FORMER PUPIL JOHNNY GIVES ANGEL TO SCHOOL

Bearsden Primary, Johnny Mulholland with his painting of angel. Kids Sophie McDowall, Ewan Forbes, Dylan Martin and Karen Donaldson'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/11/11
Bearsden Primary, Johnny Mulholland with his painting of angel. Kids Sophie McDowall, Ewan Forbes, Dylan Martin and Karen Donaldson'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/11/11

A BEARSDEN artist donated a painting of the angel on Bearsden’s war memorial to Bearsden Primary last week.

Johnny Mulholland, a former pupil of the school, presented the painting called ‘Sacrifice’ on Armistice Day (Friday) during the school’s P4 to P7 assembly.

The war memorial was built in May 1924 on land which used to be part of the school playground. It was designed by Alexander Proudfoot and unveiled by Ian Colquhoun of Luss.

Many members of teaching staff joined the forces during the First World War and this had a huge impact on the school’s ability to provide a full time education. When the war broke out the school was only three years old.

Johnny (30) remembers standing in the playground as a child and admiring the statue on the war memorial. It was one of the things that inspired him to become an artist.

He said: “When I was at the school the toilets were outside - a lot has changed since then. Since leaving I’ve been lucky enough to pursue my dream of becoming an artist.

“I loved my time at the school and I wanted to give something back.

“It’s also important to honour those who have given up so much for us enjoy our lives today.

“I have always admired the statue for what it stands for.

“I’m honoured that the school has accepted my painting and hope that it will remind pupils that the past is always present and that they should follow their dreams.”

‘Sacrifice’ was included in a series of Johnny’s paintings which were exhibited at The Arches in Glasgow to highlight places that have changed over the years.

Headteacher Marianne Young said: “The painting is particularly significant to us. Many teachers from the school fought for their country during the wars. We have a memorial plaque in the school to Lieutenant James A. Ross who was killed in action in the Somme in May 1916. James Ross was second master of the school for seven years.

“It was a pleasure to have Johnny visit the school and speak to the children. His painting is amazing. The children were delighted to have the opportunity to meet him and to ask him questions. I am sure that he will have encouraged many of our pupils to pursue their dreams and become artists. We hope he will come back and spend some more time with our pupils.”