Bequest from Canada

Urgent repairs to the principal Newbattle Abbey College building have been boosted further, thanks to a generous donation from a Canadian benefactor with strong historic links to the Dalkeith college.

Margery Frances Dissette of Ontario, who sadly died on March 21, 2010, aged 96, was born in New York to Anne Isobel Kerr, one of three daughters to Charles Rollo Kerr, who emigrated to Canada previously.

Charles was himself a descendant of Philip Kerr, who in 1935 gifted his home – now the main college building – to the people of Scotland for educational purposes, giving Ms Dissette an intrinsic link with the 16th century college. Passionate about education, Ms Dissette decided to bequeath $25,000 – roughly £15,800 –- to the college to use for improvements.

College Principal Ann Southwood said: “Our well wishes go to Ms Dissette’s family and we are delighted to use the money she donated directly toward the upkeep and maintenance of the house donated by Philip Kerr himself in 1935.”