‘Great Outdoors’ for Probus

AT the latest meeting of the Garioch Probus Club, speaker of the day was long standing member and Past President of the Club, James Mackay.

Pre-retirement, James was Principal Teacher of Biology at Inverurie Academy. His long standing interest in the outdoors and outdoor activities led him in 1957 to set up the Inverurie Academy Outdoor Club, his main aim in setting it up being “to extend pupil horizons to the Great Outdoors”, and for over 20 years this aim was fulfilled as pupils were taken on day trips, weekend excursions and week-long expeditions (during the summer holidays) to many different parts of Scotland, from Harris in the Hebrides to Hoy in the Orkneys as well as many mountains of the Grampians and Cairngorms. Ben Nevis was “conquered” along with other Munros and an annual highlight was the moonlight crossing of the Bennachie range in mid-winter.

James believes strongly that such expeditions and activities brought out qualities young people which would have never been recognised in an academic classroom situation – qualities of responsibility, self-initiative and co-operation.