‘Thanks for a great gala day event!’

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Sir, – I would like to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped my daughter Queen Dominique on her big day on June 21, and with the building of the Queen’s Arch.

I thank the gala committee for their huge effort preparing for this amazing day and all the other events over the year.

Dowager Queen Ruby and her mum, Jill, deserve a special mention for inspiring us, helping us and showing how it is done.

I would also like to thank all the other members of the main retinue and all the children who have taken part in this year’s gala for making it such a special occasion – and their parents who work so hard to make arches and outfits happen.

For the Queen’s arch, there are so many people to thank because it has been a real community effort.

We were delighted that Priory Road received a Highly Commended award.

Our neighbours have been wonderful. Dominique’s Girl Guide group helped too.

It has been lovely to have so many children involved in the making of the street decorations and the arches.

We were very pleased that the climbing rope – which was to be a balloon floated arch over the road for the band – was able to be flown as an ‘Up!’ type of balloon bunch in front of the house after last minute technical difficulties.

We are truly grateful for the great support from St Joseph’s Primary School community which had its first gala queen in over 20 years due to the bumper class of this year’s P7s.

We are also very glad we persuaded our neighbours to put cut-out paper suns in their upstairs windows which seems to have brought us this mini-Scottish heat wave – and the first outdoor crowning in several years.

Thank you to all those who have helped with Dominique’s transformation into the gala queen and to all who have helped make this year’s all-street Queen’s arch happen. – Yours etc.,

Sarah Collings

Mum to Queen Dominique

Sir, - Could I use this letters column to express my heartfelt thanks to the several people who came to my aid and that of my wife when I collapsed with a cardiac arrest at Linlithgow Railway Station on the morning of June 19.

I’m well on the road to a full recovery due mainly to the quick application of CPR by another passenger on the platform, and the prompt attendance of para-medics with a defibrillator.

Staff at St John’s and the RIE, where I was fitted with a personal defibrillator, were clearly impressed by the quality of the initial attention I had received!

The Journal and Gazette has carried a number of stories about the distribution of defibrillators, the training to use them and the techniques of CPR. Mine is a case in point of how quick and accurate assistance can make all the difference between a successful outcome and a poor outcome. – Yours etc.,

Colin Thomson


Sir, - I was disappointed with regard to allegations over the appointment of a new head teacher as reported in your edition of June 27, 2014.

Head teacher appointments are determined by a formal interview panel consisting of an elected member and appointed member of the Education Executive, two parent council representatives and two senior education officers of the council.

In this case the whole process was undertaken in line with the legislation governing the appointment of head teachers and council policies.

I am sure parents will join me in wishing the new head teacher every success in their appointment and confident that staff and parents will provide the new head teacher with their fullest support. – Yours etc.,

Lawrence Fitzpatrick

Executive Councillor for Education

Sir, – It’s a principle of democracy that governments should be able to make decisions in the interests of the people who elected them but the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being negotiated between the US and the EU puts this principle under threat.

This deal aims to set up a ‘court’ in which multi-national companies can sue governments if they think a law might harm profits.

A tobacco company is using a similar court to sue the Australian government for billions of pounds because it introduced plain packaging for cigarettes.

It’s also suing Uruguay for putting a health warning on cigarette packets.

I want the UK government to be able make laws to protect the people which is why I’ve joined the World Development Movement’s campaign to stop the deal. – Yours etc.,

Frann Leach

14/1 Oxgangs Avenue