STUDENTS who completed sixth class in the North Monastery Primary School in 1996 returned to their alma mater yesterday to open time capsules they had made prior to them finishing primary school.
The time capsules which have been kept safe and secure by their former sixth class teacher Herman Kemp were meant to be opened in 2020, but their scheduled reunion fell victim to Covid.
There was great excitement when the former North Mon students returned to the Cork city primary school on Friday afternoon and opened their capsules said current school principal Carl O’Brien. “It was fantastic to see the pupils coming back and meeting up with their former teacher Herman Kemp. It was great to welcome the students back and very pleasing to see them enjoying and celebrating their school life in North Mon. It was so touching to see them revisit their dreams and aspirations from 1996 when they made their capsules of all the things they wanted to do in life,” he said.
“Around 18 students were represented at the reunion,” said Mr O’Brien. “We are always very conscious of past pupils coming back and they always make a great contribution to our school. Notable students from the class of 1996 were Michael Moynihan from the Irish Examiner and Myles Gaffney who is a professional songwriter. The students had a fantastic catch-up. Some of them had not seen each other in years. Old friendships were renewed.”
Each student individually opened their time capsule at the school reunion, while they were also presented with nostalgic cassette recordings by Mr Kemp which provided great entertainment said the school principal. “Back in 1996, Mr Kemp decided to challenge the lads to make a time capsule which would be opened at a later date. They all wrote down things they wanted to achieve in life. They were initially going to bury the time capsules but Herman took them home and kept them all these years. Mr Kemp also made a cassette tape of the lads from that period where each student talked about their life and their hobbies.
Mr Kemp said it was ‘lovely’ to hear the voices of his former students. “It was absolutely fantastic to go back and see my old students. It was great to hear how their lives have developed. It was lovely to see them opening their capsules and hearing what they had written down as part of their dreams for the future. It was lovely to hear their voices.”
“They were lovely students,” Mr Kemp said. “I was learning as much from the kids as they were learning from me. It is nice to see them as men now, all mature and not hating me,” he added.