Obituary - Ex Deacon Harry Wylie
Ex Deacon Harry Wylie, a sixth
generation and oldest member of the Craft, has died at the age of
103. He joined the Incorporation of Skinners in 1935 becoming
Deacon in 1967. Never losing interest in the work of the Skinners
his last appearance was at the Choosing Dinner in 2012 telling us
about his first dinner with 13 courses each with its separate wine
in the North British Hotel. He was pleased that his son in law, Tom
Gilchrist, supported by his daughter Anne, was Deacon Convener
in 2004 for the Trades House of Glasgow's
Teaching mathematics in Glasgow
Schools he joined the Scottish Mathematics Group and produced the
book 'Modern Mathematics for Schools'. This was the text book which
changed the way mathematics was taught. Discipline in his classes,
and then in schools, was not a significant problem.
In a note to
his staff at City Public School he said: "We should, by every
possible means, attempt to create more enthusiasm, more pride in
our school, more interest in the school and in the world outside.
If we can achieve this, problems of discipline will disappear
except for a few who need special psychological treatment."
He rented a farm and took staff and
children from school each Saturday. They all worked together on the
farm and went for walks looking for birds and animals never seen in
towns. The barriers between teachers and pupils were broken down.
His philosophy of education was very much ahead of his time. He
called his philosophy 'The Art of Living'. His interest was in
educating the whole child and not just delivering the academic
aspects. He was promoted to Head Teacher at City Public School in
Townhead, where he developed a pilot for comprehensive education.
This was adopted for all schools. His final school was Govan High
where he was given the task of integrating four schools into a new
building. Four turbulent years later he retired with the job
Always keen on rowing, first
for the University of Glasgow and then Glasgow schools rowing on
the Clyde at Glasgow Green, he maintained his fitness by daily
exercise on his rowing machine until a few months before he died.
He is survived by his daughter Anne, granddaughters Judith
and Yvonne and great granddaughters Becky and Molly Thomson, and
Katie and Lucy Imrie.
Always searching for something significant to do, he played a full
part in everything he did throughout his long life.