Kim Hughes, cricket legend, former Australian Captain and one-time Watsonians Cricket professional was the guest of honour at the ceremony to formally re-open the Craiglockhart Pavilion on Wednesday evening.
Kim first came to Watson’s in 1976 and although he has visited several times over the years, the anticipation that awaited his arrival on Wednesday night was palpable.
Craiglockhart Pavilion has been part of the School facilities since it was transferred from the ownership of Edinburgh University as part of the arrangements that enabled George Watson’s Ladies College to vacate their building in George Square and move to the Colinton Road site, thus creating the fully co-educational school that Watson’s now is. All this happened forty years ago – in the very year that Kim Hughes first came to Watson’s.
Kim was also an appropriate guest to re-open the Pavilion as he knew John D Martin (Class of 1948), the former pupil and cricket lover whose generous legacy to the School had enabled the refurbishment work to take place.
John Martin played for Watsonians from 1946 until 1976. He was Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Captain of the 1st XI in 1960 and Captain of the 2nd XI in 1975 and 1976. He played some very valuable innings for Watsonians, making over 5,700 runs, taking 438 wickets with his skilful leg breaks, and 130 catches. His legacy will also fund our new Cricket Development Officer post, providing coaching for pupils and supporting the Watsonian Cricket Club.
Kim Hughes said as he reopened the Pavilion, “Whenever I come back over to the UK to watch the Ashes and on other trips I always make a point of visiting Edinburgh and catching up with my old mates because I loved the year that I had here. When I got the chance to come here I was 22 at the time and as a young Western Australian moving to Scotland, I really was not sure what to expect. However, I should not have been worried because they made me feel at home straight away at Watsonians and the likes of Brian Adair (Captain of the Watsonian team) and Donald Scott (Head of PE at Watson’s) were great to me.”
Melvyn Roffe, Principal, said, “I was delighted to welcome Kim Hughes back to Watson’s for the reopening of the Craiglockhart Pavilion and to hear his reflections on John Martin. The refurbishment of the Pavilion has paid tribute to the rich sporting heritage of the building but has also provided an excellent new facility to support School, club and community sport in the future.”