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 President Letter 2012
163 Main Street,
BT75 0PG
028 89521203

February 2012
Enniskillen Old Collegians

Dear Old Collegian,

I can hardly believe that a year has passed since I wrote my last annual letter. We have had another very successful year both in our Association and in the school. Again our main function was our AGM and Dinner which was held in the Killyhevlin Hotel on 10th June 2011. This year the Committee decided to have music instead of a speaker after dinner and were delighted when Cantari agreed to come together again for one night only. Catherine Chestnutt from the 6th Form came along and played some pieces on the flute. We were treated to a wonderful programme of great music and reminiscences of times gone by when Cantari graced many an evening of entertainment in the locality and further afield. We thank Evelyn Hassard and Cantari and Catherine for a very enjoyable climax to our evening together. Our thanks also go to the Killyhevlin Hotel for once more providing us with an excellent meal and a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy it.

During the past year many of our friends, both members of the Association and others connected with the School, have lost loved ones. We send them our sympathy and prayers, especially at those times when remembrance is most difficult. Memories are always precious and comforting as the sting of loss recedes. We particularly remember our Secretary, Mrs Margaret MacLean, who sadly passed away in August after a long illness which she bore with great fortitude. She had been Secretary in the school for a long number of years and she knew all the girls who passed through the school during those years really well and followed up their successes in life after the Collegiate. Her knowledge was a great help to me in writing this letter. Margaret was a very efficient and well prepared secretary who always reminded me at the appropriate time of things that needed attention. We miss her great sense of humour and fun at our committee meetings.

Hazel Scott (nee Gordon) was our hostess for the Spring coffee morning on 16th April 2011. She made us most welcome to her lovely home. We had a very enjoyable morning catching up on all the news from those who made the journey to be there. We even had the chance to buy some Easter bunnies which had been made by some girls in the school to help the Mini-bus Fund. Thank you Hazel for once again sharing your home with us.

On Saturday 25th September we had our Autumn Coffee Morning in the Staffroom in the School. Thanks go to the Principal, Miss Elizabeth Armstrong and the Vice-Principal, Mrs Irene Dunn (nee Owens), for having us and showing people round the School after coffee. At a very busy time of the school year, we appreciate them giving up a precious Saturday morning for us. We also thank the Staff of the School meals kitchen for providing us, once again, with delicious home-made tray-bakes. I would also like to thank the Committee for their unfailing, cheerful help at our Coffee mornings.

News of Old Collegians
Barbara Chapman launched her book “Life and Changing Times” in March 2011 telling of her memories of living in Fermanagh over 87years.
Carole Graham (nee Rutledge) is Ulster Chief Guide Commissioner.
Phyllis Carrothers (nee Armstrong) was awarded the MBE for services to the community in her role as Chairman of the RUC George Cross Widows Association. Phyllis is presently the School Secretary.
Esdille Lappin (nee McVitty) is Chairman of Erne Flower Arranging Society.
A special Tea Party was held at Crom Estate in October to pay tribute to Barbara Chapman who has been a member of the National Trust for 65 years.
In December 2011 Melanie Higgins (nee Grimsley) launched her book “Beauty for Ashes” which she co-wrote with journalist, Mr Ivan Little.
On August 20th, 2011, a 25 year reunion, organised by Mrs Arlene Wright (nee Rutledge), Mrs Anne Wilson (nee McConnell), Mrs Jane Clarke (nee Erwin) and Mrs Adel Parke (nee Johnston), was held in the Killyhevlin Hotel for all those girls who attended school between 1979 and 1986. Over 40 girls came from far and wide, many having travelled from England. In the afternoon, Miss Armstrong and Mrs Dunn kindly opened the school for a tour and provided the use of the staff room for coffee and socialising. Former Principal, Miss Kate Doherty, former Vice-Principal, Mrs Ethel Irvine and former Head of French, Miss Sylvia Cooper took the time to meet up with their former pupils at the school. Many of the old girls had not been into school since they left and were amazed by the changes that had taken place, however just as many commented on how familiar and well-known everything seemed. Likewise with old friendships, despite the years and all the changes in their own personal lives and circumstances, there was a sense of companionship and affection that was just as familiar and well-known as when they walked the corridors of the Collegiate. It was a wonderful day and socialising went on well into the night. The girls donated £100 to the Mini-Bus fund before leaving the school.

Another old friendship was renewed back in the Autumn Term when Friederike Zimmel who had been the Language Assistant for the Enniskillen Grammar Schools in the academic year 1979-80 returned to County Fermanagh. She visited school and was pleased to meet up with Miss Armstrong whom she remembered as an A Level pupil!

It is always fascinating to hear about all the interesting career paths so many Old Collegians have taken, Annabel Judd (1979-1986), works as a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

News from the school
Our Head-girl is Hannah Richmond and her Deputies are Stephanie McConkey and Rose Saunders. The girls are performing their duties very well.

The girls continue to achieve very high results in the academic field. At A2 level, 96% of all grades were at A* to C. Twenty girls had at least three Grade A passes and sixteen girls had at least one A* grade. Overall 88% of the girls had at least three passes at A* to C. Again girls from the Collegiate featured in the top candidates in Northern Ireland in public examinations. Laura Cairns was placed 1st equal in A Level History of Art and Amy Hetherington was 2nd equal in GCSE Home Economics. Rebecca Graham’s GCSE Art and Design work was also selected for the CCEA True Colours exhibition. Laura Cairns and Amy Harkness were both awarded All-Ireland Scholarships by the J P McManus Fund on the basis of their A level results. Laura has gone to study law and German Law at University College London and Amy is studying Veterinary Science at the University of Edinburgh. Miss Armstrong travelled to Limerick to see them receive their scholarships.

At our Celebration of Success in November our Guest of Honour was Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education and Students), Queen’s University, Belfast. In her lively and thought provoking address she gave excellent advice to the girls on the importance of making connections and links both in understanding our own life experiences and in our understanding of how our personal contribution fits into the wider picture of excellence and ambition at a regional and national level.
The Tag Rugby Team received the Old Collegians Cup for special achievement. The team won through to Ravenhill again last February and brought home the Ulster Cup to Fermanagh for the 3rd year running by defeating Aquinas Grammar School. Zoe McGowan was awarded the prize for English Literature, which is presented by the Old Collegians in memory of Ada Malone.

Grace Kettyle was crowned Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year at the Northern Ireland final in Grosvenor Grammar School.
Annika Latimer from Lower Sixth travelled to Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast on Saturday 28th January 2012 to take part in the regional finals of the Rotary Cookery Competition. Both she and Mrs Kettyle, Head of Home Economics, who accompanied her, were delighted when she was selected to take part in the All-Ireland Final in Dublin at the end of February 2012.
In March 2011 Rose Saunders, speaking on “Europe in Crisis – who pays?” was placed second in the Northern Ireland final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition continuing the pattern for the last four years where a Collegiate girl has been in the top four of this competition which attracts over one hundred entries annually from across Northern Ireland.

Collegiate girls also continue to distinguish themselves at a national level. In the British Biology Olympiad in which almost three thousand of the best students from over three hundred schools across the UK compete, Lauren Graham was awarded a Silver medal and Rebecca Gormley a Bronze medal. Jennifer Cathcart and Amy Harkness were highly commended and Ruth Trimble was commended.

The school continues to play a full part in the Fermanagh Learning Community. There has been an increase in the number of subjects on offer in shared post-16 block. Collegiate pupils are also involved in a shared personal development programme funded by Atlantic Philantrophies under the Fermanagh Trust on Friday afternoons along with five other schools. They have a choice of 17 programmes.

The Music Department continues to support the school by providing music for all school functions. We had a variety of items from instrumentalists and the choirs at the Evening of Flowers and Music, all of a very high standard. Many of the girls won prizes at Fermanagh Feis as individuals and members of groups of musicians. Some members of the choir participated in the launch of Judith Anderson’s CD “Abundance” in St John’s Parish Church, Fivemiletown in November. They had been involved in the recording of the CD in June which is in support of Tearfund’s “Silent No More” project in Congo.

Apart from fund-raising for the minibus the girls supported other charities during the year such as Horizon West Children’s Hospice Appeal, The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), Charlene’s Project, the Red Cross Japanese Tsunami Appeal, Operation Rescue (Ethopia) Clic Sergeant, Book Aid International, Homestart, Breaststrokes, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Erne School. The twice yearly House Charity events, non-uniform days and the school fete also generate lots of fun and community spirit.

Girls at the Collegiate have a much wider range of sport to participate in than happened when I attended the school. In reading the termly newsletter “Headlines”, from Miss Armstrong, I see there are athletics, hockey, netball, table tennis, tag rugby, football, cross-country and show jumping as possible options. This only happens because we are fortunate to have staff and parents willing to give of their time to help the girls in preparing and travelling with the girls when they take part in competitions.
In Table tennis the Collegiate Minor team consisting of Laura Trimble, Lucy Atwell, Emily Frazer and Hollie Morrison were crowned Ulster Minor Girls League Champions in their well-fought matches in Cavan at the beginning of March 2011.
Of course I can’t resist writing again about the success of the Tag Rugby Team who were successful in bringing the honours home to Fermanagh from Ravenhill for the 3rd year in succession.
The Collegiate Riding Team of Lauren Hetherington (team captain), Sarah-Jayne Johnston, Ruth and Rebecca McClean, Amy Hetherington and Amy Lewis won the Inter Schools Competition at RDA Equestrian Centre in Omagh.
At the WELB Hockey Board tournaments Kathryn Dane was selected for the U15 team and Jane Simpson for the U17 team. Unfortunately a clash with a certain Tag Rugby final prevented Kathryn taking up her place. Kathryn was also selected to play football for Northern Ireland in an U15 international match and tournament.

These are just a flavour of the successes which were celebrated during 2011.
The school web-site: www.enniskillencollegiate.org.uk will keep you up to date with ongoing successes.

Minibus Fund
Mr Graham was able to prepare the mini-bus and more importantly get it through the MOT in August. Our fund-raising has continued throughout the year with an Evening of Flowers and Music in March, an Auction in April, the School Fete in June where the proceeds were shared with Homestart and a Fashion Show in October. Mrs Ann Bloomfield and the girls provided an excellent performance of items of music. We were fortunate to have the services of Alan Beattie, a National Demonstrator and Judge, to do a wonderful demonstration of Flower Arranging and David Stuart, as our auctioneer, managed to lighten our pockets considerably for the items offered for sale. Staff, Governors and pupils had great fun when they took to the catwalk to show off the clothes supplied by S D Kells. All of these events were very successful not only in raising money but in the experiences which benefitted the girls. Including the donation from the Old Collegians it takes the total to £23,130.

Our programme for the coming year is as follows :-

Saturday 31st March 2012 at 10.30am Coffee morning at the home of Mrs Elaine Kennedy (nee Jordan), Tinore, 13 Castlebalfour, Lisnaskea. All Old Collegians and friends are most welcome.

Friday 8th June 2012 at 7.00pm – the Annual General Meeting followed by the Annual Dinner in the Killyhevlin Hotel. Our speaker after dinner is Mrs Arlene Foster MLA (nee Kelly).
Please reply, to either me (028 89521203) or by email to the address given in this letter or Hazel Scott (028 66323229) by 4th June. Also, in order that friends may have the opportunity to sit at the same table, please tell Hazel or myself if you are a member of a particular party. We have found that this arrangement has worked well for several years.

Saturday 29th September 2012 at 10.30am – a coffee morning in the Staffroom of the Millennium Building. A tour of the school is available if required.

The funds that we raise through our Coffee Mornings are used to benefit the school. At our February Committee Meeting it was decided to donate £1000 to the School Mini-bus Fund which will help to bring it closer to the target required to purchase one.

Lunch in South West College of Further Education. On the first Wednesday of the month during term-time the Old Collegians have a table. If you wish to go, just phone the College at 028 66 342299 and ask for your name to be added to the Old Collegian’s table. Friends are also welcome.

I am delighted to be able to pass on news of your old School and its pupils. I rely on receiving news from you, so please send on any information you may have at any time throughout the year, either by letter or preferably by email, address florence_brunt@hotmail.com If you send me your E-mail address you will receive this letter electronically in future. This will save on stationery, time and postage, which is becoming even more expensive. Please send me a message, subject – Old Collegian, with your name, so that I may add it to those already received. It is also important to have registered as a member of the Old Collegians to receive the letter and news of events being organised. The Life Membership fee is just £20 or £10 for school leavers. The form can be accessed on the school’s website. If your details need updating please let me know preferably by E-mail. If you have any ideas or suggestions of activities which might interest Old Collegians, the Committee would be delighted to know of them. Contact can be made with me as already mentioned.

I trust that news of your old School has been of interest to you. If there are any other aspects on which you would like me to report, please let me know. Do try to send news of past pupils to me or mention it to any member of the committee.

Yours sincerely

Florence Brunt (President)


President Florence Brunt (nee Crawford)
Vice President Ingrid Logan (nee Wood)
Honorary Secretary Anne Wilson (nee McConnell)
Honorary Treasurer Hazel Scott (nee Gordon)

Ethel Irvine (nee Connor) Olive Elliott (nee Beacom)
Averil Dunlop (nee Fleming) Carole Graham (nee Rutledge)
Evelyn Hassard (nee Moore) Catherine Irwin (nee Morrison)