GILLANDERS Ross A.
1962 – 1994
From the 1994 School Magazine
Ross began in 1962 as a science teacher, in charge of biology from 1972, and succeeded Doug Lockhart as Head of Science in 1980, teaching in the old lab 3 for most of that time.
As Dean of sixth forms (1974-80) he instituted course interviews, coursing booklets and a study skills programme.
Heavilly involved in his professional organisations Ross was on the Otago Science Teachers Association for 31 years (and President in 1978) and on the Otago Science Fair Committee for 23 years from 1971, being organiser in 1977. He was also the staff rep on the Board of Governors for a number of years.
Staff members from the seventies will remember Ross in charge of lighting for school drama productions – a skill he learned from ‘Tub’ Stewart, the pupil in charge, who became head boy in 1975.
The albums of photos produced by the school camera club under Ross’ guidance form a valuable record of school life over many years.
The school magazine was yet another job taken on and done thoroughly, though he says he got it by default. Then rector Jack Bremner set up a committee to produce the mag in 1966. Ross was to be in charge of sports and photographs – but within three months all the other members of the committee had left King’s. Typically Ross carried on as sole editor from 1966 to 1972.
An earlier rector, Harry Craig, started a Friday night games club which Ross ran together with Geoff Munro after suitably fortifying themselves between end of school and club time.
And Ross was one of a group of keen golfers on the staff (others included Steve Warburton and Paul Aubin) who started playing against Logan Park staff members on Wednesday afternoons. That arrangement dropped away as such but was the genesis (if I could use that word writing about a scientist) of the King Edward Open or Otago teachers golf tournament.
Ross is rather coy about his retirement plans, though golf will certainly figure in them and travel is a possiblity, but he hints at work of a pleasurable nature on a number of research projects in the biology field. Perhaps these relate to his known interest in native plants and in growing trees for commercial profit.