Dec 1 2011 by Shirley Bartynek, Hamilton Advertiser
A FORMER popular head teacher of a Hamilton primary school has died at the age of 89.
Miss Anne Cairney, former head teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, passed away on November 20 after a long illness.
Anne, who was born in Hamilton, was educated at Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell and Notre Dame College in Glasgow.
She began her teaching career at St Mary’s, Caldercruix, and was appointed to St Mary’s Hamilton in 1967, as assistant head teacher.
It was in 1970 that she took over as head teacher at the Cadzow Street school.
She was a member of the Transfer and Promotions Board in the county and was also an area secretary for the St Margaret’s Adoption Society.
This week friends and colleagues paid tribute to Anne.
Kathleen Stewart, head teacher at St Mary’s since 2005, said the school community had been saddened by the news.
She said: “Miss Cairney is a hugely important figure in the history of the school, serving as she did for almost two decades.
“It is doubly sad for us that her death comes around the second anniversary of the loss of her successor, Mrs McCann, someone who carried forward the undoubted achievements of Anne Cairney. We will carry their memories with us as we look forward to an exciting new phase in the life of the school in our wonderful new building.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Cairney’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Anne is survived by her nephew, Dr James F Cairney.
Her funeral took place yesterday at Corpus Christi Church, Calderbank, Airdrie, and then on to the Bent Cemetery in Hamilton.