Posted Wednesday, March 23 2011 by Deans Shortbread Categories: Blog

A tin of Dean’s Shortbread bought in a Canadian supermarket has led to a £250,000+ bequest to Gordon Schools in Huntly.

No one thought the man who bought the commemorative tin of millennium shortbread was a dollar-millionaire – never mind a possible major benefactor.

The tin of imported Dean’s shortbread evoked childhood memories for elderly Ronald Ironside of Ottawa and, subsequent contact with his school confirmed the exile’s link to his roots and enduring affection for his homeland.  Ronald then contacted the school by letter and sent funds for them to send him some information about the school, Huntly and, the surrounding area; the school duly obliged.  This led to more written communication between the school and Ronald that continued up until he died at the age of 87.  Sadly, representatives from the school never actually managed to meet him in person.

The school were very surprised but pleased to discover that Ronald had made provision for them in the first part of his Will;  the Gordon Schools then received $100,000 Canadian Dollars and, to meet the terms, they set up prizes for achievement in the Sciences, in memory of Ronald Ironside who himself had been an analytical chemist.

The Gordon Schools was also named in the second part of the Will.  They received a further bequest, from the residue of the estate and these funds were invested to provide bursaries or scholarships.  They will assist pupils who have attended The Gordon Schools and who will pursue their studies in the Sciences at university.  All in all, the bequest could be worth in excess of $500,000 Canadian Dollars.

It is remarkable that this relationship and, Ronald’s subsequent generosity, started with a Dean’s Shortbread tin.  We are delighted at the outcome and we’re proud to be part of such a heartwarming story.  Do you have good memories of your childhood in Aberdeenshire?  If so, we would love to hear from you.

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