Tall tales from the “Glaikit” Civil Servant

Raymond Whyte, who had an audience at the Acorn Centre in 'fits of laughter'
Raymond Whyte, who had an audience at the Acorn Centre in 'fits of laughter'

WELL known local speaker Raymond Whyte had his audience in fits of laughter at the October meeting of the Garioch Heritage Society in the Acorn Centre last Wednesday night, (October 3) as he recounted his career in the civil service.

Raymond had been invited by the Garioch Heritage Society to be the speaker for the evening following his previous talk where he gave reminiscences of a “Colony Loon”, and unsurprisingly, there was a very large turn-out for a thoroughly entertaining evening. Raymond took the audience on a memory lane trip taking them through this early days in the Colony, which he described as a very friendly environment, and where he had the exciting prospect of joining the Loco Works but, unfortunately, just as he was leaving school the works were running down and he therefore joined the Civil Service citing his “glaikitness” as ample qualification for the job.

He also described his school days, at Market Place School under the Head Miss Ada Rae, and Inverurie Academy under Dr Norman Dixon. Highlights included “watching a fecht roon the back o the Toon Hall”, and his close encounters with corporal punishment, even regaling the audience with the Academy School House song.

Describing his Civil Service career starting on £5 17shillings and sixpence as a clerical assistant at Bridge of Don barracks with the Ministry of Defence in 1965 and culminating in HM Revenues and Customs some 41 years later. Raymond recalled some hilarious encounters over the years, most notably during a period working in the DHSS.

While working at Pensions and National Insurance part of his job was to assess whether applicants were actually able to work, which led to some scary but amusing situations.

At the end of his talk he invited questions and indeed there was only one from the audience and that was “when will ye be comin back for another talk again Raymond ?”

Raymond was thanked for his talk by Jack Hendry, who remarked that, while he may have been a Civil Servant , he was certainly not “glaikit” as his most humerous and interesting talk demonstrated.