BY SCO Admin | November 21 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


School in Malawi honours an Airdrie teacher who died

A newly built science lab in a Malawian school has been named in tribute to a fundraising Airdrie teacher who died of cancer in 2011.

Mary Thomson was a depute head at St Margaret’s High for 16 years and helped start the school’s fundraising efforts for the African country, leading their first visit in 2006.

Now, thanks to money raised by St Margaret’s pupils, a new modern lab has been opened at the Chistitu CDSS Mulanje School, providing a facility with running water and a gas supply to the country’s budding young scientists.

In recognition of Ms Thomson’s work, the science block has been named in memory of the former physics teacher.

Pupils of all ages from St Margaret’s are regularly involved in communicating with and helping those in the African country, making visits with the Aiming Higher in Malawi charity and assisting in a number of projects including at prisons and orphanages.

Andrew McKay, an English teacher at St Margaret’s, helped take on the baton of Ms Thomson’s work in Malawi after she became ill.

“She was a nice women and very passionate about Malawi,” he said. “She set it all up and she passed a lot of information onto me when I helped carry it on.

“We always intended to build a science lab in her memory. We had a look at the school and we thought, we can give them laptops and pens and that will help their education, but they had no science facilities at all. Now they have a modern functioning lab and apparently it’s brilliant.”

Denise Burke, headteacher of St Margaret’s, paid tribute to the school’s former depute head.

“She is remembered with great affection by everyone who met her for her generous spirit and her deep commitment to the values and principles of Catholic education,” Ms Burke said.

North Lanarkshire councillor Jim Logue and Provost Jim Robertson (above) spent two weeks in Malawi earlier this month witnessing the school’s work. Councillor Logue said it was ‘great to hear how fondly Mary is remembered in Africa.’


— In next week’s SCO, read an account from an S6 St Margaret’s pupil on the school’s work with an Italian missionary, providing blankets for hundreds of child prisoners in Malawi.

—Read the full version of this story in the Nov 21 print edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.



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