Social Life

Leithen Water in the mornings or back to his home at Rosetta Road. He was a poet and observed nature in all her aspects and moods, transferring his thoughts into verse and publishing A Book of Verse. James Marshall typified a hardworking and conscientious generation of the early 1900s and was a most worthy and respected Peeblean.

So, too, was Edward Bonong, who died in 1938 in his ninetieth year. He was a native of Peebles and was descended from the French prisoners-of-war that stayed on in Peebles. Edward Bonong started work as a skinner before working in Damdale Mill. Like many Peebleans of the early century, he gave a great deal of time to the many activities that were emerging in the growing town. He was a member of the Peebles Philharmonic Orchestra and also played in the Volunteer Band which took part in Queen Victoria's 'Wet Review' in Queen's Park, Edinburgh. In addition, he was a 'major' in the special constables, having attended about seventy 'Big Trips', and had a long association with the Ancient Order of Foresters and the Board of Management of the Peebles Co-operative Society.

Bailie Thomson was the manager of the Peebles Co-op and was another most able Peeblean who took an interest in a wide range of local affairs, including membership of the town council. It was he and the board of management who developed the 'Co-op', into a huge shopping enterprise that successfully served its large membership with a wide range of goods, services and provided splendid dividends.

Mary Bonong, the daughter of Edward Bonong, was the 'infants mistress' of Halyrude School. It was in her primary department that nearly everyone in the 1920s, and for most of the 1930s, started their education, and she must be fondly remembered by many as their first teacher. Her gentleness and understanding could allay the worst fears of a five-year-old away from home, and to be selected to feed the goldfish was the 'first attainment' in scholastic distinction. It was a matter of great satisfaction to countless former pupils when she was invited to crown the Beltane Queen in 1932.

John Roney, a dairyman who resided in the Old Town, painted Edward Bonong's portrait in oils. A fine artist, John Roney had made drawing and painting his hobby since boyhood. His portrait of Provost Anderson was regarded as a masterly work of art. Landscapes were his favourite subject but he will be remembered, too, for his black and white illustrations in Dr C. B. Gunn's Book of Remembrance for