90th anniversary of St. Louis Grammar is marked

St Louis Grammar, Ballymena, celebrated its 90th birthday, with a Gala Ball and Fundraiser in Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena.

Friends of St Louis Committee  back row: Julie-Ann McClean / Bri Smith / Caroline Flanagan / Shauna Rose Pickering / Margaret Henry / Grainne Walsh / Clare Stuart / Deirdre McDermott  front row: Patricia Doherty / Vincent OConnell / Charles Laverty / Fionnuala McGuigan. INBT 21- ST LOUIS GALA BALL 3

Organised by ‘Friends of St Louis’, the event brought almost 400 past pupils and friends of the school together.

Old friendships were renewed and an evening of nostalgia was celebrated by many generations of past pupils and parents.

Guests included the Sisters of St Louis Education Committee, past teachers, governors and Mayor Wales. The MC was Mr Vincent Rainey, local businessman and past pupil.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Mr S. Rafferty, current Principal, who acknowledged the work of the St Louis congregation in the education field since 1924.

He highlighted key milestones along the way including 1954 being the first grammar school to receive funding under 1947 Education Act, 1970 first admission of boys and latterly 1982 new upgrade to enable school to deliver education to over 900 students.

Tributes were paid to Sr Sheila Canty RIP who passed away last month at 92 years of age and Mr John Stuart, first lay Principal and current Chair of Governors.

The night also saw the school accept formal recognition of Inclusion Quality Mark as a Centre of Excellence. St Louis is the first school in Northern Ireland to receive this accolade so it was fitting that the award was presented on the evening.

In 2012 St Louis was also recognised as top achieving grammar school in N.I..

The proceedings were brought to a conclusion with the reminisces of Declan Lawn, BBC Correspondent, on his days in St Louis as a student and all his memories along the way.

Over £7,000 was raised by the event which ‘Friends of St Louis’ will use to support work/events to benefit the current student body.

Watch out for future ‘Friends of St Louis’ events as St Louis continues to fully utilize its alumni and many thanks to the generosity of the sponsors on the night.