'Legendary' Port Glasgow school janitor retires...

JimIT’S the end of an era for a ‘legendary’ school janitor who has retired after 35 years.

Jim Boyland, dubbed the ‘best janny in the world’, bid an emotional farewell to the staff and pupils at Port Glasgow Community Campus on Friday.

The dedicated dad of two spent nine years as a volunteer youth club worker at Port Glasgow High school in the 1980s.

His passion for helping young people get the best start in life helped secure him the job as the school’s janitor in 1989 before he became the head janitor and latterly continued his work when the school merged with St Stephen’s and the new Craigmarloch school.

Over the past 35 years, Jim became the school’s stalwart, a man renowned for going above and beyond his call of duty.

He told the Telegraph: “It’s emotional to leave, as it’s the end of an era.

“Over the last few days at the school I was overwhelmed by the number of people who have approached me to say they’ll miss me and that I was ‘the best janny in the world’.

“All I want to do in life is give people a chance and that’s why I love this school.

“I’ll never forget this place.”

The 60-year-old says that his time as a youth worker served him well at the school. He said: “If the children had any problems they would come to me.

“I was like a social worker.”

Jim, who lives with his family in Campsie Road, said he will not only miss the children but the entire school community who have been a fantastic support over the years.

He said: “I would like to thank the pupils, cleaners, catering and teaching staff who have made my career a happy and long one, full of fond memories and amazing times.

“The Port High and St Stephen’s office staff have also been an enormous help and all the parents over the years who have supported me through thick and thin.

“I also want to thank the parent councils from both schools, who do a fantastic job.”

Jim says the school will hold a special place in his heart for another reason, as it is where he met his wife Joan, below right, who worked at Port High as a home link worker before she moved to St Stephen’s High.

He added: “I met my wife Joan at the school and we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year.

“We have two grown-up children Jenna, who is 23 and James, who is 17.”
Fiona Craig, below left, who is the acting head teacher at Port High, said everyone is sad to see Jim go.

She said: “How do you say goodbye to such a legend?

“He has been at the centre of life at Port High for a good number of years and has given a lot of time to Port High and the wider campus and the community.

“He’s is very bubbly and outgoing and knows the children and their families going back generations.

“He was like an extra family member to everybody.

“We’ll sorely miss him but we are organising a special leaving event for him soon.”

Jim does not plan on relaxing too much with his new-found free time - as he looks forward to doing some charity work Erskine Hospital.

He is also going to continue his roles as treasurer at the Greenock Argylls Association, as treasurer at his beloved Port Glasgow Boys’ Club and with the committee of Port Glasgow Angling Club.

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