Ian Waugh (Altyre 1957)
Sadly Ian died on the 20th April 2012 at the age of 73 after a brave fight against pancreatic cancer.
They say that ‘enthusiasm is the engine of life’ and Ian had some engine and some life. He was driven by his enthusiasm and wanted to share his enthusiasm with everyone he met.
He worked hard and played even harder, living life to the full, to the end. There were no half measures! It will come as no surprise that he was affectionately known as ‘Big Waughie’
Ian started school at Melville College in Edinburgh in 1944, where the uniform was a bright scarlet blazer with matching scarlet cap. Perhaps this was a test set by our parents to see how well Ian would cope with standing out in a crowd. They needn’t have worried!
He then went to Altyre House in 1951, where he revelled in all the activities, except perhaps, clearing stones off the fields to make rugby pitches. He loved sports, especially rugby as a non stop, full on wing forward. He gained his colours playing for the Gordonstoun/Altyre Combined team that toured Edinburgh, playing Loretto, Watsons, and against his old mates from Melville.
He was also one of the lucky Altyre boys to be given the chance of some sailing experience aboard ‘The Prince Louis’.
He rose to the heights of Drum Major in the Altyre School Pipe Band, never dropping the mace on parade, and excelled in the am/dram productions performed at school. He starred as a demure and seductive leading lady in ‘Tottering Towers’, one of John Gillespie and Tony Whites’classics.
After completing National Service and his Degree in Agriculture at Edinburgh, he followed in the family footsteps into the Grain Trade, initially in Suffolk, then back to Scotland with Inverhouse Distillers. In 1968 he joined J D Martin as a grain merchant, where for the rest of his working life, he looked after his farming customers throughout Fife, Angus, Perth and Kinross from his base in Cupar. His customers became his friends and such was his reputation as an honest and knowledgeable trader that he attracted business from farmers further afield in Aberdeenshire and East Lothian.
He finished his rugby playing days at Howe of Fife and took up golf where his enjoyment of the game overtook any winning or losing. Socialising was the thing!
Music was in his soul. He loved ‘moving’ on the dance floor specialising in his famous ‘Charleston Crab Walk’ which took up all the dance floor as, latterly, did most of his dance routines. His rubber legged jive was akin to an octopus fighting its way out of a paper bag.
The bedrock throughout his life was his family. He was first smitten by his Irish love Mary at the ‘Plaza’ in Edinburgh in 1961. Mary escaped to Canada so Ian set out in 1964 to entice her back but only after a he had travelled the world on a tramp steamer, via New Zealand, where he worked as a logger at a pulp mill. He finally persuaded Mary to return to Scotland to marry him and fittingly their first engagement ring was a horse shoe nail made up by a blacksmith at the Royal Highland Show.
The family spent all their Summer holidays at the Burghfield Hotel in Dornoch, renowned for the hospitality given by the OG ‘s, Niall and Euan Currie. It became a special place for all the family leaving wonderful memories for their children, Sean, Martin, Liam and Clare.
Ian never lost his love of his days at Altyre and only recently organised a special reunion weekend at Gordonstoun with fellow Altyre thespians to celebrate John Gillespie’s 80th Birthday.
Ian was a special character- big, boisterous, loud, but with a big kind heart. I was lucky to be his brother, but then he treated all his friends as if he was their brother.