Ballycastle High prize day

Ballycastle High School’s annual prize day took place on Friday (September 16) with the school principal referencing the death of Queen Elizabeth and her connection to the school.

Mr Ian Williamson said: “As we come together to mark this significant event in our school year, it would be extremely remiss of me not to comment on the significance of this moment in the history of our country.

“The sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the current period of national mourning, still allows for school life to continue. However, we would like to take this opportunity to recognise and remember the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her steadfastness, resilience, work ethic, sense of duty and strong faith.

“Many of you will know that Queen Elizabeth had a very special connection to both Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College. Former principal of Ballycastle High School, Mr Bill Harpur, and former principal of Cross and Passion College, Mrs Barbara Ward, were honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2010 and they were delighted to be presented with their medals by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace.

“Indeed, the Queen spent a few minutes speaking to each of them individually and showed a real interest in the work being done by the two schools here in Ballycastle. I have been informed that she was most encouraging about the work being done and wished the partnership every success in the years ahead.

“Her profound impact on reconciliation within the UK and beyond, also had resonance in our town and schools.”

Mr Williamson continued: “Our gathering here today is perhaps of a somewhat smaller scale than we would have hosted pre-pandemic. However, our important school business of the day is still, to share the successes of our students, parents and staff and recognise their achievements. I hope that today’s event is still a lovely, respectful celebration for all concerned.

“Undoubtedly, the biggest stars in our school community over the last year have been our young people. Your resilience and fortitude in adapting to school life and re-engaging in more normal classroom teaching, alongside ongoing challenges and fears has been truly inspirational!

“For those of you sitting here today, this is recognition for what you have achieved in your young lives, after significant levels of disruption in recent years. This is a celebration of you and you should be proud of your achievements.”

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