The Annual Mass for deceased Past Pupils of the school was said in St. Andrews Westland Row on Sunday December 3rd 2017. The chief celebrant was the Papal Nuncio, Fr. Jude Thaddeus Okolo and he was assisted by the Administrator Westland Row, Fr. Enda Cunningham, school Chaplain Fr. Eugene McCarthy and Deacon Dermot McCarthy. Past pupils who died during the year were Noel McKenna, John Doran, Thomas Malone, Adrian Ryan, Eamonn Corrigan and Paul Donnelly. May they and all deceased past pupils rest in peace. There was a sizeable attendance of current and past pupils present at he Mass and afterwards at lunch in the Grand Canal Hotel. John Murray had his camera at the ready and below are a few of the photographs taken. Many thanks John.
Congratulations to Jerry Carroll who has been elected President of the PPU for the two year period commencing March 2018. Outgoing President, Brian Duncan handed over the historic chain of office at the AGM on Thursday March 22nd in the school. Jerry graduated from the ROW in 1962 and enjoyed an outstanding career in the Civil Service in various departments. in 1998 Jerry was appointed Director of the Bar Council of Ireland and he retired from there in the last couple of years. Jerry has been an outstanding worker for the preservation and development of the school having served as Chairman of the Board of Management for many years. He was also highly influential in securing the visit of the Taoiseach for the 150 celebrations in 2015.Jerry was elected ROW Person of the Year in 2012. He is the fourth past pupil of the Class of 1962 to be elected President, surely a record which will not be beaten by any other class group. Many thanks also to outgoing President Brian Duncan for his hard work and efforts on behalf of the PPU over the past couple of years.
The AGM took place in the school on March 30th. with a very small attendance of only nine past pupils. The President, Brian Duncan, said that he was disappointed with the failure of the committee to attract new members in his first year of office but he welcomed John McKennedy. John is Principal of Knocklyon Community School and is already making a valuable contribution to the PPU. Brian is determined to continue the goal of attracting new members and he deals with that and other matters in his “Message” which you can see on the website under the PPU drop-down box.
The committee for 2017/2018 is
President – Brian Duncan
Hon. Sec. – John Cullen
Hon. Treasurer – Position Vacant
Chaplin – Fr. Eugene McCarthy
Jim Conway has stepped down as Hon. Sec and has been replaced by John Cullen. Michael O’ Sullivan stepped down as Treasurer but there were no nominations for that position. Michael has agreed to “keep the books” pending a new appointment. This matter is dealt with in the President’s message mentioned above.
PPU President declared open the refurbished and restocked Museum in the school on Friday January 27th 2017. This project was undertaken by the Transition Year students with their teacher Susanne Lawlor. The quantity of material on display, some dating back many years, is truly amazing. The students did a great job in collating the items and displaying them in a very attractive way. President Brian congratulated Susanne and all the pupils on a job very well done.Below are some photos of the event courtesy of John Murray.
In my last News Blog I mentioned the very generous donation made by the Flax Trust America to the school. I must correct a small typo; I mentioned that the cheque was for €10K but that should have been $10K. There is little difference nowadays. Below are some more photos taken by Patrick Dowling, Rock Photography.
PPU President, Brian Duncan, presented the P V Doyle Trophy to Row Person of the Year 2017 Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP (see NEWS BLOG December 15th 2016) at the PPU annual dinner on Saturday January 28th. at the Westbury hotel. In his acceptance speech Fr. Myles started by quoting the words of James Connolly “the weakest link is ignorance” and he proceeded, in a riveting address, to remind his audience of the important contributions made by people like Nano Nagle, Catherine McAuley, Mother Mary Aikenhead and Blessed Edmund Rice in breaking the chain of ignorance, which made slaves of the people of Ireland, in their times and later. Fr. Myles said that attending a Christian Brothers School like Westland Row inspired him to become a priest.
Fr. Myles concluded by presenting a cheque for €10,000 from the Flax Trust America to school Principal Kate Byrne. President ,Brian Duncan, congratulated Fr. Myles thanked him for his extremely generous contribution.
Many thanks to Patrick Dowling of Rock Photography who, as usual, took many excellent photos on the night. A few are included below and more will follow in later News Blogs.
I attach below an Invitation from the 5th. Class Applied to all past pupils for Friday January 27th. I suggest that we try to be in the school for 11.30am when we will have the opening ceremony performed by PPU President, Brian Duncan. We will then avail of the kind offer of light refreshments and introduce Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP, Row Person of the Year 2017. Looking forward to seeing you there.
PS. As you know, our Annual Dinner is scheduled for Saturday January 28th in the Westbury Hotel. We very much depend on a successful raffle after the dinner to cover our overheads and we ask to bring something for the raffle. Past pupils have been very generous in the past and we have received many prizes of “bottles” and other valuable items. We are appealing for the same again this year. If you can’t make the dinner but will be in the school on January 27th this would be an opportunity to bring a donation. Alternatively, prizes can be left in the Westbury at any time with the Westland Row PPU name and date of dinner on them. Many thanks
Happy New Year to all. I hope everybody had a good Christmas.
Sorry to kick off 2017 with sad news but I recently learned of the passing of two ROW stalwarts, Noel McKenna and John Doran. Noel graduated back around 1948. Happily we still have a few of that vintage with us. I’m thinking of Gerry Dolan, Cyril Stirrat, Martin Conway and Joe Quinn. I attended John Doran’s funeral this morning. John was 93. He and his brother Bill RIP, were great ROW supporters in their day. John was a great sportsman being one of 4 brothers to play soccer with Rathfarnham Utd. He was a keen golfer and was Captain of Slade Valley of which club he was a founder member. John’s father founded Doran Printers and the family continue to work in it to this day. The company, now called Typecraft, printed our 150 yearbook Cuimhneachan and sponsored tickets etc. for many years. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anamnacha dhilis.
Annual Dinner – Booking is now open for the Dinner which will be held in the Westbury on Saturday January 28th. Tickets are priced at E60 each. You can book with any committee member or with me on 087 2557298.
Row Person of the Year 2017 – Our new Row Person, Fr. Myles Kavanagh, will pay a short visit to the school on Friday January 27th. at 12 noon. All past pupils are invited. Light refreshments will be provided. This is also an opportunity to have a look around the school and to view the additions to the Pearse Museum as well as other mementos of 1916.
The President and committee of the Past Pupils Union are pleased to announce that they have elected Fr. Myles Kavanagh CP to be Row Person of the Year 2017. Fr. Myles will be presented with the P.V. Doyle memorial trophy at the annual dinner which will be held at the Westbury Hotel on Saturday January 28th 2017.
Fr. Myles, for 53 years now, has lived and worked in one of Northern Ireland’s “black spots”, the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, which has experienced more killings, more inter-community strife and has higher levels of unemployment than perhaps any other area of Northern Ireland.
In 1977 he set up the Flax Trust to bring about reconciliation through economic development. Since then he has been responsible for establishing a wide variety of projects and providing help to many charities, an incubation system which produced over 300 new businesses in 5 years. 1995 saw the Short Brothers/Flax Trust (SBFT) partnership developed. This is a 50/50 joint venture to provide apprenticeship training in Interpoint, a neutral site. Interpoint was used for the first coming together of the N.I politicians in the N.I Forum, for the Patton Commission on policing and the Novatech Centre for technology transfer.
Fr. Myles took his message to America and founded the Flax Trust/America in 1980.
The following is a list of Fr. Myles’ additional achievements in his on-going battle against social deprivation and unemployment –
- Developing a Housing Association to address the needs of homeless young people and a sheltered dwelling for the elderly including 700 units of social housing.
- The setting up of a training school to meet the educational and training needs of local youth.
- The establishment of an Open Learning Centre providing training and educational opportunities for adults.
- A Shopping Centre, Day Care Centre for local Pensioners which also provide meals on wheels.
- Setting up a Medical Centre.
- The establishment of Ulster Community Investment Trust to provide funds for the community economic sector in N.I and the border counties.
- The establishment of the school for Social Enterprises to foster a professionally qualified leadership for community enterprise.
- The most recent venture was the setting up of the Flax Trust Academy for Musical Excellence which is providing great opportunities for young aspiring musicians and vocalists.
In addition to holding Directorships in Northern Ireland and North America, Fr. Myles is a member of the International Economic Development Council (North America) and the Ireland US Council. His knowledge and expertise in the field of community economics means that he is frequently invited as a guest speaker to conferences in Europe and North America.
The International Economic Development Council (North America) this year presented Fr. Myles with their Life Time Achievement Award.
Fr. Myles Kavanagh is clearly a very worthy winner of the Row Person of the Year award and we look forward to welcoming here to the dinner on January 28th.