FEATURES Letter to James Henry White II, 1833-1919
Dear Great Grandfather, Obviously, you and I never met, but a visit to St Andrews reminded me of your achievements and the mark you left on its landscape. Driving through Fife, I always look over at Pickletillum to see the memorial Leng Chapel built in 1908. Trained by your father, and later to become the finest Gothic stonemason of your time, you worked with leading builders from Portsmouth and later headed your family business based in St Andrews with your sons. For the University, you built The Bute Medical Hall in 1899 and the Younger Graduation Hall in 1929. The Parish Church in Market Street (restored in 1909) appointed you Foreman. The plan to carve the heads of the
James Henry White II carving on Holy Trinity Church.
12 Apostles on the sides of the arches of the 6 windows was changed. Instead, the heads of contractors and men from Kirk and Town were carved there – including you, with your mason’s cap to keep the dust off your head! You changed the choice of stone to Cullaloe grey sandstone. The Whites found this the best, and the only, quality for restoration work. One smart move – as the Whites by now had bought the Quarry at Aberdour. Your other smart move was to allow my Grandfather, James Mitchell Benzies, to marry your daughter Lily, when you both worked on the outstanding mansion Mount Stuart House on the island of Bute for Lord Bute, in 1879. Jobs like this took 7 years and whole families of the tradesmen resettled on site. Recently in the grounds, we visited Windsor Cottage, which the Earl had built for you and yours. The occupant now was pleased to have her children working on the Estate and was only worried by the deer eating her garden! Before St Andrews, you worked all over Scotland, leaving over 100 Public Buildings, Memorials, Churches, and restorations for your CV; viz, works manger to the construction of St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place, Edinburgh in1879; still in Edinburgh, a chapel in St Giles Cathedral and the Students Union; the first stage of restoration in Iona Cathedral in 1906 -1919. In the 1920s, your oldest son Ben was in charge of the Roman Catholic Church on The Scores. Blue Permand Stone was used in preference to sandstone. Almost last was Mount Melville House, later to be Craigtoun
James Henry White II painted in 1958 by Hap Bromley, a great granddaughter in Canada, from a photograph taken by my father. Maternity Hospital. Culalloe stone was used by others to build Fettes College in Edinburgh. Robert Benzies got his education there; sister Pat Benzies was to graduate in the Younger Hall (as was the Editor of this organ). At the 2010 Open year, three golfers were honoured with Doctorates in the Younger Hall – Messrs Watson, Harrington, and Palmer. My nephew, Andrew Harley, was to be born in Craigtoun Hospital. Thank you from us all, Great Grandfather! Bob Benzies, Coupar Angus (Photos courtesy Bob Benzies)
Sandy Cameron, is a member of the XIXth Hole Golf Club of St Andrews. A retired psychologist and teacher, he gives PowerPoint presentation seminars on the mental aspect of the short game of golf. All proceeds to charity – Tel: 01334 474 763 and email: email@example.com ‘
Shrink Your Handicap with Mentalgolfman – The Light Bulb Moment Not all golf psychology is readily comprehensible to the average club thirds of all shots occur inside 100 yards of the hole. It follows that the player. Many do, however, understand what it means to have a change proportion of practice should reflect work on the wedge and inwards to of mindset. In essence, this means that you look at some familiar thing the putter or, to put it another way, the short game. from a completely different viewpoint. The literature of sportspeople is Now, if you go into any club on medal day and ask the members full of stories of how a change of mindset transformed their performance. what is the most important aspect of the game, the vast majority will Sometimes it is called a ‘light bulb moment’ because it illuminates an echo this sentiment that it is the short game that counts. But do weekend aspect of their sport in a way they had previously not considered. Some players practice what they preach? Time and again field studies at the years ago this was exemplified to me as a struggling 18 handicapper range show the following : 80% of practice time is spent on the long and due to a chance encounter in my golf club. I started mid-game, 15% on the shorter clubs, and 5% on chatting to a deeply-tanned stranger about my the putting green (and this latter is a generous Not all golf psychology is practice habits. I told him that I spent most of my figure). So 20% of time is spent on the part of the time working on my swing with my driver and long game that makes up 65% of shots. How sensible readily comprehensible to and middle irons. The tall stranger informed me is this? the average club player that the most elegant swing in the world would When the stranger explained this to me, I be useless if I could not score and that, he said, had a light bulb moment. I took his advice on is what golf is all about. He told me that if I really wanted to improve, board and devoted a commensurate amount of practice to the short then I had to change my mindset. This, he explained, meant changing game. Immediately, my scores began to head downwards. I still had the my concept of how to improve my golf from one of trying to improve my ugliest swing west of the Swilcan, but at least, in the immortal words of swing to one where I tried to improve my score. The two are far from Marlon Brando, I became a contender. identical. I needed to concentrate my efforts on the part of golf that Oh, and by the way, the name of my mentor was a gentleman by the logically demands most attention. It is, he explained, a case of simple name of Bob Charles – one of the greatest short-game exponents in the statistics. Studies have shown that in an average round of golf, two history of golf !!