Sandy McAllister – Architect Services

Sandy McAllister has been in touch to pass on the details of his Architects firm in Dundee

One of the manny Arran boys, Sandy attended Keil from 1968 until 1974 following in the footsteps of his late father AMD McAllister and uncles Ronald, David and Duncan from Lochranza. Uncle Alan Bannatyne from Blackwaterfoot also attended.

If you would like your company added to the , just drop us a line.

AGM & Annual Dinner 2013 – Book Now

A reminder to all our Old Boys.  The Annual Dinner and AGM will be held on Saturday the 30th November in the Kibble Suite at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in Glasgow.


 Our speaker for the evening is Sandy Strang a raconteur and impressionist – currently in demand throughout Britain as an immensely entertaining and experienced after-dinner speaker. He is a journalist, who has penned long running columns in ‘The Herald’, ‘The Edinburgh Evening News’, ‘Scotland on Sunday’ and ‘The Sun’.
A one time top amateur footballer, Sandy wore the No.9 jersey for Cambridge University and actually had the honor of playing in a Varsity Cup Final against Oxford at the old Wembley Stadium. Sandy was also a talented cricketer who played in a record number of nine Scottish Cup Finals.
Sandy Strang has covered the whole range of speaking engagements from high profile corporate events and charity fund raisers through to golf days and sportsman’s dinners.
Wag of the Year 2007: Sandy won the prestigious Wag of the Year 2007 Competition held in Glasgow at the Marriot Hotel in May 2007.


Saturday 30th November 2013 @ 8pm, preceded by the AGM @ 7pm at

The Kibble Suite, Hilton Grosvenor Hotel

Grosvenor Terrace, Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0TA.


Tickets £25.00 per person


Please make cheques payable to ‘Keil School Old Boys Club’ and return to:-

Fergus Allen 160, Great Western Road Glasgow G4 9AE.


Remember to include your name, address and any special dietary requirments.


We look forward to seeing you all on the evening !

Jubilee 2013 – The 25 Year Reunion @ Ballinakill House

Not everyone who was asked actually wanted to come. Not everyone who said they’d like to come could actually make it in the end; but those who did come made it a more than worthwhile venture.


John Cameron planned it into a family expedition from Mexico, bringing his wife and 2 young children all the way – presumably to help them appreciate the weather they normally take for granted. Dave Cunningham drove his wife and young daughter up from the South of England. John Hanneken flew over from Geneva with his daughter for just one night. He wanted to be sure to catch up with Ewan Reid, who was flying out to Guatamela on the Sunday, but who still made it. Dave Anderson brought his 16 year old son, Hamish, which was a bit confusing for many of us, as the last time we’d seen Dave, he wasn’t much older – and so we found ourselves continually addressing Hamish for Dave stories.
Gavin Bruce and Ken Thompson from the year above decided they could sense a party, so they brought bits of their families (and most of their golf clubs) down. Finlay brought his pregnant wife, Fiona, and their young daughter Maisie. Finlay’s dad thought it all sounded a bit fun, so he chartered a yacht from Inverkip and recruited his old boy’s rugby teammate Richard Chilcott as weekend crew for a sail around the penisula with a wee stop over in Clachan – where they found the hospitality as warm as the chicken fajitas and the red wine at high tide. My own family seemed keen enough, so Lynn, Ross & Lorna joined the fun at Balinakill house and we all had a ball.

It’s a beautiful old house, where Keil School found itself during the 2nd world war, whilst the Norwegian Navy were installed in Helenslee. Ally McCoists’s grandfather served the McNeil family as a gamekeeper in those days, and that is why we share common alma-mater with the father of one of Scotland’s greatest ever strikers.

The house is now available for a self-catering hire and with 12 stunning en-suite rooms on offer, we certainly picked a great, albeit difficult to get to venue for our 25 year Jubilee celebration. With Tarbert Golf club just an 8-iron down the road, the boys were able to spend Saturday afternoon working off Friday night’s well lubricated reunion, whilst the familes explored the surrounding countryside – with a very fine investment in the beautiful produce available at the farm shop for a Saturday night BBQ to be remembered.

On Sunday most of the boys had to start heading their seperate ways back home and on with their current journeys. Over the years we’ve not always kept in touch, and perhaps we’ll drift apart again, but it was a wonderful gesture by those who did come to make such a big effort to remember and celebrate our shared years at Keil. In these days of social networking, it’s definitely easier to keep a hold of someones contact details – but it’s still a much more worthwhile effort to actually get together for some socialising in the flesh.
Perhaps Balinakill won’t suit everyone. It’s difficult to get to and perhaps expensive for people won’t manage to be away for the minimum amount of time the house needs to be let for, but we certainly all enjoyed it and with Richard reminding us all that the school will be 100 years old soon, perhaps we need to find some bigger way of celebrating that common bond between those of us who learned to Persevere in Hope.

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend

Here's, a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be of care, man.

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not ay when sought, man.

Death of Ena Menzies

The Keil School Old Boys committee have been informed of the sad news of the death of Ena Menzies wife of Bill Menzies.  Details from the Herald newspaper:

“MENZIES – ENA Suddenly on Tuesday 13th August 2013 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.  Ena beloved wife of Bill and sister of David Roberts.  Funeral service at Clydebank Crematorium, North Dalnottar, on Wednesday 21st August at 2pm.  No flowers please.  Donations, if desired to MacMillan Cancer Support” [Herald Newspaper]



James Mason’s glass slide collection (Russia 1903)

An update on the collection of glass slides by James Mason:

Club Secretary Jim MacLean has been in touch with Christopher Baker, the Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery regarding the collection of glass slides created by James Mason during a trip to Northern Russia in 1903.  Mr Baker has written to Jim to say that the slides were considered at the last Committee Meeting of the Gallery. They have come to the conclusion that the slides would indeed by a very interesting and most welcome addition to their collection.  Before the gallery formal accept the gift of the slides a conservator will visit Jim to assess them as per their conventional practice.

I know many of the old boys were keen to see these valuable and really quite unique slides passed on to a good home and we will update again in due course if we have further news.

Maggie’s Monster challenge 2013

Early on Sunday morning 5th May; Jim MacFarlane & Finlay Kerr (Jr) finally arrived at Inverness stadium, 23 hours and 21 minutes after leaving Fort William to complete the gold level of Maggie’s Monster challenge . Ewan Reid had joined the team from the start and completed the silver challenge up to Drumnadrochit, a significant undertaking in itself.


So far this team of old boys from the 1988 release have raised over £1600 for the Maggie’s centres. Having met so many wonderful people, with significant emotional investment in the work of the Maggie’s centres, team Keil concluded that this was indeed a particularly worthwhile event are proud to have contributed in their own small way to the work of an outstanding organisation.

If you like to add a little more to the effort, all contributions are gratefully received at

Special thanks to Finlay’s pregnant wife Fiona and Finlay Sr for stepping into the breach when the original support team were forced to pull out due to family issues.

Maggie’s Monster Bike ‘n’ Hike – training complete… nearly!

Celebrating 25 years since their release from Keil, Jim MacFarlane, Finlay Kerr (Jr) and Ewan Reid will be raising money for Maggies’s Cancer Care centres through the trial by endurance that is the Monster Bike ‘n’ Hike. A 31 mile bike ride from Fort William to Fort Augustus followed by a 41 mile Hike to breakfast in Inverness.

4 seasons in one afternoon

Finlay & Ewan test their wet weather gear

This weekend the boys confirmed the difficulty of the task in hand with a 8am brick session (the triathletes out there will know that is a session which combines more than one discipline) that started with a 16 mile bike ride out and back from Callander, then incorporated a funny exchange with an Eastern European waitress who translated Roll & Sausage into Sausage Roll, a 34 mile hike following the Rob Roy way out to Balquidder, up and over the hills to Glen Finglas Reservoir then down to a quick soup stop at the Byre Inn, Brig o Turk, before finally stumbling through the darkness around the south side of Loch Venacher arriving back Callander just after midnight. Special thanks to Michael Fish for ensuring that all the equipment was thoroughly stress tested against Wind, Rain, more rain, sleet (just a wee bit!) and strong (honestly!) sunshine (no, honestly!).

You can contribute to the fundraising efforts on the Just Giving fund raising site.