ARMADALE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Updated 10 January 2010
This mosaic of pupils' faces on a corridor
wall was like the event experienced by visitors: smiling faces working together
towards a common goal, the celebration of symbols of the school, the
high-achieving Duxes of the past.
Armadale Primary School's new Dux Board was presented to the school by The
History of Armadale Association
and unveiled by the last Dux, Dr Heather Shields nee Mallace, on Friday 8 March
The occasion was a happy one, attended by many former recipients of Dux awards
and / or their families / representatives.
We would like to thank Mrs Alison Phillips, her staff and pupils for their warm
welcome and hospitality, and we would like to congratulate the pupil
representatives whose patience, attentive politeness and communication skills
were a credit to themselves as well as their school.
Below are some of the moments from that
Armadale Primary School
awaits its visitors!
Speech delivered by
Ron Dingwall, Chair of The History of Armadale Association
The History of Armadale
Association was delighted to sponsor the new Dux Board for the
School. Armadale Primary has a long history and history is important
for us all. These are not just names on a board as we have here
today some of the previous Duxes, relatives and even descendants of
those featured over 100 years ago.
We have tried very hard to fill in the gaps that were on the old
boards but Councillor Borrowman can confirm it wasn’t an easy task.
There were many prizes given out in both the primary and secondary
departments of the school and some confusion has arisen. However we
tried our best and I hope that everyone thinks our efforts were
The old boards will hopefully be restored and be given to West
Lothian's Museums Service for display.
The new board is to be unveiled by Heather Mallace, better known to
most of you as local dentist Heather Shields. She was not the first
dentist from Armadale School as the Dux in 1902/03 was a Joseph
Blair Syson who also went on to become a dentist.
I’d now like to hand over to Heather Shields to unveil the new Dux
Board of Armadale Primary School.
Visitors who attended the
(Only a list of those who
Moira Niven, Head of
Councillor Jim Dixon
Councillor Stuart Borrowman
Rev Ian Walker
Andrew Smart, Armadale Community Council
Mary Falconer Flynn, History of Armadale Association
Margaret Reid, sister of John Leitch Dux 1949
Duncan A R Wallace, husband of Doreen Russell
Doreen Wallace, Dux of 1962
Peter Reid, Dux of 1947
James Lambie, History of Armadale Association
Betty Hunter, Secretary, History of Armadale Association
Alison Hossack nee Peden, Dux of 1960
Ian Hossack, husband of Alison Hossack nee Peden
Duncan Sommerville, Dux of 1941 -2
John Wells, Armadale website
Heather J V Shields nee Mallace, Dux 1971
N. M. Heriot, Edinburgh
Ron Dingwall, Chair, History of Armadale Association
Ann Taylor nee Smart, Dux 1946 and teacher
Isobel Colquhoun, Ann Taylor's sister, also former pupil
Jessie B Kerr, wife of Robert Kerr, Dux of 1939
Gordon Ford, Director of Education and Cultural Services
Patricia Brown, niece of Russell Warnock, Dux 1920
Ian Brown, husband of Patricia Brown
Louise Macintyre nee Louden, 1953 pupil
Jemima Redpath, History of Armadale Association
Tom Wilson, Armadale Primary School Parent Council
William Ross, Dux 1967
James Ferguson, History of Armadale Association, 1935 pupil
William Ferrier, ex-Provost, History of Armadale Association
Nan Armstrong nee Brown, niece of Annie Brown,
James D Campbell
Janet G Campbell
Davie Kerr, History of Armadale Association
Rosie Wells, Armadale website and History of Armadale
Gavin Young, Dux 1949
Duncan Sommerville proudly displaying
his Dux watch
Speech delivered by
Dr Heather Shields nee Mallace, Dux 1971
Mrs Phillips, Councillor
Borrowman, distinguished guests, boys and girls.
On behalf of all those whose
names appear on the Dux Board of Armadale Primary School, it is my
privilege to have been asked to today's unveiling ceremony for what
is after all part of Armadale's wider history and that of the school
I would like to offer specific
thanks to Mr Ron Dingwall and to all members of The History of
Armadale Association for their input and financial backing without
which this would not have been possible.
It is good to see so many
Alumni of Armadale Primary School here today. For those of us
whose names appear on the Dux Board, our achievement of being Dux
would have remained but a distant memory if it were not for the
efforts of Councillor Stuart Borrowman in having the Dux Board
restored to its rightful place.
I am sure that I speak for all
Alumni present today in thanking him for all his hard work in
I hope that his efforts will go
some way to help today's pupils focus on the benefits of education
and, in particular, the pride and satisfaction that comes from
striving to do their best for themselves, their families and their
However, it would not be
possible to do one's best without the support and dedication of the
many teachers who are entrusted with the task of educating those in
I would therefore like to pay
special tribute to all those teachers who have taught in Armadale
Primary School down the generations from 1880 to the present day and
without whose efforts there would have been no Dux.
The number of names on the Dux
Board is a testament to their sterling efforts, their dedication,
and, above all, their pride in their chosen profession.
Whilst there is no Dux today,
nevertheless I would wholeheartedly encourage today's pupils to
honour their own teacher's efforts and dedication, to have pride in
Armadale Primary School, and to represent the interests of the
school to the best of their abilities at all times.
Finally, I hope that, in
restoring the Dux Board to its rightful place in the school, it will
serve as a continuing focus for teachers, parents and pupils to
fully appreciate the fact that a good education, and good
educational qualifications, allow all of us to find worthwhile
employment and to make a positive contribution to society.
In today's modern world it may
sound somewhat dated but I would urge all pupils to subscribe to the
ideal that if
YOU HONOUR EDUCATION, EDUCATION
WILL HONOUR YOU!
More moments from the morning's
first formal end-of-session ceremony at the new Armadale Public School in
July 1879, it was announced that John Moffat, proprietor of the
Barbauchlaw estate would, the following year, present medals for the top
pupils in the boys’ class and girls’ class. The medals were awarded
for “general excellence”. The award was made to pupils who had completed
nine years’ schooling (that is, aged 14).
Elizabeth Chalmers and James Meek won the medals in 1880, it
was announced that this would become an annual award. However, Mr
Moffat died after the 1881 awards and there was some doubt about them
George Readman, the new proprietor soon announced that he would
continue with the awards.
it was agreed that the award would be switched to a younger age group (12)
as it was recognised that many pupils left then and so all could compete
for the medals.
time, the award became the result of a public examination so that
some pupils won more than one Dux prize. Where there was a close result,
the papers would often be sent to benefactor for adjudication.
pupils then went on to other schools, some Armadale Dux Award recipients also won awards
elsewhere and, for example, Joseph Syson is believed to have been
Dux of an Edinburgh private school.
1890s, a watch seemed to have become the preferred prize.
benefactors contributed prestigious awards. The upper school
continued to have a prize and T. M. Durham, proprietor of the
Boghead estate awarded a medal for excellence in agricultural studies.
Eventually, the Dux medal began to be associated with coalmaster James
Wood. After his death in 1932 the James Wood
Bequest funded the prizes at the school.
It is the
winners of the prizes from this bequest who are honoured on the Dux Board
until the award ceased in 1971 when Robert Hunter and Heather
Mallace (now Dr. Shields) were the last winners.
idea was also used by other schools and there was also a Junior Secondary
Dux with a prize awarded by the Goth. We are finding it harder to
come by details of the winners of those awards.
Academy has revived the Dux award in recent years, and that can (and has)
been won by Blackridge pupils as well as Armadale pupils.
for Dux Board details.
Please notify me of any errors or omissions.
Unofficial webpage with current details about Armadale Primary
School as well as photos of former pupils.