The Watsonian Club President

The Watsonian Club President

Robert J Heatly (MBE)

Robert Heatly was born in Leith in 1958 and brought up in Balerno.  A member of the Class of 1976, his family have a long connection with George Watson’s College. The youngest of four children who were all pupils at the school (Ann, Jane and Peter), Robert attended for the full 13 years from Primary 1 to S6. Other Watsonians in the wider family include three first cousins, one sister in law, one nephew, one niece, two sons and his father, Sir Peter Heatly, was a former Master of the Merchant Company. 

Captain of Lauriston House, Robert’s interests at school were principally sporting and outdoor at the expense of academics.  He joined the Royal Marines in 1981 and, having joined up for four years, stayed for 30!  With a varied career of operational, training and staff appointments at home and abroad, he has served in every continent and has visited in excess of 50 countries throughout the world, living abroad with his family on three occasions (South Africa once and USA twice). He was awarded an operational MBE and, after 26 years of mobility, returned to Edinburgh and spent his last four years in Scotland. 

Since leaving the Royal Marines in 2010 he spent two years as CEO of Scottish Hockey then as a Project Officer for the Royal Navy which included leading the RN’s contribution to the Battle of Jutland Centenary Events held in Orkney in May 2016.  Since 2013 he has worked as Adjunct Faculty to a US Military University.

Robert married Debs in 1991, they have three grown up sons and live in Balerno, some 200 meters up the road from where he grew up.