As we approach the end of another year, I wish all past pupils and their families every blessing for Christmas and the New Year.
At this time of reflection, we remember those no longer with us and our PPU colleagues who sadly, passed away during the last twelve months. A number of past pupils were prayed for during our annual Mass at the end of November. Their obituaries, including photos were published in News Blog on November 30th. To see that and other news items click on the following link https://westlandrowppu.blog
Best wishes also to school Principal, Kate Byrne and her colleagues who continue to do extraordinary work under difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic. Congratulations to Cathriona O’Sullivan on her appointment as Deputy Principal and good luck in the new position.
Best wishes also to all the students who will hope to enjoy a short holiday before resuming their studies in the New Year.
For the second year in a row, the PPU activities were again restricted by the pandemic. However, we continued to hold committee meetings by Zoom and we kept in touch with the school throughout the year. We were delighted to award bursaries to Genoveva Menes and Kristians Locmelis to help with their third level education in Trinity and TUD respectively.
Finally, as we adjust to the latest restrictions to our daily lives , let us remember again all our frontline workers and thank them for their dedication and continued service to our communities.
The St. Andrews Day Mass was celebrated in Westland Row on Sunday November 28th. The main celebrant was Archbishop Dermot Farrell. Our PPU Chaplain, Fr. Eugene McCarthy, was a co-celebrant and eight past pupils who died during the last 12 months were remembered in the prayers.
John Murray was present with his trusty camera and the following are a selection of his photographs.
The PPU recently undertook a review of its banking arrangements with a view to making it easier for members to pay their subscriptions and make donations. the old “cheque book and pen” system stood us in good stead over the years and many past pupils were very generous in responding to requests to complete Standing Order Mandates and make donations in response to numerous appeals.
Banking methods have changed a lot in recent years and many people now use on line banking facilities. The PPU is currently making arrangements to bank on line and we are making additional facilities available through our website rowppu.ie. Members can continue to use the Standing Order Mandate for payment of the annual sub (complete and send to your own bank branch) and we now have a PayPal option to pay the sub by debit/credit card using PayPal (as a guest) or directly through PayPal for members with a PayPal account.
Donations can also be made using your debit/credit card or PayPal or directly from the donor’s bank account to the PPU bank account by the Electric Fund Transfer (or SEPA) system.
The website contains full instructions on how to access and use the new systems. After entering the website, by clicking on the old school bell, click on Annual Subscription and/or Donate and click on the drop down boxes to get all the information.
Whilst we would encourage members to use the new facilities if at all possible, don’t worry if you are not comfortable with the new technology. You can always send a cheque to the Hon. Treasurer, Jim Conway at 23 Orchardstown Park, D14 R7A4. If you need to update your Standing Order and don’t wish to download one from the website you can get one by texting me on 087 2557298. Don’t forget to include your address.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me, Jim Conway, on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/txt as above.
Conor Dwyer (class of 1962) was prompted to write, from his home near Brisbane, with some memories of our days at the ROW, when he learned of the passing of our old friend Eamonn O’Malley RIP.
Conor hailed from the Shelbourne Road/South Lotts Road area and, like many lads at the ROW, was a keen soccer player. He played with Home Farm and his talents were recognised at an early age as he was capped for Ireland against England at under 16 level.
Conor remembers the late Eamonn and Tony Rowe very well. Tony and Pat Canavan were also keen soccer players and, of course, in those times they played on the school Gaelic Football team as well. He recalls one incident very clearly. In September 1958 Bro. Hickey called Gaelic training on a Saturday which corresponded to the start of the Soccer schoolboys under 14 season. Conor was picked to play for Home Farm. Tony and Pat were both picked to play for Bolton Athletic in Ringsend. Unbeknown to each other the lads decided to line out with their Soccer clubs as the Gaelic was only a training spin.
The next Monday at 12 noon, Hickey called the three lads up to the top of the class and informed them that Bro. Moynihan required their presence in the science room immediately. The lads, sheepishly, presented themselves before “Billy” who stood in typical pose, with hands in cummerbund, asking why they had not shown up for Gaelic training. The boys explained their positions and were told that, if they ever missed training again, they would be expelled from the school.
Another “football” incident recalled by Conor, occurred in a Gaelic match against Drimnagh Castle at Island Bridge. The Brothers in charge were Treacy, the American and a young Collins. We won the match but a highlight was when Pat Canavan secured victory with a goal which he coolly headed to the net. All hell broke loose for the wrong reason; not joy at winning but anger at the manner of scoring the goal. The charge was led by Treacy, who had a reputation for toughness, but the boys stood their ground and demanded to see where, in the rules of Gaelic Football, did it state that a goal could not be scored by the ball being struck by the head of the scorer. The authorities were stumped but, of course, the mutterings about the “influence of foreign games” lingered for a time.
After Leaving Cert, Conor joined Irish National Insurance company. He later emigrated to England and from there he went to Australia where he worked for Sun Alliance and Stenhouse Insurance Brokers. He later opened his own brokerage based on the Gold Coast. Conor retired from the Insurance Industry in 2006 and lived, with his wife Marlene, in Robina on the Gold Coast. Conor and Marlene were great hosts when my wife, Teresa and myself visited them in Robina in 2014. Conor gave us a tour of Brisbane and introduced us to some of his Irish friends there. We were there on a St. Patrick’s weekend and the craic was at least as good as that which we enjoy at home. There was only one difference; the weather was lovely and we were able to watch the parade in tee shirts and shorts.
Conor and Marlene recently downsized to a Retirement Living Apartment north of Brisbane. The complex is near Moreton Bay. Conor sent a couple of photos taken from his balcony just to make us all jealous as we shiver in our winter weather. However, we have to say that it looks great and we wish Conor and Marlene long life and health in their new abode.
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the above or if memories of schooldays are stirred by the blog.
If any of our readers are away from Ireland and would like to contribute any “Home Thoughts” we would be delighted to hear from you. You can email Jim Conway, at email@example.com.