THE Leaving Cert may have been cancelled but there is one class that are determined their event won’t follow suit.
The St Vincent’s Secondary School Leaving Cert class of 1970 are determined to hold a reunion in 2020 and are reaching out to try and find all those that graduated that year.
Determined not to let the 50th anniversary go without marking the occasion, one of the class Miriam Murphy (formerly Higgins) contacted two others and they set up a committee to organise an event for all graduates.
They all have a special link to the school, but for two of the organisers there is an extra special reason for the gathering. Josephine Coffey (nee Desmond) returned to the school as principal and Noreen Walker also taught there for a number of years.
“Despite the lockdown and all the sadness around the pandemic we are determined to bring a bit of joy to as many of the class as we can by holding the reunion,” said Miriam. “I spoke to Josephine and Noreen and we said that we couldn’t let the occasion pass without marking it in some way. We are committed to holding the dinner on October 16, but have yet to confirm the venue.
“The hope is to have as many as we can present on the night and we know there are still at least three teachers still alive as well.
“Unfortunately we do know that one of the class, Marian Hassett, has passed away, but hopefully all others are still with us and they will be able to attend.
“Some of us haven’t seen each other since we left the school or shortly afterwards and I am sure all will have great stories to tell of their respective lives since.”
Miriam also played a part in the redevelopment of the school in the early 1970s, when the old building was effectively torn down and a new school was built.
“Our principal was Sr Benedicta and she was a marvellous person,” she said “The amount of work that she did for the school was unbelievable. Every year Sr Benedicta used to make calendars that we sold as one of the fund-raisers for the school.
“Our choir, which she was conductor of, won countless awards and nearly every year we won the school’s section of the Cork Choral Festival.
“I was talking to her one day and she spoke to me about and the funding needed to redevelop the school. At the time I was into politics and used to canvass for Jack Lynch and Seán French.
“So I said to Sr Benedicta that Jack went to the primary school for a while, and she should contact him to try and get the funding. She did and shortly afterwards it came through and a new school was built.
“It’s great to see the school has gone from strength to strength over the years and hopefully will do so for many years to come.”
If you know any of the pupils in the class Miriam asks that you drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible please.
The full class list is: Sr Peter, Anne Sorenson, Mairead Hogan, Patricia Desmond, Norma McMahon, Josephine Desmond, Mary Fitzgibbon, Bernice Burns, Eileen Buckley, Theresa McAuliffe, Mary Buckley, Mary Looney, Noreen Walker, Christine O’Sullivan, Eileen Murphy, Ann O’Mahony, Catherine O’Sullivan, Chrissie Kelleher, Miriam Higgins, Marian Hassett (RIP) and Mary Geaney.