Published: Wednesday, 16th October, 2013 3:13pm
Bishop Nulty will attend Scoil Bhride in Croghan this morning.
Scoil Bhride national school in Croghan will celebrate its 50th birthday in style today (Friday), with Mass celebrated in the school by Bishop Denis Nulty followed by music from the Irish Army Band, the presentation of a friendship bench and the planting of a cherry tree and a time capsule.
Speaking to the Offaly Independent before the event school principal Kathleen McNamee said this weekend’s party “really is a community event”.
At 11am this morning Scoil Bhride’s 100 pupils will gather for a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Nulty, before Mrs McNamee presents Bishop Nulty with a plant to represent not only the growth of Scoil Bhride but also of the Diocese.
Though Mass is certainly one of the celebration’s highlights, it’s by no means the only highlight of the day. Following the ceremony a brief history of the school and Croghan will be delivered to guests by fifth and sixth class students, before the school population sings the anthem “This is Our School”, which was written by pupils in recent years.
At about 11.45am two important planting ceremonies are planned - the first will see Bishop Nulty plant a cherry tree, while the second will see school caretaker Kevin McNamee plant a time capsule.
That capsule will surely be of great use when dug up once more. It will include a newspaper from today, a note from each pupil outlining how they see themselves in 20 years, a One Direction CD, a receipt for basic items, a photo of the school and its pupils, a copy of this year’s school rollbook, a school book, coins and finally a calendar of the school year complete with events taking place during this school year.
The ceremony will be accompanied by a fanfare from the Irish Army Band, which will afterwards entertain guests taking refreshments in the school hall made possible by the school’s parent council and parent volunteers.
“It really is a community event,” Mrs McNamee, who has been principal at the school since January 2011, said. “Everyone’s helped in some way.”
Also scheduled for today is the official presentation of a marble friendship bench, donated to the school by St Brigid’s GAA Club in Croghan, complete with the inscription “Mol an oige agus tiocfaidh si”. “They’ve been very good to us over the years,” Mrs McNamee said of the local sports club.
After refreshments, guests at the school will be invited to work their way through the school to classrooms hosting two projects completed by school children.
The first of the two projects looks at each decade the school has been in operation, including the popular songs and toys of the decade and what school would have been like for students of the time.
The second project is entitled “We love Scoil Bhride because...” and according to Mrs McNamee the main themes coming from her junior and senior infant charges are old school favourite “Our News” as well as art, football and “eating lon”.
“Afterwards I get to go home,” is the reflection of another little boy, she laughed.
Events today are due to wrap up by 2pm, but it’s not the last of the celebration. Tomorrow it’s the turn of locals and adult past pupils of Scoil Bhride.
Celebrations will include a barbecue and music from 9pm. Tickets for that event priced €10 will be available by contacting the school today or on the door tomorrow night, and all proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the school.