MBE for retired teacher Bryan
A West Lothian resident has been awarded an honorary MBE thanks to his startling services to education.
Bryan Lewis, from Stoneyburn, has been a teacher at the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools ( ESM) for 40 years and is one of Scotland’s leading educators, utterly devoted to developing talent and inspiring young people.
Mr Lewis was joined by his wife, children and grandchildren when he was officially presented with his honorary MBE by LordLieutenant of West Lothian, Ms Moira Niven at a recent ceremony at West Lothian Civic Centre.
West Lothian’s Lord Lieutenant Moira Niven said: “It’s wonderful to have Bryan honoured by the Queen in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List.
“Mr Lewis has dedicated over 40 years of his life to education, guiding countless young people across Edinburgh and the Lothians with the aim of providing them with the most positive experience possible.”
He has been vice-principal of the Erskine Stewart’s Melville School since 2001 and has an unceasing mission to broaden the horizons of all pupils including those not in his care.
After visiting a nearby school with few facilities, he suggested sending some of his own staff to help in areas such as drama.
After speaking to the children and establishing their biggest wish was to swim, he gave them access to ESM’s swimming pool. He even drove the school minibus to take the children there and back.
Throughout his career in education, Mr Lewis has contributed greatly to Edinburgh’s art scene.
Edinburgh would be the worse off without the outstanding performances produced by many children in West End shows such as Joseph and other productions for which the cast from the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools have now been performing in for over 15 years.
The children also provided the choir for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
His work in promoting the Tom Fleming Centre at Stewart’s Melville College has done much to attract regional, national and international companies to Edinburgh as it is one of the few middle sized auditoria in the capital which can cater at a high level for musical events.
In 2013, he supported the Lagganlia Centre which is used widely by state schools in the Lothians for outdoor education.
The centre had their funding cut so he engaged all 208 children of primary seven in a 26km marathon walk which raised £23,000. This ensured the Trust could continue to maintain the facilities necessary for children to enjoy the benefits of annual camps and outdoor expeditions.
Over the last seven years he has supported the Chesney Trust for Education in Malawi after hearing of a project to build a boarding school for underprivileged girls.
A formal link has now been set up between ESM, Chisangano Primary and Edinburgh Girls’ High School in Northern Malawi.
He has also had a role in the sporting success of former ESM pupil and 800m European Athletics champion, Lynsey Sharp after he spotted her prowess for athletics during her early years at the school.
He was there to offer advice on career pathways and to ensure she kept an academic focus.
He also found her a major sponsor to help with preparations for Rio 2016 as well as legal support when appeals were lodged against her selection for London 2012, where she eventually reached the semi-final.
Mr Lewis has dedicated over 40 years of his life to education
Presentation Bryan Lewis with Lord Lieutenant Moira Niven