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  Replying to Old School: St Mungo's Academy
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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
mcfergus Posted 28th Jun 2019, 12:04pm
  Hi gismho
A very belated greeting to you.
I had one of those inexplicable glitches which lost my access to this site and it was only a happy accident which brought me back to it.
I have quite a lot to catch up with on other threads so I'll get on with it. In the meantime I will keep checking here in the hope that just possibly there might be some other signs of life.
Catch you later!
gismho Posted 1st Jan 2019, 07:25am
  Once again, season's greetings and best wishes to all former pupils of St. Mungo's Academy for the New Year (2019). Remember Parson Street, Baroney Street, Kennedy Street, Duke Street (St Kentigern's ?) and Rigby Street schools. All gone now but our memories still linger. And just for the record, I attended the aforesaid from 1959 to 1965, some sixty or so years ago!!!!
gismho Posted 5th Jan 2018, 12:29pm
  Thanks mcfergus .... and may I also offer season's greeting to all our "comrades", including your good self, who attended the Mungo over the years, extending best wishes for 2018.

I take your point that perhaps all the written waffle about the school's ethics and pupil-centric orientation may be just that .... waffle to accord with current political correctness....saying all the right things, but a different story in practice. It would therefore be interesting to talk to some of the current pupils (I hate the words "learner" and "educator") and find out what's really going on.

Maybe its just all BS!!

On the question of website activity levels, I note that this thread has now surpassed it's ten birthday. I've no doubt that many of our "comrades" do visit the site frequently out of curiosity and continued interest (as I do), even if it means re-reading all the postings and indulging in long past reminiscences. But we are, after all, mostly post seventy years of age now and our memories are fragile. Perhaps this accounts for the dearth of postings lately???
mcfergus Posted 3rd Jan 2018, 08:45pm
  Happy New Year everybody

It's almost a year since my last years salutation and not a lot appears to have happened in the interval.

"FrankDoc" you made a brave effort to revive the thread but it seems to have stalled.

"gismo" I think a great deal has changed since the "good old days" but I am not able to comment with any authority with regard to the latest published code of ethics etc.
Perhaps I am becoming cynical in my somewhat older age but I have noticed that the powers that be have an Orwellian tendency to say what seems to be the right and just thing and then to go on to do something diametrically opposed and morally inconsistent.

In any event I'll keep looking in and hopefully something more positive will come to the fore.
gismho Posted 26th Aug 2017, 04:38pm
  Hi everyone. Just thought I'd add an item in an attempt to "populate" the site as I note that there are not many contributions these days.
In browsing the internet, I became aware of the existence of a St. Mungo's Academy Handbook (2016/17), said item being issued (I think) to all newly enrolled pupils (and their parents). In reading the document, I was impressed with the school's code of ethics, vision and value statements, pupil healthcare considerations, etc., and particularly the school's attention to parental communication coupled with an emphasis on treating pupils with "dignity, care, compassion and consideration".
That said (and I've no reason to doubt the integrity of the above and the school's commitment), contrast these declarations with our experiences from much earlier days, i.e. from the 1940s thru mid-1970s, as repeatedly recorded in earlier contributions on this site! Methinks that many of our (past) teachers have much to account. Methinks that we didn't know any difference in those days!!!!
Just an observation from an old "pupil" who attended Rigby & Parson Street Schools from 1959 to 1965.
FrankDoc Posted 20th May 2017, 12:11am
  I have been checking in every now and then and have noticed that the thread seems to have stalled – not much added recently. So I thought I would kick off a topic along the lines of “What did St Mungo’s ever do for me” and see if we get any good memories triggered from that.
I was at the Mungo from 1962 to 1968 in the “nB1” class:- Kennedy Street for prep, St Kent’s for first through third years, and Parson Street for fourth through sixth. My experience was typical – a mixed bag of craziness, great teaching, learning, and disturbing violence – much like the sixties were in general. There are many articles elsewhere on this site doing a great job of describing those times.
Education – Did I actually learn anything?
The principal job of St Mungo’s was to educate, or frighten into learning , sufficient numbers of reasonably intelligent Catholic youth and send them off to colleges and universities and improve the overall standing of Catholics in Scotland. They pretty much did that though there were too many casualties in the process.
In my case, I was an OK student. My old man was a teacher and I made the mistake of getting some coaching from him before a second year interim set of exams. To my astonishment, I passed all the “swots” and actually led the class for that set of exams. After receiving my fair share of crap, I made sure I would not do too well from that point onwards. Lesson learned – “lower the expectations and then exceed them when you choose”.
An aside on that time. Another writer commented about Bro Adrian, a geography teacher, “dropping pearls before swine”. When Bro Adrian said he was “dropping pearls”, that meant that there was going to be an exam question on that topic. If you made a note of the “pearl” items, studied them, ignored the rest of the curriculum, you could do very well in your exam. Lesson learned – “pay attention to the clues”.
Our “B” class was assigned Greek instead of Latin as some kind of experiment. However, back in those days, if you wanted to do any kind of “Arts” degree at Glasgow University then you needed an “O” level in Latin. I had no idea what I wanted to do so, keeping my options open, I became a reluctant classics student. I was no more than adequate but had some excellent classics teachers including McConville and one of the elderly Brogan brothers, one of the smartest people I have ever met. I did not continue with classics but did a degree in Computer Science and became a computer programmer – if you can learn Latin, Greek, French etc then the computer languages follow. Lesson learned – “basic skills are adaptable and transferrable”.
I learned a valuable lesson from a “creative writing” exercise set by our English teacher. He assigned us to write essays on various topics. I was assigned to write about “nicknames”. It started out quite dull as I used my own “wee Doc” as an example. Of course, there was a “wee Doc” in every class in Glasgow at the time. I then branched on to the “Spuds” and the “Gingers” – still pretty boring. So then I had a brainwave or brainfart depending on point of view, and took some real nicknames and came up with totally fictitious explanations of why the person had the nickname. Some of these descriptions were not very complimentary at all and basically extracted the urine, sometimes from rather large members of the class. Imagine my surprise and panic when the teacher decided that he would read some of the essays to the class and chose mine, indicating that he thought it would be entertaining for the class. Luckily enough, most of the insulted took it in pretty good spirits though a few were somewhat unhappy. Lesson learned –“Do not write down your smart assed thoughts” – either in an class essay, an email or Twitter, something for politicians to consider.
Did anyone else learn anything at the Mungo?
mcfergus Posted 7th Feb 2017, 10:22pm
  Hi again gismho.
Good to see you are still looking in. I would tend to agree with your thoughts on the youngest age range of possible contributors from the "old" Mungo. We have had only a few remarks from former pupils of the new east end Academy. Still there appear to be a few older than me on this thread giving us a possible range from ages 56 to 75+, so there might be some life left in it yet. Hope everthing is still good for you in sunny S.A.

Welcome to this site Jerry McBride.
I have read various contributions from some of your contemporaries. perhaps you are still catching up with them. It will be of interest to get your take on some of them.
I will keep looking in
Jerry McBride Posted 6th Feb 2017, 12:54pm
  Hello there Michael, I'm Jerry McBride I was at St Kentigerns from 1964-1966. I remember hearing of the McAloon incident. To this day I have often wondered if he got clean away with it. I am so glad you have given me some closure.

Good luck
Jerry McBride Posted 6th Feb 2017, 12:48pm
QUOTE (Michael Docherty @ 23rd Jun 2008, 08:37pm) *
Hey, pk - I remember that bakery - it became our steady lunchtime eatery after a brief altercation with the guy who ran Papa's and we decided to never darken his doorstep again. The Math teacher you refer to - 'Mac' - was probably McAloon - I remember him well - A short, chubby little guy with glasses... I managed to get through my First Year at St. Kent's ( relatively ) in one piece although I had hated every single minute of it and still wished I had gone with my first instinct - to go to St. Thomas Aquinas along with all my Primary School pals from St. Peter's in Partick. After that first horrible year in St. Kent's I foolishly assumed the baptism of fire was over and done with and it would get better from there on in... What's the old adage about '..famous last words..? '... Summer was great with a two-week school-organized vacation to Italy & Switzerland and one of the teachers who accompanied the group was McAloon himself who seemed just fine as a civilian but as a teacher was a Jekyll / Hyde character. That idyllic summer was winding down - Back to St. Kent's for a Second Year full of optimism - I considered myself fortunate to find Eddie Onion would play no part in my next 12 months of incarceration - he was too busy commuting between St. Kent's and Kennedy St. where he continued to torture 12 & 13 year-olds with his Spanish Inquisition teaching tactics, taking centerstage as The Grand Inquisitor himself. Brother Alexis had been spirited away to be replaced with a crusty old Irish guy as Headmaster - A 'Fire and Brimstone' type. No more Latin which meant no more McConville or Mr. Shields ( - "Sammy Mensa" to us -)... One of our English teachers was a young woman - a Miss Hawthorne who was immediately re-named ' Miss Hot-Horns ' due to her extremely impressive physical attributes. She was barely 5 feet tall which created a bizarre symmetry considering she was also about 5 feet in diameter. The most obvious thing about her was the massive chip she carried around on her shoulder which manifested itself in her liberal use of the belt, each period consisting of about 25% education and 75% 'Discipline'. Being somewhat vertically challenged she actually had to stand on a stool to dish out punishment to the taller guys in the class. As far as I can recall she was the only female teacher in a school full of boys which in itself was probably intimidating, made worse by the fact that no-one took her seriously. She lasted 4 or 5 months and left as an emotional trainwreck. Teaching Art was, as you mentioned - Mr Byrne - He was one of the best teachers that place ever had... I remember seeing him running around on a little Honda motorbike and how he spent several months on crutches with a broken leg thanks to a genius car driver performing the ubiquitous right-turn sans signal stunt. Big Sam once again took care of French, History was taught by a lanky American teacher from ( I think ) Ohio. I remember the first day he strolled into the room wearing cords, cowboy boots and a leather vest and sporting a drooping gunfighter's mustache as if he'd just walked off the set of a Western flick, the only thing missing was the Colt Peacemaker strapped to his thigh... Science was delivered courtesy of a new teacher - A Mr. Boyle who was another great believer in battering a good education into his class. He surprised us all with an unscheduled Test about 4 weeks into the new school term and anyone who scored below what he considered 'acceptable' had the stuffing belted outta them - about 95% of the class. Within a week I had a run-in with McAloon the math teacher. He took offense at the way I was sitting (?) - slouched insolently in my chair and not bolt-upright and hanging on his every word. I recall he derived great enjoyment from trying to make people look silly in front of their peers and when he was done berating me for my lazy posture I returned to my seat and after a brief moment of sitting erect with hands clasped in front of me I resumed my insolent slouch. I believe this may have triggered The McAloon Meltdown... Before I knew it I was in front of him and, for a little guy moved deceptively fast - a blur, in fact as he dealt out a rapid 6 hefty strokes of the belt and as I headed back to my seat, genuinely stunned the little bastard grabbed me by the back of my collar and physically threw me through the door (- fortunately for me the doors swung both ways-) and sent me sprawling into the hallway beyond, head spinning. When I gathered my wits and went back inside against his stern warning to 'Stay Out' of his classroom I scooped my books into my briefcase and exited the building, totally ignoring his demands to 'Explain Myself'... Being ignored by a pupil was obviously new ground for him and it was making him uneasy. I eyed the huge welt on my wrist left by the mis-strokes of his belt and the discoloration of the broken veins under the skin but realized my own folly in deciding to go home early - we were scheduled to have a double period of swimming that afternoon and nothing short of a dismemberment would prevent me from being there. Besides - the wounded wrist would look much worse later. I made good my escape after swimming and headed home to show my mother the results of McAloon's handiwork which by now was an amazing assortment of deep reds and purples. She went predictably ballistic and when my father came home he responded in similar fashion, dragging me down to the local copshop to press charges against this loose-cannon maniac of a teacher. The police did indeed pay him a visit and from what I heard later scared the Bejazus out of him with the threat of potential criminal charges for his deeds. Imagine my delight when I was informed the decision lay with me - prosecute or not prosecute. I told the Powers-that-be I would ".. let him off this time ..". He was in my pocket now and he knew it and I made damn sure everyone else in the class knew it too. I was invisible to him for the rest of that term - he received a serious bollockin' from Bro. Lucas ( the latest headmaster ) and was getting looked at sideways by his teacher colleagues which led to him being little more than a joke but the incident had soured me and just contributed to the overall realization that for me school was a place where I would make chalkmarks on the wall like a lifer in San Quentin, counting down those long days to my 15th birthday and my escape.

gismho Posted 4th Feb 2017, 12:18pm
  Thanks Mcfergus. May I also wish everyone, belatedly, a successful 2017.
I'll just add (for posterity) that my cousins, David and Laurence Lockhart, also attended the school, the former from 1948 to 1951 (I think), St. Kents; and the latter from 1956 to 1960 (I think), Rigby and Parson Streets. Someone out there may recognise these names !!
Would I be correct in saying that the youngest person having a St. Mungo's (Parson Street) pedigree would now be about 56 years of age? This would be based on fact that the school was closed circa 1973 (I think). Any comments ??
This may account for the levelling off of comments.
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