Pictures: Former Cork pupils return to school for special visit 50 years after completing their Leaving Cert

Pictures: Former Cork pupils return to school for special visit 50 years after completing their Leaving Cert

Former pupils from the leaving cert class of 1971 who visited and spoke to 6th year pupils at Colaiste Chriost Ri: Bro. Bede Minehane, teacher in 1971 speaking to the class back from left, Liam O'Dwyer, Michael Cawley, David Philpott, Michael O'Riordan and Ted O'Sullivan, (centre) l/r Jack Lynan, Ger Kelleher, Leonard Buckley, Des Crowley, Michael Boland, John Waters and Pat Morris, front Jim O'Donovan, Der O'Mahony, Brendan Mullins, Neil Tobin . Picture: Eddie O'Hare

FORMER Coláiste Chríost Rí students who completed their Leaving Certificate in 1971 returned to their alma mater recently to impart their wisdom to the current sixth-year students.

The class of 1971, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary since they completed their Leaving Certificate in the Cork city secondary school,  organised a series of events over the course of last weekend to celebrate their significant milestone.

Bro. Bede Minehane, teacher in 1971 and current principal Padraig Padraig Mac an Ri with the Leaving cert class of 1971: back from left, Liam O'Dwyer, Michael Cawley, David Philpott, Michael O'Riordan and Ted O'Sullivan, (centre) l/r Jack Lynan, Ger Kelleher, Leonard Buckley, Des Crowley, Michael Boland, John Waters and Pat Morris, front Jim O'Donovan, Der O'Mahony, Brendan Mullins, Neil Tobin . Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bro. Bede Minehane, teacher in 1971 and current principal Padraig Padraig Mac an Ri with the Leaving cert class of 1971: back from left, Liam O'Dwyer, Michael Cawley, David Philpott, Michael O'Riordan and Ted O'Sullivan, (centre) l/r Jack Lynan, Ger Kelleher, Leonard Buckley, Des Crowley, Michael Boland, John Waters and Pat Morris, front Jim O'Donovan, Der O'Mahony, Brendan Mullins, Neil Tobin . Picture: Eddie O'Hare

One of the events organised to celebrate their landmark anniversary was a tour and a careers seminar in their beloved Coláiste Chríost Rí when a number of former students embarked on a tour of their old school before delivering a seminar for the current Leaving Cert students.

The class of 1971 regaled the 108 students with witty anecdotes about their secondary school days and revealed the various routes they individually embarked on following the completion of their secondary school days.

Coláiste Chríost Rí principal Padraig Mac An Rí said their visit and seminar was a great success. 

“It was very enjoyable. Over 20 former pupils told their stories about their various career paths as they imparted their knowledge and wisdom to the students. Our current Leaving Certificate pupils found it very interesting that former students from the locality could achieve success in so many varied routes. A feature of the morning was that fellas were so adaptable. The number of different careers the former students have engaged in is incredible. The seminar will hopefully inspire our students to choose and follow their own career paths. Inspiring young minds is what Coláiste Chríost Rí is all about,” he said.

Bro. Bede Minehane, teacher in 1971 and current principal Padraig Padraig Mac an Ríwith the Leaving cert class of 1971. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bro. Bede Minehane, teacher in 1971 and current principal Padraig Padraig Mac an Ríwith the Leaving cert class of 1971. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The school principal said the aim of the seminar was to ensure the current generation of students learned from people who come from similar backgrounds. 

“All the former pupils spoke. They were very honest about their secondary school days and their subsequent experience in their various workplaces. The former students varied from Presentation Brothers to bankers, to doctors, postmen, welders, merchant seaman, and much more.

Brendan Mullins from the Leaving cert class of 1971 speaking to the 6th year pupils at Colaiste Chriost Ri. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Brendan Mullins from the Leaving cert class of 1971 speaking to the 6th year pupils at Colaiste Chriost Ri. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“They were delighted to come back, tour their old alma mater and impart their knowledge to today’s generation. They wanted to meet the current students and share their experiences with the 108 sixth-year pupils. The students learned so much from the event. They were very appreciative of the help given to them by the class of 1971. It is perfect timing as they are coming up to making decisions for the CAO,” he added.

Mr Mac an Rí said the visit from the class of 1971 reinforces the spirit which is passed down from generation to generation within the secondary school.

“Past pupils of Coláiste Chríost Rí maintain very strong links with the school and many attend the alumni events on a regular basis. Our past pupils are always interested in supporting our current students and giving something back.”

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