Castleknock College Union

Class of 1938 - 50th Reunion recap

Castleknock College, 13th May 1988

May 13, 1988
Class of 1938 - 50th Reunion recap -

David Bell, chief organiser, pictured in 1938

Building on the solid foundation of last year's celebration by the class of 1937, we circularised as many of our contemporaries from the class of '38 as we could, including optimistically, many now living abroad.

Thanks to the inspiration received from Fr. O'Shea. the class of '38 reunion assembled in the College, on the evening of the 13th May — a Friday on which the boys were away on mid-term break. This gave us the opportunity of visiting the Alma Mater unmolested — if that is the proper word. Many had not had an opportunity to do so since the last Exam of Leaving or Matric had unleashed us on an unsuspecting world. For those in that position, the many changes in the College since "our time" came as a Revelation. One philistine remarked with dismay on the obliteration of that former place of worship — the Nook — (Qui legit, intelligat). but reaction otherwise was uniformly favourable.

Undoubtedly, the high-light and most deeply touching moment of the evening was centred on the Concelebrated Mass in the Chapel. Four of our year - Pearse Gallagher. Des Cleere. Kevin O'Kane and Andy Spelman were joined by Fr. O'Shea and Fr. Carbery and Fr. Cregan. with Pearse as the chief celebrant. Unfortunately. Brendan Carbery and Jack Brennan. eligible as men of the class, could not have been present on the day. We recalled our contemporaries, living and dead, and especially the three who might have been with us at the Altar. Michael Murphy. Tom O'Farrell and Willie Hederman. who are now reaping the reward of a Priesthood lived with Christ.

We were very fortunate in having a lovely evening and two expert photographers from the present staff. Frs. Mullan and Gardiner, to record the occasion.

One's outstanding memory of the festivities must be the wonderful spirit of camraderie which prevailed. The years, which in many cases trod us down "like great black oxen" seemed to slip magically away in a flood of happy reminiscence and of a certain amount of self-congratulation slipped into speeches. Perhaps we will be forgiven. I think we were all very conscious that our time together in the College and. not least the imperceptible affect of the discipline, the vicissitudes of life, the give and take, the example, all that goes to make up that indefinable, marvellous thing - the spirit of Castleknock was working in us again and reminding us of the debt of gratitude we owe to the College and to one another.

Some intrepid voyagers started home when at last we broke up. as far as Tubbercurry (Sean Hanbery) as Omagh (Frank Mullan) and Cavan (Tom McKenna). So, with sincere hand-shakes and assurances of further meetings - perhaps even at the Centenary of the (1938) date, we put an end to an evening that none of us would have missed.

Great praise is due to David Bell, the surviving Head-prefect of that year, who took the major part in organising the proceedings, to Tony Hederman. President of the Union, who joined us and spoke so eloquently (and revealingly). to Fr. O'Shea for this hospitality and inspiration as to the form and venue, and to the other 5 confreres mentioned above. Go gcuitighe Dia a Saothar leo!

Apart from those mentioned above, the occasion was graced by the following: Des Crean. Jim Lee. Oliver Fagan. John Martin, Gerry Bathe. Kevin O'Sullivan. Dermot Murphy, while apologies were received from: Michael Donelan. Tom Halpenny. (now in USA). Harry Harrison. (UK). Paddy Beirne, Tom McCormack, Larry Morton (UK). Brendan Kelly (UK). Kevin Burke.

A. Spelman. CM.