Balfron mourns ex-head teacher
Death of Jim Fleming
Tributes have poured in for a popular former head teacher of Balfron High School who died on Saturday.
The school said this week it was “deeply saddened” to hear that Jim Fleming, rector for around two decades from 1984, had passed away at Strathcarron Hospice.
Balfron Community Council described him as “a much loved man who will live forever in the hearts of his family, his many friends, his pupils and his colleagues”.
Condolences and tributes also soon flooded in on social media from former pupils, parents and staff for Mr Fleming, who had also previously been depute head teacher at McLaren High School in Callander and who received an OBE for services to education in 2000.
Many spoke of how he had been “inspirational”, remembered the name of every pupil and parent over many years and had earned respect from all quarters - even from those whom he had had to discpline.
Jamie Fox said: “A fine man who was well respected. I was in front of him too many times but it was never anger or disappointment he gave, it was advice and encouragement which showed the mark of the man.”
“I’ve never yet heard of another headteacher who was as respected and appreciated as Mr Fleming,” said Stephanie Sim.
Yvonne Bauwens meanwhile, recalled his fun side: “One of my fondest memories was as a new first year. He came and asked what crisp flavour I was munching at break, and then proceeded to help himself as they were his favourite too! Not too many teachers made time like he did to interact and be friendly around his pupils. Strict but caring. That took a certain a kind of gentleman.
“Years later, at a concert in the Fintry sports hall, he came over. Calling each by name, he asked about our lives then, and how our siblings were doing. He recalled hilarious stories about both brothers, and asked after our parents, who he also called by name. Who remembers details like that about hundreds, if not thousands of kids who walked through those school doors? Jim Fleming did. A true legend who will be sorely missed.”
Roger Kelsey recalled just how popular Mr Fleming was. “I remember the first Speech Day we attended at Balfron High. Jim had been offered another job which he was considering taking, but when he announced that he’d decided not to take up the offer and was going to stay at Balfron High there was a huge roar and a standing ovation. I wondered what all the fuss was about but found out over the following years what an amazing head teacher and rector he was. Years later after he eventually moved on I contacted him for some reason and as soon as I gave him my name he remembered me as the father of my two daughters and recalled their names without a second’s hesitation. An amazing man and a huge loss.”
Jim Fleming’s funeral service will take place at St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Stirling, on Monday, October 16, at 1pm, and then to Falkirk Crematorium. Those attending can wear a ‘touch of tartan’ if they wish. Family flowers only, a retiral donation for Strathcarron Hospice will be taken.
Sadly missed Jim Fleming passed away in Strathcarron