St Andrew´s Day was celebrated early this year in Colegio San Andres in honour of a visit by the former head teacher, John MacPherson. A special Scottish programme was put on by pupils to welcome Mr MacPherson who served as a teacher, head of primary and then head teacher during two stints at the school from 1959 - 1977 and 1988 - 1992. The primary choir sang several traditional songs while kilted pupils performed a medley of three ceilidh dances. A secondary pupil presented a short monologue in which he assumed the character of the school´s founder, John A Mackay, and reminisced about the school´s early years. The two Scottish members of staff also took part – Zoe Baxter recited a short poem while Catriona Macdonald demonstrated how to do a Scottish ´hooch´!
The highlight of the day was the presence of John MacPherson himself who impressed everyone with his impeccable Spanish and obvious delight to be back in his old school. He gave an address about identity to the secondary pupils in which he talked about how his footballer grandson Joseph was able to play for both Scotland and Peru because of his double nationality. However, in the future Joseph would have to choose which country he would represent on the pitch. In the same way, everyone needs to make a choice about their spiritual identity which is something far more important than nationality. John finished his talk by urging pupils to choose to follow Jesus.
Mr MacPherson was treated like a superstar for the rest of the day with a school tour from the head boy and head girl, lunch with prefects, visits to a couple of classes and then an opportunity to chat with the current head teacher, Cesar Morales. Long-standing members of staff were thrilled to welcome John back while primary pupils crowded around him to get his autograph.
"It´s great to be back and to see many old friends again, both on the teaching and janitorial staff," commented John at the end of his visit. "I´m so glad to see that the school has made a lot of progress on the educational front and also to see that the commitment to teaching the Bible and disciplining children and young people is as strong as ever."
John´s visit is a fitting end to what has been a very special centenary year for the school. In 1917 Free Church missionaries John A Mackay and his wife Jane took over a small school in central Lima to found the Anglo-Peruano School which later changed its name to Colegio San Andres. It has been greatly used by God over the years to influence the nation of Peru and currently provides a solid Christian education to over 800 pupils.
For further information about teaching or volunteering at the school, contact:
Catriona Macdonald [email protected]