We were delighted to welcome former pupil Renton Laidlaw and his sister Jennifer back to school recently. Renton's international reputation as a golf correspondent and broadcaster will be known to many alumni. He worked at over 150 majors, including over 40 years at the Masters where he still has a reserved parking space and, with his sister Jennifer, a longstanding annual afternoon tea date with Jack and Barbara Nicklaus! Renton recently was honoured to be the first golf writer ever to achieve the triple crown of journalistic prizes when he was awarded the PGA of Europe Special Recognition Award, which followed previous Achievement Awards from both the UK Tour and the US Tour.
Renton was a pupil in Daniel Stewart's in the 1950s and, when he visited, he said he was particularly keen to see the Principal's study in which he told us he had spent considerable time working on his German with the Headmaster Dr Robbie. Apparently there was a shortage of teachers of German at the time and he had as a result been required to spend most of his German lessons sitting at the back of a Science class! He was unfortunately sent out of the room by the Science teacher for not knowing the answer to a Science question and his protestations that he did not actually take Science fell on deaf ears. Dr Robbie found him wandering in the main corridor, took pity on him and allowed him to continue working on his German in the Principal's Study!
Dr Robbie initially expressed disappointment that Renton was intent on a career in journalism but was later very supportive and would have been delighted if he had known that Renton was destined to become one of the great names of golf reporting and radio broadcasting before achieving a world-wide reputation as a golf reporter in the early days of Sky.