DR James R Minto, who died on April 8 on the eve of his 69th birthday,

retired in 1990 as director of Quarrier's Homes, Bridge of Weir,

Renfrewshire. He was born in St Boswell's, where his father was the

minister, from which background he embraced the Christian faith, finding

expression in a life dedicated to the education and welfare of children

and the needy.

He was educated at Kirkcudbright Academy and the University of St

Andrews, which he entered after serving in the Far East with the Royal

Navy. His first teaching appointment was to Wade Academy, followed by a

period in a depressed area of Philadelphia.

In 1959, he was appointed headmaster of Dr Graham's Homes in

Kalimpong, West Bengal, serving as Principal from 1961 until 1970. In

recognition of his 14 years there he was awarded the OBE in 1971. The

founding of this school by Dr John Anderson Graham in 1900 is described

in Dr Minto's book Graham of Kalimpong, published in 1974, an adaptation

of his PhD thesis awarded by St Andrews.

Dr Graham's Homes, which occupy an outstanding geographical setting in

the foothills of the Himalayas, have strong links with Scotland, where

many former staff and pupils live.

As an example of Dr Minto's concern for groups with special needs, he

set up a fund for Tibetan refugee children to be educated at the homes.

He often told his pupils: ''Walk on this earth with dignity.'' They

responded by carrying the education and values they were given into all

walks of life in India and around the world.

On leaving the homes for Scotland, he was their organising secretary

for three years.

As director of Quarrier's Homes from 1974, Dr Minto was faced with the

need to formulate and implement new directions, as the increase in

fostering of children had reduced the need for placements there. He

opened a centre for Down's Syndrome and a refuge for battered Asian

women and, with Sense, helped found a home in Glasgow for deaf and blind


Dr Minto was a worthy successor to William Quarrier and Dr Graham, the

two pioneers who had moulded his life. Under his direction, the two

institutions they had founded were in turn moulded by him, adapting

successfully to new conditions while maintaining their original aims to

help the under-privileged.

His retirement from Quarriers was hastened by failing health and a

further blow was the unexpected death of his wife Rosemary in 1992. He

found happiness again in his sadly brief marriage in December 1994 to

Alison, who survives him together with his children Derek, Lesley, and