Christine Fairbairn – Finalist in the ISOTY ‘Unsung Hero’ award
Christine Fairbairn – Finalist in the Independent School of the Year ‘Unsung Hero’ Award
On Tuesday 10th October, Christine Fairbairn and I will be heading to London. Christine has worked at Belhaven since October 1980. For almost exactly 43 years, she has worked tirelessly in the school’s pantry, serving 4 Headmasters and generations of Belhavians in the process. On 10th October, we will get to thank her in London at the Independent School of the Year awards ceremony, where Christine is one of five finalists in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category.
First and foremost, Christine is outstanding at her job. She is one of the hardest-working members of staff aged nearly 80, and goes about her vital work in preparing and clearing meals and teas and coffees for visitors with twinkling smile and a rigorous eye for detail. She notices the small things that make such a difference to a child or a guest’s enjoyment of their day, and she provides a point of reference for the rest of the catering and domestic team as she is able to explain how everything works. Christine is the institutional memory of the school, not just because she has worked here for so long, but because she loves it and because the children love and respect her.
In the 2021 Christmas Form 1 “Balloon Debate”, the topic of discussion was which member of staff could Belhaven least do without. Christine, represented by one of the Form 1 boys, won the day by virtue of an overwhelming popular vote. She attended the school’s Centenary Ball this year and was able to recognise almost all of the 630 guests! Every time an Old Belhavian comes to look around the school with their children, Christine will take them aside and remind them of a story from their time at Belhaven – she has an extraordinary memory and provides an incredible link to the happy childhood enjoyed by so many former pupils.
We interviewed Christine back in January 2022 to ask her about how Belhaven has changed over the years.
Good luck on 10th October, Christine!
Olly Langton, Headmaster