Georgina Clancy took a trip down memory lane today as she went back to her old school on her 100th birthday.
Dundee-raised Georgina was presented with flowers from head teacher Fiona McLagan, of St John’s High School, to mark the occasion.
She is believed to be the school’s oldest former pupil, having started at St John’s in 1932 when it was in the old Harris Academy building, on Park Place.
Despite the new building, the return trip to her former school sparked many memories for Georgina.
She said: “I loved school, I just loved it, I loved it.
“I remember one time I went into school and I didn’t have any shoes on and my teacher said ‘Why don’t you have any shoes on?’
“And I said that I didn’t have any shoes and the teacher said ‘That’s not right, just you wait there’ and off they went to make sure I got a pair.”
I loved school, I just loved it.”
Paul Clancy – head of children and families service at Dundee City Council and Georgina’s youngest son – said it was common in those days for children not to have shoes.
Georgina said: “I used to put my feet up on the radiator because it was warm. They said I should have shoes because I was a clever girl.”
She started her school life at St Joseph’s Primary School when a neighbour took her along at the age of three.
By the age of 11 Georgina had completed seven full years of school and moved onto St John’s a year ahead of most her age.
I had to leave and get a job.”
Georgina said: “Brother Le Gori (then head teacher) said I was too young to be here but I’d already done seven years of school.
“I was a really clever girl but I was the oldest of 11 children and my mum said I couldn’t stay on at school – I had to leave and get a job.
“Brother Le Gori said it was a waste but we had a big family and we needed the money.”
Aged 14, Georgina got herself a job in a fish shop near to the Victoria Road and Hilltown junction and took pride in making fishcakes.
She later took on a job making cams for weavers in a jute mill at Fairmuir and continued to work there ‘all her life’.
Georgina also brought up her four children Maureen, Dennis, John and Paul, with her husband Dennis Clancy – a famous musician who performed with Arthur Spink.
She said: “When I met Dennis – that was a big moment in my life.
“It was my sister’s birthday and she was having a party but there was no music and I said we can’t have all these people come and there be no music.
“So I said get Dennis Clancy to come up – I knew who he was, our mums were friends – and he brought his pal who played the accordion.
“He came up to play at the party and it went on from there.”
Georgina and her family lived together in Hilltown before getting a house at the bottom of The Law in 1944.
She now has 15 grandchildren and another 15 great grandchildren, all of whom warmly wish her a very happy birthday.