Valediction for David and Gay Caird on their retirement in June 1994

Attention please, in honour of Two Names!
The well-deserving subjects of my lay
Are David, (not diminutive of James)
Together with his spouse, née Langrell, Gaye.
So may the Muse inspire my trembling lips
To hail our most unique of Partnerships.

Let’s turn the clock back…1952…
Old men forget, but this I well remember,
For, David, both of us arrived brand new
Within our different spheres that mid-September,
When SCC’s Traditions Erudite
Flourished beneath the Axis WILLIS-WHITE.

You flourished in spheres Gallic and Teutonic,
Your skill and kindly manner made their mark;
Your witticisms, made with touch laconic
Delighted those who recognized their spark.
And even when you grew that fearsome beard
Remained a figure rather loved than feared.

Mankind, so incomplete without a mate,
Finds true fulfilment through an infant yellin’.
Advancing to September ‘68
With baby-sitter (just!) arranged for Helen,
Gaye joins the Staff…your prelude to embark
For Virgin Territory…Hollypark.

Your House is over twenty years a’growing,
Your charges in excess of sixty plus,
And when your Juliets went a’Romeo-ing
You handled things with minimum of fuss;
Safeguarding all your swarms of little bees,
You bustled round, The Lady of the Keys.

In every sphere you gave your best, and more:-
House-Mother, teacher, cook, coach, referee:
On Stage, from Pantomime to Pinafore,
A generous hostess, full of joie de vie.
We now salute your Quarter of a Century
As Wonder Woman, Pioneer adventury.

Through David’s Pastures once again we’ll range:-
Most sensitive of Masterman Librarians,
You moulded generations down in Grange
Where you could even civilize barbarians.
Add Cricket, Music, Jazz, Mod Lang Society,
Art, Stage, prose stylist, rugby – what variety!

Dear Cairds, remaining comment must be terse,
(With just one line to laud a wise Sub-Warden)
Or else you’d hear a DUNCIAD in reverse,
And we’d be here till midnight through applaudin’.
With Gratitude and Friendship I acknowledge
Two lives of deep devotion to The College.

Dedicated House Staff are the backbone of schools like St.Columba’s College. None were more dedicated than the unique married partnership of David Caird (on the Staff from 1952-94) and Gaye (1968-94) . These Valedictory lines attempt to pay tribute to their enormous and wide-ranging contribution to the life of the College during The Caird Years. Gaye successfully guided the College into being a co-educational establishment; at the end of her reign presiding over 71 girls in her House, Hollypark: by far the largest number in any House in the College. The responsibility of the House Staff is awesome. They are on call in effect 24 hours a day for 7 days per week. The wear and tear on them is enormous.

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