About our trustees

UK Committee Trustee Profiles

Margaretta Purtill (Chair)

I believe that I am the only OGB and Anglo Indian serving on the DGH UK Committee. I had the wonderful experience and privilege to pass through the Homes (1950 to 1962.) and was admitted at age 5 years. I was 21 when I first sponsored a child from the Homes. I am happy to say that I continue to do so. My heart is in the Homes and as such will do whatever it takes to restore it to what it used to be – a Christian School (Home) for the needy/deprived Anglo Indian child.

Aileen Fraser

Troon Friends of Kalimpong grew out of the very successful 2007 Homes Choir UK tour during which they spent two happy nights in Troon and treated us to a wonderful concert in Troon Old. Thereafter I was invited to join the UK Committee, and enjoyed a time as vice-chair. I began sponsoring children participating in their fund raising walk from Kalimpong to Darjeeling, and then sponsored a wee girl called Anita who I met in 2001 on my first 3Ks Tour, a great way to visit the Homes. I currently sponsor Rocky, a final year student.

Jim Simpson

His personal family connection with the Homes provides the incentive to seek to make a difference to the operations of Homes and School to the benefit of sponsored children, pupils, teachers and sponsors alike. His construction background adds value to his time on campus when called upon to advise on infrastructure and building issues.

Jim Gibson (Treasurer)

I am a retired Chartered Accountant, specialising in charities, with practical experience in charity governance, accounting, stewardship and strategic management. I was introduced to Dr Graham’s Homes by my wife, Maida, who has sponsored children at the Homes for 40 years. I enjoy hillwalking, languages and travel.

Dr James Simpson OBE Hon. DSc FRIAS

Not to be confused with my admirable namesake, Jim Simpson!  I am a conservation  architect, now more or less retired. I learned of the Homes through school collections in the 1960s and more when my daughter spent part of her gap year at the Homes in the 1990s, looking after babies in Lucia King and teaching an English A level class. I have been travelling to Calcutta since 2007, developing a special interest and concern for Scotland’s heritage in the city and in 2012 went to Kalimpong with an experienced structural engineer to report on the earthquake damage to the Chapel. One of my concerns, as a new trustee, is for the buildings and infrastructure, having regard to the third object in the Committee’s constitution: “to relieve the poverty of children by providing the means for their education through the provision of accommodation and care for their wellbeing”.

Anne Hoggan

During my first visit in 2006 I was totally captivated by the children at Dr Graham’s Homes and decided to become more involved. I joined the UK Committee in 2008 and have returned to Kalimpong twice – on both occasions meeting up with the child I support.

Frances Dent (Committee Secretary)

I have been interested in the Dr Graham’s Homes for about 25 yrs. My initial contact was through our Guild (Church of Scotland in Dundee) which has supported the Homes since the very beginning. I am now retired from working as a doctor and last year, together with my husband John, I was very pleased to be able to visit Kalimpong as part of the 3Ks Tour. I was impressed with what I saw and am keen to become more involved in supporting the work and ethos of the Homes.

Frank Dunn

My introduction to Dr. Graham`s Homes was during a McCabe Pilgrimages holiday in 2006. Since then, I have visited five times, three as participant in Bike Bengal cycle rides. I have been involved in sponsoring and fundraising for about 10 years out of a conviction of the benefits of education within a Christian ethos.

Shona Hume

Living and working as a Dental nurse on Arran, I learned of the famous 3 K’s tours lead by John Webster. My first tour was in 2007, I was hooked, captivated and then another four tours followed. I have since been involved and fundraising for 11 years with Arran friends of Kalimpong, and then I became a Trustee.

Pat Simpson

A career in education with an emphasis on Special Needs provides extra support to Homes staff in dealing with the particular problems that many of our sponsored children bring with them to the Homes. She has visited Kalimpong on many occasions so is able to follow through on the issues affecting many of our children.

John Webster

Served on the staff of Dr. Graham’s Homes from 1964 – 1973 as Chaplain & Farm Manager – a splendid experience with the children and staff and with the Nepali workers on the farm. Joined U.K. Committee shortly after return. Served two separate terms as Chairman and now the “old-man” of the Committee.

[‘Old man’ of the Committee is not apt – John is more like the “Father of the Committee” – as an eminent and long serving MP in Parliament would be recognised, Editor.]

Professor Sir John Ball FRS, FRSE

John Ball is Professor of Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, where he previously worked from 1973-1996 before moving to Oxford as Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy from 1996-2018, where he remains an Emeritus Professor and an Emeritus Fellow of The Queen’s College. The recipient of many national and international awards, he was President of the International Mathematical Union from 2003-2006, taking  a particular interest in mathematics in developing countries, including India. He is a trustee or advisory board member of various mathematical and scientific institutes worldwide.

John has had a longstanding interest in Dr Graham’s Homes through his wife Sedhar Chozam, and first visited the school with her in 1990, becoming inspired by the work and dedication of Jean Burns, Jim Minto, John Webster and others. Sedhar is an OGB active in supporting the Homes, for which they have together raised money for different projects, and where they have sponsored children, and continue to do so through Junior Koi Hai. In 2017 John took part, with their two sons, in the Bhutan-India bike ride in aid of the Homes.

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