1966 Diploma

Why choose Atholl Crescent?

Although not subjects I studied at school, my hobbies were cooking and dressmaking. I hoped to have a career and family so thought teaching Home Economics would be the ideal opportunity to combine hobbies and work to fulfil all my plans.  My mother was from Edinburgh originally and I had always heard about Atholl Crescent as the best place to study and gain the qualifications to enable me to teach. The 4-year Diploma Course studying “Food and Nutrition” and “Dress and Design” combined with a Teaching Qualification from Moray House fulfilled all the criteria.

Highlight of the Course:

I found the friends I met during my training became friends for life. They provided fun, friendship and "peer group pressure"  - I particularly enjoyed studying food and textile science on the course.

"Follow your dream so that you will not look back later and regret you did not give it a try."
Pat Denzler, Alumni Wisdom

Life after Graduation:

When graduating there were good positions available with the Local Education Authorities but I applied successfully to be Head of Home Economics at St. George's School for Girls, Edinburgh staying there for four years and becoming a Form Teacher and Assistant to the Second Mistress. This involved working on the school timetable - a skill which proved very useful in later life as a Hotelier in a Country House Hotel. 

First, however, after leaving my teaching post, I went into business with my husband and opened a restaurant in Edinburgh moving on to a larger Edinburgh Restaurant and then to a Hotel in the Trossachs. After seven years there, and by then with two teenage sons, we returned to Edinburgh taking over one Restaurant and opening a second, finally exiting business after 30 years. 

The next position was as Non- Executive Director on the Board of Scottish Enterprise, attending meetings in Glasgow and also becoming a Trustee of the Royal Yacht Britannia. A member of the Merchant Company, I served as an Assistant on the Court, was a Governor of Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools for nine years, and after two years as Treasurer, was elected in November 2015 as The Master of the Merchant Company.  There has been only one other female Master since 1681, HRH The Princess Royal in 2002. 

My hobbies to-day include Longbow Archery; golf and golf history on Leith Links. I Chair the Statue Committee of Leith Rules Golf Society with the ambition to raise a bronze statue of John Rattray, signatory to the first written rules of golf, for a competition on Leith Links.

I am also a Past President of Leith Chamber of Commerce; of Edinburgh Business women's' Club; of Queen Margaret University Graduates' Association and Chair of Madras Lodge Committee.

I have two grown up sons and have just become a Grandmother for the first time.

I learned passable German - my husband's native tongue - essential to communicate with my Swiss in-laws. Took my Diploma in Wines and Spirits and studied “Understanding Accounts and Financial Analysis” at Edinburgh University evening classes all to help with the business.

Alumni Wisdom:

Follow your dream so that you will not look back later and regret you did not give it a try.