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Ian MacDonald
7th July 1910
4th January 2012  

Ian was born in Bellevue Road, Edinburgh.  His father ran a light engineering and model making business in Frederick Street.  

In 1917 the family moved out to Newbridge on the outskirts of the city where Ian attended Ratho Primary School.  Then, travelling by train to Edinburgh, he attended secondary school at the Royal High School.  The family again moved, this time to Corstorphine around 1930.   

Ian started learning his trade as a piano and organ tuner and restorer with Methven Simpson Ltd (music house)..  He was proficient at playing both instruments.  Ian moved to London to continue his trade until 1940 when he joined the RAF.  He trained as a Wireless Operator and was stationed in South Africa until 1945, flying as an operator in planes teaching air crew.  

He returned to Methven Simpson, and in 1947 was the standby instrument technician retuning the instruments in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh during the early days of the Edinburgh Festival recitals.  In 1948 he accompanied a piano which had been gifted to the Iona Community.  

Later in 1948 he took advantage of the scheme to train returning servicemen, and studied Technical Drawing and Woodwork at a College in Aberdeen. After completing the course, he was appointed to the position at Keil School, Dumbarton in 1950 and remained there until his retirement in 1977.  He returned to Corstorphine, Edinburgh, continuing to play golf regularly into his late eighties.  In recent years he moved, along with his sister Mary, to a care home at Murrayfield.  

Ian was more than just a teacher: he was a mentor, a person of high standards, a strict disciplinarian and a person of compassion, who had the ability to reprimand a wayward pupil or correct an immature reaction.  At that time it may have appeared harsh; however the pupil on reflection understood and to this day, up to sixty years on, remembered his tutelage and guidance.  Mr MacDonald, better known as Wee Aye, left a lasting set of high standards allowing no compromise for thousands of pupils at Keil.   

He was a very lively and able centenarian, fondly relaying stories of his time Keil and its more famous or notorious pupils.  

He had two sisters, Barbara who died aged 101 in 2007 and Mary who died aged 98.  Neither Ian nor his sisters married.  

Written by a personal friend, Tom Govenlock

Ian MacDonald - 100th Birthday 
Ian MacDonald on this 100th Birthday
Ian MacDonald as a Young Piano tuner
Ian tuning a piano