Special last day of term as The Queen visits Cumbernauld school

The Queen is welcomed to Greenfaulds High by Rear Admiral Michael Gregory the Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire
The Queen is welcomed to Greenfaulds High by Rear Admiral Michael Gregory the Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire

Pupils at Greenfaulds High enjoyed a very special last day of term with a visit from Her Majesty The Queen.

She was met by Rear Admiral Michael Gregory the Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire and Lady Susan Hughey the Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire on her arrival at the school.

The Queen wishes depute head Eileen McLoughlin a happy retirement

The Queen wishes depute head Eileen McLoughlin a happy retirement

Her Majesty was then given a Gaelic welcome by senior pupils Breagha Miller and Hannah Russell.

Hannah said: “Gaelic is really important to us, so to speak it to the Queen is a big honour. She made us feel really comfortable.”

It was the first time The Queen has visited Cumbernauld since her Silver Jubilee tour in May 1977 and hundreds of local school children and residents gathered to greet the Queen as she arrived.

Head teacher Linda Park escorted The Queen on a tour of the school, which opened on its current site in September 2016.

Pupils line up to welcome The Queen

Pupils line up to welcome The Queen

Mrs Park said: “It was an incredible occasion for all our pupils and staff to welcome Her Majesty to our wonderful school campus.

“Our pupils have been so excited over the past two weeks and it’s an unforgettable way to end the school year.”

The Queen met local historians Bobby Johnstone and Mae Miller and viewed an exhibition on the school’s history and the town’s past and future.

Bobby, who has just stepped down as chairman of Cumbernauld Rotary Club, received a Diamond Award from the Queen for his work in the community in her Jubilee year of 2013.

The Queen is introduced to Bobby Johnstone

The Queen is introduced to Bobby Johnstone

He was on holiday at the time of the presentation so was delighted to be able to meet The Queen in person.

Bobby said: “I saw The Queen when she last visited the town in 1977, so was delighted to actually be presented to her this time.

“She spotted I was wearing my Diamond Award and asked me about it, she was very nice and seemed to very interested in what we were talking to her about.”

Her Majesty then met school staff before North Lanarkshire Schools’ award winning pipe band performed a traditional Highland medley on the athletic track.

Head teacher Linda Park tells The Queen about the success of North Lanarkshire Schools' pipe band

Head teacher Linda Park tells The Queen about the success of North Lanarkshire Schools' pipe band

She presented two Provost’s Community Recognition awards to Jim Park, the council’s Principal Music Instructor and to Donald Pegrum, chairman of Cumbernauld Amateur Athletics Club.

In the auditorium Condorrat Primary P6 pupil Isla Duke recited and a Gaelic poem and East Dunbartonshire String Ensemble performed Ashokan Farewell.

The Queen then presented Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards to Greenfaulds High pupils Fraser O’Brien and Zoe Train and long-service award to deputy head Eileen McLoughlin.

Mrs McLoughlin, who is retiring after 32 years at the school, and 37 years in total as a teacher, was stunned when Mrs Park asked Her Majesty to make the presentation.

She said: “I thought I was just there to hand the certificates to The Queen to give to Fraser and Zoe, I was absolutely shocked when Linda asked Her Majesty to present the award to me.

“The Queen even asked me if it had come as a surprise, but its is the nicest surprise I’ve ever received.”

North Lanarkshire depute provost Tom Castles aids The Queen in unveiling a plaque to mark her visit

North Lanarkshire depute provost Tom Castles aids The Queen in unveiling a plaque to mark her visit

Mrs McLoughlin is now planning a holiday, wants to catch up on reading, learn Spanish and how to restore furniture.

She said: “I have loved my time at Greenfaulds High with so many wonderful pupils and colleagues over the years.

“I decided that I would go to America in August as when the school starts back I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stay away.”

The Queen also unveiled a plaque to mark her visit, and before her departure received a posy of flowers from Condorrat Primary P1 pupil Archie Wilson and thanks from Greenfaulds High senior pupils Cameron Macindoe and Elise McCormick.

Elise said: “It was an absolute honour to meet The Queen, something I never thought would happen, but something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Lady Susan Hughey the Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire joins the Queen as Cumbernauld Amateur Athletics Club chairman Donald Pegrum is presented with a Provost Community Recognition awards

Lady Susan Hughey the Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire joins the Queen as Cumbernauld Amateur Athletics Club chairman Donald Pegrum is presented with a Provost Community Recognition awards

Youngsters from local primary schools were delighted to join in the celebrations

Youngsters from local primary schools were delighted to join in the celebrations

Condorrat Primary pupil Archie Wilson presents The Queen with a posy

Condorrat Primary pupil Archie Wilson presents The Queen with a posy