledbury in England for the occasion, and Provost of Angus, Ruth Leslie-Melville.

Mrs Leslie-Melville also spoke fondly of Miss Murdoch, saying: “I knew Betty Murdoch for a long time. She did a lot for her school, and took a great interest in the children as they grew up.

“I think that you can be very proud of the fact that Andover meant so much to such a fine lady.”

The Provost told ther children: “You have a lot to live up to because, when someone is as proud of you as she was, then you have to live up to it.

“I have no doubt that you will do everything in your power to be people and citizens of Brechin, or wherever you end up living in the future, that you will be people she would be very, very proud of.

“It gives me great pleasure to be part of this ceremony, where we are doing something to remember Miss Murdoch. I hope that you will all, every time you see the tree, just remember that she cared, very much, for each and every one of you.”

The commemorative plaque was made and erected by Parent Council chair, Mr Craig McKay.

Finally, three cheers were had in memory of Miss Murdoch, as the ground around the tree was firmed up and the tree watered by the school’s eldest and youngest pupils, Wallis Mathieson and Craig Ryan.