Greenock Academicals’ Club

Annual Newsletter 2010


Dear Fellow Academical,


This is the fourth Annual Newsletter of the merged Girls’ and Boys’ Club and I hope that you will find it both interesting and informative. In it you will find information on what has happened in the past year together with what is on the horizon. Time to get the diaries out to note the forthcoming attractions!


Most recently, we held our AGM in the Royal Gourock Yacht Club on Saturday, 20th March 2010 at the rather early time of 10.30am. This was to allow for a bacon roll breakfast at 11.00am! All items on the agenda were considered and, where appropriate, approved with the minimum of fuss. Our thanks go to Gourock Yacht Club for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities.


At the AGM the Office Bearers were confirmed as follows:



President:         Sheena McTavish           T: 785533          E: 

Vice President:             Archie MacKinlay           T: 636076         E:

Treasurer:         Gordon McTavish           T: 785533          E:

Secretary:         Ali Dunnet                       T: 630874          E: 

Membership:     Logan Watt                     T: 792837          E:


Archie Mackinlay, Gordon McTavish, Ali Dunnet and Logan Watt remain as Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary respectively.

Yvonne Dunnet has retired from committee and I would like to thank her for all the help and support which she has given during her term in office. Yvonne and Ali now have two beautiful little boys who are taking up a lot of their time. Ibby Russell, Catriona McTavish and Gillian Chambers remain as committee members. I am delighted to tell you that Mrs. Lynne Chambers has joined our committee and will become our next Vice President when I demit office. Lynne is a well-known member of the Academicals and I would like to thank her for agreeing to join us. She is a most welcome addition to our committee.




Apart from the Annual Dinners held in April and October 2009, we had a cruise on the Waverley in June and a Wine Tasting Evening in December. On a beautiful evening on the 23rd June last year, around 40 members assembled at Customhouse Quay and boarded the Waverley for a magical mystery tour around the Clyde. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny and the river was like a mill pond; a perfect evening for a sail. All who attended agreed it was a lovely evening; but unfortunately, there was a very poor uptake of tickets for this event, prompting the committee to consider if the organisation of similar events is a worthwhile exercise. Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated. The Wine Tasting Evening was held at Greenock Wanderers RFC on Monday 28th December 2009. Once again, this was a terrific evening, perfectly hosted by Douglas McCrorie, ably assisted by father Ian, brother Roderick and members of the committee. Numerous generous samplings of delicious sparkling, white and red wines were served with accompanying food tasters. We would like to extend our thanks both to GWRFC for the use of their clubhouse facilities and to Douglas who entertained us all so magnificently. Douglas has agreed to return this year with another fine selection of wines, so make sure you get your tickets early! We are holding this event on the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year – 28th December 2010 - so keep your eyes on the web site for details of how to get your tickets.




Our annual fly-fishing competition was not held in 2009 and, due to a lack of suitable dates, only the Pottie trophy was contested in our golfing calendar. The school no longer plays hockey, tennis, golf or rugby and we have therefore been forced to abandon our annual fixtures with them. The Murray Rosebowl has been resurrected by our younger members and is now competed for by a team of Academicals versus a GWRFC team of non-Academicals.




The Murray Rosebowl


The Accies v GWRCF rugby competition was held on Friday 1st May 2009 at Fort Matilda. Greenock Wanderers managed to wrestle the Rosebowl away from the Accies with a 15 -10 win and Wanderer’s Captain Chris Clark was presented with the trophy after the match. This was followed by a finger buffet and disco in the Clubhouse, which was enjoyed by many of our younger members.  The date for this year’s tussle is Friday 30th July 2010.

Any interested players should contact David Watson on 07534 916853 or

Submitted by David Watson




The Lost Broch                                                                                                                       

Unfortunately the Lost Broch was not contested last year but this year’s annual angling extravaganza will take place on Sunday 20th June from noon till 5pm. This prestigious event will be competed for at the usual venue, Loch Gryffe and all are cordially invited. Lunch will be provided (at minimal expense), however all contributions will be gratefully received. If you have never fished before but fancy having a try, please get in touch or come along on the day. If Haggis can do it, anyone can!                                                                                               Anyone interested in taking part please call Ronnie Peterson on 07787 531 287 or                                                                                                                            Submitted by Ronnie Peterson



Pottie Trophy                                                                                    Winner: Iain Miller

                                                                                                        Wooden Spoonist:  Ali Dunnet


Monday 24th August 2009 was a day to remember. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and there was an air of expectation at Greenock Golf Club. Not since the Augusta Masters had such a fine field of golfers been assembled, to contest the magnificent Pottie Trophy. Greenock's answer to Tiger Woods aka Joe Gatherer gave his customary pre-tournament address and all contestants were ready, eager and raring to go. Last year's winner Allan McEwing set the early pace and he returned with a creditable 16 points. Was this enough to retain the trophy? Only time would tell. Roger Hardie was disadvantaged by only carrying four clubs, and even the additional 12 cans of lager in the golf bag weren't enough to give him the edge. Alas he finished well down the field. Andy McEwing and Graham White meantime were having a battle royale with Graham carding 19 points and Andy only 1 point behind on 18. "Tiger" Gatherer, despite having his mind on a few "birdies", was not able to deliver the killer blow. Then from nowhere, last year's Wooden Spoonist, Iain Miller came in with a gross 35 and 24 points. This magnificent score was enough to destroy the rest of the field and it was thereafter a case of who would be runner-up. Ultimately no one was able to come close and Iain won the competition by a margin of 5 points. Well-done Iain for going from zero to hero in one year. The remaining combatants gathered at the customary prize giving to hear who had suffered the ignominy of securing the Wooden Spoon. Many tales of woe were forthcoming, " what if", "if only", " the ball bobbled" and so the list of excuses continued. One person however stood head and shoulders above everyone else. With 18 points less than the winner, club secretary Ali Dunnet was not only most deserving, but was also an extremely popular recipient of the Spoon. Well done to all who participated and we hope that the numbers will continue to rise in this year's event. Please note for your diaries that the date for the 2010 trophy has been set for 30th August 2010.

Anyone interested in taking part please call Gordon McTavish on 01475 785533 or

Submitted by Gordon McTavish




The McKenzie Shield


The Accies curling match took place at Greenock Waterfront on the 31st March 2010 against the traditional rivals, Ardgowan Curling Club.

The date for the next match has not yet been set, but anyone interested in taking part please call Archie MacKinlay on 01475 636076



Sporting dates for your diary


In 2010 we hope to compete for the Lost Broch Trophy on the 20th June, the Murray Rosebowl on 30th July, the Pottie Trophy on the 30th August, the Douglas Rae Quaich (Ladies v Gents) on Sunday 25th April and                                                                                                   the McKenzie Shield* Those interested in participating should contact the above mentioned event organisers. Details of the forthcoming sporting events and contact details for the organisers will also appear on our website  


*Dates still to be arranged.




BOYS’ ANNUAL DINNER Friday 16TH April 2010

Our first event of 2010 is The Boys’ Annual Dinner, which will be held in the Tontine Hotel, Greenock, on Friday 16th April 2010. Attendees please note that it will be 6.45 for 7.15 p.m. start.  Iain White, Rector of Govan High School, past Captain of Greenock Golf Club and member of the After Dinner Speaking Circuit, will give the toast to the school. On the other hand, the response will be given by Ian McCrorie MBE, retired teacher, raconteur, author, Caledonian MacBrayne expert, whiskey connoisseur and quiet spoken fellow. We are delighted to welcome them both as speakers at our Dinner, which threatens to be an extremely entertaining evening – certainly one not to be missed.                                                             The Dinner is open to Academicals and friends so please support us and join in the fellowship, which the Club provides to all. Tickets are priced at £25, cheques made payable to Greenock Academicals’ Club. Please complete and return the application form, which is attached to the end of this newsletter or contact Ali Dunnet on 07939 535257 or Tickets will be allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis.


GIRLS’ ANNUAL DINNER Friday 8th October 2010


The Ladies 41st Annual Dinner will be held in the Tontine Hotel, Greenock at 7.00pm. Please note that the date of the Dinner is Friday 8th October this year. We were very fortunate to have Annabel Goldie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party as our speaker at the Dinner last October and I know I speak for everyone when I say we were wonderfully entertained by Annabel. We were also very pleased to welcome a large number of S6 students to our Dinner and we hope to see them again this year. Unfortunately, there has been an increasingly poor turnout from our members at the Dinners over the last few years, which is putting the likelihood of future Dinners in severe jeopardy. It would be a great pity to allow this to happen but I am sure that members will understand that we cannot hold Dinners unless we have participants. Given that this will be the last opportunity we have to hold a dinner with Greenock Academy still as a functioning school, I would urge you to make the effort to attend this year. Our speaker is Mrs Moira McColl, rector of Greenock Academy, and she will be reflecting on her time at GA and her hopes for the future of the school following the merger with Gourock High.

Tickets are priced at £25 (£20 for students), cheques made payable to Greenock Academicals’ Club. Please complete and return the ticket application form, which is attached to the end of this newsletter no later than 24th September 2010. As usual, should you wish to be seated at a table with friends or classmates, please list their names and every effort will be made to accommodate your request.


WINE TASTING EVENING Tuesday 28th December 2010


As mentioned earlier, Douglas McCrorie has very kindly agreed to host a Wine Tasting Evening for us again this year. Those who attended our previous evenings will agree that they were marvellous occasions with all the warmth and camaraderie that Accies events such as this seem to generate. We are grateful to GWRFC who are once again allowing us the use of their clubhouse. Tickets are priced at £10 - a bargain considering the obscene number of “tastings” Douglas provides us with. These will be available from committee members closer to the time and full details will also be posted on our web site so “watch this space”. If last year’s event was anything to go by, we will once again have a sell-out. Please be quick to avoid any disappointment, or better still, pre-book by telephoning one of the committee members.




As everyone now knows, Greenock Academy as a separate entity has one more session to go.  We are keen - and the Rector supports us - that we commemorate the long and distinguished history of the school in some way.  The Rector, understandably, would like the third term in 2010/11 to be school-focused and we have agreed that the FPs should hold a function just before Easter.  We have therefore booked Greenock Town Hall for some form of event (perhaps à la GA150 cut-down?) for Saturday 26th March 2011, together with Westburn Church (and the present Moderator) for Sunday 27th.  Please put the dates in your diary - you will hear more nearer the time.

We are keen for the Club to continue to thrive (in some form) after the amalgamation with Gourock High School.  The committee is putting some serious thought into how this might best be achieved - if you have any ideas, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would all like to ensure that, come what may; there will be a future!


Submitted by Ian McCrorie




The School is keen to hear from any Former Pupils or friends who are able to provide work experience for fourth year pupils for one week, usually in February each year.  This is an area where the FPs can really assist the School and I would strongly urge you to support this initiative.

Please contact the Rector, Mrs. Moira McColl, at Greenock Academy, on (01475) 715050 in the first instance for more information, if you are able to assist.




Thanks to the generosity of those who attended GA150 celebrations in 2005 two bursaries of £500 each have been established to assist pupils wishing to progress on to further education.  The first awards were made to Emma Boffey and Stuart Smith in summer 2006 and a further two awards were made in summer 2007 to Suzanna Spence and Nicola Robertson. In 2008, it was decided to increase the number of bursaries awarded to four and these awards went to Sabrina Church, Iain Macgregor, Heather Purdie and Collette Scott. In 2009, two awards were made to Daniel Wan and Laura Kilpatrick. Our congratulations go to these two very worthy recipients and we now look forward to seeing if this extremely high standard can be maintained in 2010. Arrangements are in hand to interview for four bursary awards towards the end of April 2010.



The Accies’ web site address is – If you have time, log on for news of forthcoming events.




If you know of any former Greenock Accies who wish to join the Club, please contact Logan Watt at with details.  Life Membership is only £10. 




Owing to the cost of postal charges, the committee has been forced to address the viability of posting the annual newsletter to all members.

ALL NEWSLETTERS ARE NOW SENT BY EMAIL. Should you wish to receive the newsletter by post, we ask that you advise the Secretary and we will happily do so. The newsletter is also available to view on our web site.

Should you change your contact details, change your e-mail address or wish to advise us of new e-mail details, please contact Logan Watt at, or indeed if you know of anyone who does not have an e-mail address it would be most appreciated if you would run off a copy of this newsletter and pass it on to those who may be interested.


Finally, as we are always looking at ways of improving our service to you, should you wish to comment on either the content of this newsletter, or if you have any ideas as to new events which you may wish to be considered, please do not hesitate to contact us. All suggestions will be warmly received.


Your continued support of our Club is much appreciated and we look forward to meeting up with many of you at our events throughout the year.


Yours sincerely,


Sheena McTavish