FRIENDSHIPS spanning a half century were renewed on Friday as the St Brendan's College, Killarney leaving certificate class of 1963 had their 50 year reunion.
Organised by class members Tony Behan, Jim O'Sullivan, Ted Horan and John Dwyer, the group gathered to rekindle past friendships, renew links with their alma mater and, most especially, to remember the 16 class members who are no longer with us.
The evening, which included a mass, reception in the school refectory, as well as a gala dinner in the Malton Hotel, also served to recognise the achievement of the senior football team of 1963, who won the Corn Uí Mhuiri that year and were narrowly defeated in the Hogan Cup final.
Current principal, and past student, Sean Coffey highlighted the symmetry of the occasion in his address to the class, as the previous evening the 2013 class had gathered to attend their debs ball and their progression from the second-level school.
The evening was made even more special for the school as Principal Sean Coffey's father Maurice was in attendance, as he was a member of the 1963 class.
"It was a lovely occasion. 50 years is a long time and there was a lot of bridge building and friendships renewed on the night. It was great to be a part of," said Principal Coffey.
"This is a school steeped in history and there is a great sense of this history on Friday. But there was also a great sense of moving on, as we saw the 2013 class progressing from the school the night before," he added.
The school now aims to relaunch the past-pupils union, which was previously relaunched in the 1950's and 1980's but saw little longevity.
However, Principal Coffey has higher hopes of this latest attempt. "We are building a new website for the school and hope to have a page on it with links and contacts for past-pupils."
"This is a very important element and can be fantastic for younger students who could learn from past-pupil's experience," he added.