Perhaps the longest serving PSNS member – ever – Rhoda Fothergill became Secretary of the Society in 1968 and remained so for 47 years. Rhoda studied in Edinburgh, St Andrews and Dundee, but lived most of her life in Perth. She taught in Caledonian Road School, and before that in Kinnoull School. Her interests covered all the activities of the Society but she was a tireless researcher into the archaeology and history of Perth and its people. In her school teaching days she often recruited her pupils into her studies. A project on The Vennels of Perth led to an art project to decorate one of the vennels with information on the crafts and trades of the burgh. Many of her booklets, for example on the Charterhouse, began as class projects. She was a prolific writer of papers and booklets. Some found their way into the Society’s Journal, and some are now being re-published on the PSNS web site. She was a tireless supporter of the Society’s School Essay competitions.
She was a popular lecturer on Old Perth, on the Greyfriars Burial Ground, and on some of the notable characters of the 19th-century burgh. Her lectures were often given under the auspices of Perth College. She also led guided walks, around Greyfriars and various parts of Perth, often connected with the Civic Trust.
Her contribution was recognised not only locally but also nationally. For several years she served on the Ancient Monuments Board, and in 2014 she received the British Empire Medal for her contribution to the history and preservation of Perth and Perthshire.