Verse 1 of the School Song reads: “Our fathers strove before us to make our school’s good name …”. At Merchiston, we are committed to upholding the values of our school – the values which have been entrenched over its 125 years of excellence. The school has a wonderful heritage and is built on strong moral foundations.

It is our desire to create a safe and stimulating environment where our boys are challenged to achieve their personal best and where their achievements are rewarded.

A school’s success is measured by the calibre of boys living and working within these walls. Our boys make the school what it is. Our boys respond positively to the many exciting challenges that our academic, cultural, sporting and social programmes present them and it is heartening to see their enthusiasm and genuine love for their school. We are proud of their commitment and loyalty to their school.

An old boy living in Canada wrote to me recently after he had seen Facebook posts regarding my ‘magic wand tricks’ and the ‘mud challenge’ with the junior boys. I quote:

Aimee and I are only a few weeks away from welcoming baby number two. A young lad who we plan on naming Samuel John. Very exciting times indeed!

I sometimes sit completely bewildered as to what has been accomplished in such an incredibly short space of time. Just typing this email reminds me of that very thing, but then I’m reminded of the valuable lessons Merchiston and especially Parkinson House taught me. To be resilient, determined, persevere, and no matter how overwhelming it may all appear, to keep your wits about you and remember that you are a gentleman and to never allow frustration to cloud judgement or affect your manners.

I thank you for teaching me these valuable lessons and I can only hope that I bestow the same amount of honestly, integrity, and respect with my own children one day”.

The staff and parents supply the support and care that our boys need in order to achieve and ensure Merchiston remains a much sought after educational institution. The Merchiston Family is one of vision, hard work, care and commitment. At the forefront of our planning and drive, is the interest of our boys. Merchiston is constantly looking for ways for our boys to be encouraged to reach their potential and thus, future planning revolves around them and their well-being.

At the helm of Merchiston’s drive, are the staff. These folk give so much of themselves in ensuring that all targets are met and our boys are educated and extended. Merchiston is a very big school with so many intricate mechanisms, yet every member of staff knows exactly what is required to ensure the success of the year. I am indeed very grateful to my staff, academic, sporting, administrative, boarding, grounds, aftercare and all auxiliary services, for their commitment, passion and loyalty. Staff are the custodians of our school.

Another old boy penned the following – his words clearly express his view of Merchiston as seen through the eyes of a then 13 year old:

“Being a Merchistonian is not always easy. It is not always easy to take the high road; having integrity, cherishing truth and honour, and doing what is right – no matter the circumstances, or who is watching (or not watching), takes courage and conviction. Thank you for upholding, and indeed, treasuring these values. It shouldn’t be easy to be a Merchistonian – however, the rewards reaped later on in life will be never ending if one sticks to the principles instilled at this fine institution.

I was truly privileged to have been mentored by some exceptional teachers. I often think of the countless occasions that you mentored me in numerous ways, I don’t think you realise what an impact you’ve had on my life. I guess as an Old Boy I want to thank you for ensuring that Merchiston stays as it should be – but also for adding so much more. I have no doubt that Miss Allan and Miss Rowe, along with Mr Smith and other legendary figures in the history of the Mudrats are extremely pleased, and proud, to see the traditions remaining intact, the principles remaining rigidly entrenched and the education of young gentlemen progressing exceptionally well”.

The Merchiston Family is one of vision, hard work, care and commitment. It has been a privilege and blessing to be a part of this wonderful school for 30 years. It is a very special place where staff and boys alike grow in the richness of the core values that we treasure and closely guard.

I invite you to look through our website … Merchiston is a truly magical place. It is an experience one has to see, feel, taste and smell.

Ready Aye Ready

Dave Beetar