They were at
Carrick Academy together in the 1950s then lost
contact until they got back in touch through the
Maybole web site www. Maybole.org and met up again
five years ago for the first time in 50 years.
In July 2009
George McEwan and Bill Davidson met up again
in the Welltrees Inn in this Year of Homecoming,
George travelling from Glasgow and Bill all the way
from New York.
Bill’s son had suggested that a trip
to Turnberry for The Open would be a great present
for Bill’s 70th birthday and he jumped at the chance
to come back to his roots and meet up with family
After a couple of beers
they were astonished when Bill Torbett, owner of the inn,
gave them a special bottle of Coca-Cola with the image of
Robert Burns on it.
Both are admirers of Burns
and Bill had just visited Dumfries on the Burns Trail.
Neither of them had known of the unique soft drink promotion
and that Scotland’s national poet is the first person to
feature on a commemorative bottle of Coca-Cola to mark the
Year of Homecoming.
The promotional bottle is
the first by Coca-Cola to be designated to one nation and an
individual. Previous limited edition designs helped promote
the Fifa World Cup and Olympic Games.
As the Welltrees Inn is
almost a shrine to Robert Burns, the old friends immediately
decided to toast the Bard in Coca-Cola!
The pair had lost touch
when Bill left school in 1954. George started, and for a
number of years ran, Ayr Folk Club where a friendship with
comedian and actor Billy Connolly was forged. While working
in Turner's lemonade factory George wrote The Welly Boot
Song which for a while was Billy's theme song.
Bill has lived in New York
since 1959 and retired several years ago as Vice President
of Marriott Food Service Division.
He had logged on to the
web site and reading through the visitor comments he was
struck by a message from Bob Little who mentioned the
Greenside and the School Vennel. Bob’s comments reminded
Bill of a poem he had written several years before and that
was added to the site along with several others, including
one called “School Mates” which mentions some of Bill’s
classmates. George, who was in the same class, recognised
his own name and many others in the poem and got in touch
They have exchanged
several poems and ideas, one of which was a possible reunion
of their class. Bill said, “With the exception of David
Gray, George and I have no idea where all those people are,
or how many are still alive and if they would be interested
in such an endeavour.”