Class of 1952 - 45th Reunion recap
Fitzwilliam LTC, then College
Maurice Davitt and John Moore 1952 Murphy Tennis Cup Final
This was the first reunion of the Class of '52. The vast majority' of us had not seen each other in forty-four years - forty-five for those who left in fifth year. We decided to make it a worthwhile occasion and so we arranged a three day event.
It all started in the private dining room in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club on Friday, 22nd November 1996. Twenty three made it out of a total year of forty eight in the class of 1952. Not bad for a first get-together, considering ten had sadly passed away, six couldn't make it for one reason or another, five didn't reply to the invitation and four couldn't be traced.
A number of our group told me afterwards that they were apprehensive about the whole concept of a reunion after such a long time but all were glad that they came for we quickly got back to where we left off forty odd years ago. Rory Comerford summed it up nicely "all those young people masquerading as elderly men". It was an extraordinary experience seeing strange looking creatures coming through the door with a look of barely controlled fear on their faces, and to see those same 'bods' five minutes later completely relaxed and deep in conversation with old pals as if they had never parted. Underneath the various disguises of more ample frames, chubbier faces, grey hair or no hair, it soon became obvious that little really had changed in all those years. The mannerisms, the voices, the odd quirks, the whole personalities were all there to be enjoyed again and we certainly made the most of the occasion. Pat O'Rourke, down-under in New South Wales, sent a fax to Fitzwilliam which was read out at the dinner and gave us all a good laugh. It's contents couldn't be repeated here.
The weekend was planned to coincide with the Ireland-Australia rugby international and a group of us met in the Herbert Park Hotel for pre-match drinks and again afterwards at Fitzwilliam for more sustenance and more good comradeship.
Sunday morning saw us visit the College. For some it was their first time back in Castleknock in more than forty years. Three of our year joined the Vins - Sam Clyne, Brian Nolan and Jim Rafferty and we arranged for them to concelebrate a Mass in the College Chapel for our deceased classmates. It was a truly moving experience and the emotion that welled up in us all came as quite an unexpected shock. Sam gave us a wonderful homily - he said it was all about remembering - none of us who were there will ever forget.
The official part of our weekend came to a close when the President, Fr. Kevin O'Shea kindly provided us with a very welcome tea and refreshments in the Vins' Library. Some of us then headed for the Half Way House in Ashtown to round off the festivities.
We all agreed to meet again, God willing, in the year 2002 for what will be out Golden Jubilee.