Wholeschool Portal | Home 17 October 2016



Enniskillen Old Collegians

Another year has raced past since my last annual letter.  Both the Association and the Collegiate Grammar School have had another very successful year.   Again our main function was our AGM and Dinner which was held in the Killyhevlin Hotel on 13th June 2014 We were delighted to welcome Dr Diana Cody (nee Day) as our speaker for the evening.  She talked about her work in Mental Health. Our thanks go to the Killyhevlin Hotel for once again 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 their families 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. 
On 12th April 2014 we were made very welcomed to Mavis Fleming’s (nee Wilkin) beautiful home for our Spring Coffee Morning.   Again, this was another very enjoyable occasion.  Our grateful thanks are due to Mavis and her husband for making us so comfortable.

 On Saturday 20th 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, Mr Philip Elliott, 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 providing the scones etc and their unfailing, cheerful help at our Coffee mornings.

 News of Old Collegians

  • Barbara Chapman, a former Secretary and President of the Association, celebrated her 90th on 28th March 2014.
  • Kate Doherty, former principal of the Collegiate received an award at Stormont for “Best Visionary Leadership in International Development”.  The citation referred to her longstanding concern for the developing world and in particular to her support for two projects in Mekele in Tigray Province in Ethiopia.
  • Leonora Kennedy received a gold medal in the women’s rowing pairs in the Memorial Paola d’Aloja Regatta in Piediluco in Italy.  She was also selected for the Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy.
  • Sarah Saunderson is Editor of the Impartial Reporter which received the award for the UK Weekly Newspaper of the Year.  She was also the guest speaker for the Celebration of Success in the School in November.
  • Kylie Noble who is studying English and Politics at Queen’s University was one of thirty students from a field of four hundred from across the UK selected for the Washington-Ireland Program.  She worked as an Intern to Senator Tom Harkin over the summer in Washington DC.  Since September she is Editor of The Gown, an independent student newspaper at QUB.
  • Carole Graham, Girlguiding Ulster Chief Commissioner and Catherine Irwin, County Commissioner for Girlguiding Fermanagh organised the International Camp Xplore at Castle Saunderson where girl-guides from many parts of the world including Australia, Denmark, Singapore and Sri Lanka, to name but a few, attended.
  • Marion Henderson is the new Chairman of Fermanagh Farming Society which organises the Fermanagh County Show which takes place in August each year.
  • Carole Graham (nee Rutledge) received the MBE for services to young people in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
  • Kathryn Wilson (nee Robinson) qualified from Clogher Valley Show to Tullamore Show for the final of Irish Shows Odlam’s All Ireland Home Cooking Championship where she gained 3rd place out of the thirty-three who had qualified to compete.
  • Irene Dunn (nee Owens) retired from her post of Vice Principal of the Collegiate at the end of August.  She was appointed to the Collegiate  in 1981 to teach Mathematics.  Irene held a number of posts over the years, ICT co-ordinator, Pastoral Care co-ordinator and was also a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  She was appointed to the position of Vice Principal in 2004, a role which was very demanding and which she carried out with integrity, understanding and empathy for pupils and staff alike
  • On 9th September Myra Perrott (nee Foster) celebrated her 90th birthday. 
  • Hope Kerr (nee Kidney) is the new High Sheriff for Co Fermanagh for 2015.
  • The Class of ’59 had a very successful Reunion on 5th September 2014. After a visit to the school they enjoyed a meal in the Killyhevlin Hotel.  They were delighted to welcome former members of staff to their trip down memory lane. 


News from the school

Phillip Elliott is the new Vice-Principal of the Collegiate.  He is originally from Manchester and read music at Oxford University where he was Organ Scholar at Hertford College and Cloth-workers’ Scholar at St Catherine’s College. Phillip’s first teaching appointment was in Bradford Grammar School.  He moved to Northern Ireland  in 1999  to take up a post in Hunterhouse College before coming to the Collegiate where he assists in the music department part-time.

 Our Head-girl is Naairah Khan and her Deputies are Kathryn Dane and Siobhan Kerr. The girls are performing their duties very well.Once again the girls achieved very high results in the academic field.  Almost a third of the girls have a least an A* or 2A grades in their portfolio.  Among the top achievers are Hannah McCaw (2A* and 1A), Erica Fyffe (1A* and 2A), Hannah Gamble (1A* and 2A) and Melissa Johnston with 3As.    At GCSE two thirds of the girls had five A* or five A grades or better in their GCSE profile. Top candidates were Harley-Louise Beattie who achieved 11A* and Emily Armstrong who achieved 10A* and 1A.  Emily Armstrong also gained joint third place in Northern Ireland GCSE German and joint second place in Northern Ireland GCSE Home Economics.   Zoe Morrison’s GCSE  art work was exhibited  in the CCEA True Colours exhibition.   Erica Fyffe has been awarded a JP McManus All-Ireland Scholarship on the basis of her A level results.  She is currently studying Modern Languages in Durham University.

 Our Celebration of Success took place on 20th November when the Guest of Honour was Sarah Saunderson, Editor of the Impartial Reporter.   In her very lively address she encouraged the girls to enjoy their successes and to learn from all their experiences. She strongly emphasized the importance of valuing community and working with others. The School Council received the Old Collegians Cup for special achievement.  The prize for English Literature, which is presented by the Old Collegians in memory of Mrs Ada Malone was awarded to Erica Fyffe.

 Collegiate girls also continue to distinguish themselves at a national level.  In the UK Senior Mathematical Challenge four girls won Silver certificates: Rebecca Bleakley, Nicola Barton , Debbie Brown and Erin Crozier.  A further five won bronze certificates: Megan Atwell, Rebecca Dane, Alanah Kerr, Shannon Scott and Lisa Sheridan.

 The local heat of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition took place in November.  Dorothy McDowell gained 1st place speaking on the topic “Gender quotas in politics: positive or negative?  She went to represent Fermanagh with distinction in the Northern Ireland final in February 2015.

 In November Hollie Morrison  travelled to the UK Youth Parliament as one of the representatives for Northern Ireland.  She was able to take part in a debate in the House of Commons on whether sixteen year olds should have the vote. 

 Ella-Jo Burns from Year 8 and Hannah Irvine, Maeve O’Dolan and Rachel Whitehead from Year 9 competed in the Kids Lit Quiz in Wellington College gaining third place which was a great result from the twenty-six schools from across Northern Ireland that took part.

 Grace Kettyle is continuing to make a mark in the culinary world by winning a place in the All-Ireland final of the Rotary Club’s Young Chef Cookery Competition which takes place in Santa Sabina School in Dublin.

 In July Miss Fahy accompanied seven girls on a trip to Beijing for two weeks. They attended Mandarin lessons every day and sat YCT Level 1.  They were also able to visit the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City.  They acquired new skills in calligraphy, tai chi and Chinese painting.  Katherine Dickson, Francesca Hale, Hannah Hall, Jayne Monaghan, Hannah Morrison, Laura Nixon and Tiah Rickey had a fantastic opportunity which they used to best advantage. 

 The Music Department continues to support the school by providing music for all school functions and some events in the Community. 

Fifty members of the Junior Choir performed in the Waterfront Hall alongside the African Children’s Choir at Christmas. Earlier in June they enjoyed the opportunity to sing in the Long Gallery at Stormont at the PTA NI Award Ceremony. 

Collegiate girls also experienced an  impressive level of success in the Drama, Public Speaking, Poetry and Classical and Contemporary Music Sections of Fermanagh Feis.  Katie Bloomfield was the winner of the Young Musician of the Year at Fermanagh Feis.

 The girls are given many opportunities to make visits out of school to inform themselves about possible career options e.g. Engineering and Technology event in BBC Headquarters, Balcas Interview Skills Event, Western Health and Social Care Trust Combined Careers Fair on Professions allied to Medicine in St.Michael’s College, Medicine students workshop at South-West Acute Hospital and the Sentinus GETSET Insight into Engineering for girls at Queen’s University.

Three girls from year 14 gained places on University Summer Schools which was a wonderful experience for them.  Erin Crozier went to the Forensics department of Liverpool John Moore’s University while Lisa Sheridan and Megan Atwell were accepted on to Oxford University UNIQ Summer School for Biomedical Sciences and Music respectively.  Lisa was a finalist in the NI Institute of Directors’ Work Shadowing Competition.  The report she had written on her work-shadowing experience with Sue McAllister, Director General of Northern Ireland Prisons was instrumental in her gaining this place.

 The girls supported a variety of charities during the year raising over £5000  to help Macmillan Cancer Care, Diabetes UK, RNLI, Marie Curie Cancer Care, NSPCC,  Sports Relief, Special Olympics, Cancer Connect, Children’s Society (Joanna Burleigh’s Trek to Kilimanjaro),  Children’s Hospice, Autism NI and Clic Sargent.

 The Tag Rugby Team won the Ulster Championship at Queen’s University in March beating Grosvenor Grammar School with a score of 10 to 7.  The team has been successful in bringing home the Moore Trophy five times out of six which is a superb achievement.

Kathryn Dane was selected for the Irish Girls under 20s sevens rugby squad to compete in the European Championships in Sweden last September.  She has since won the Greg Turley Bursary Young Sports Personality of the Year in the Impartial Reported Sports awards for 2014.  She also collected the Young Sports Personality Award from the Fermanagh Herald.


Among the many excellent hockey matches at all levels the 1st X1 team’s late equaliser against Raphoe and the U14 team’4-0 win at the same venue stand out.  The Year 8 and 9 football team won their local heat and progressed in November to the Northern Ireland finals.  The girls reached the semi-finals of the competition after beating stiff opposition in the group stages: they played extremely well and were narrowly defeated on penalties by the eventual winners of the competition.   In Netball the Year 12 first team were joint second but received the Bronze medals on goal difference in their blitz in November and the second team was placed in fourth position, a very credible performance.  In Cross Country five girls qualified in the E-district competition for the Ulster Championship. In Athletics Zoe McCutcheon was an Ulster Silver Medallist.

These are just a flavour of the successes which were celebrated during 2014.


The school web-site: www.enniskillencollegiate.org.uk will keep you up to date with ongoing successes.

 The School Magazine

The magazine is now coming out at the end of the first term with a new full colour format.  Mrs MacCombe is the new Editor.  Copies of the magazine can be purchased from School Reception for £6.

 The Future of the School under Area Planning

On 8th May 2014 the Western Education and Library Board passed three Development Proposals, 260 to close the Collegiate Grammar School which was put forward by WELB, 261 to close Portora Royal School and 262 to establish a voluntary non-denominational co-educational grammar school.  The latter two were put forward by the Fermanagh Protestant Board of Education. They were published on 14th May followed by two months for consultation.  The Department of Education received five hundred letters objecting to this proposed amalgamation.  The Action Group got over 7000 signatures on a petition which Arlene Foster MLA (nee Kelly) presented to the Speaker of the Assembly.  Many parents, some girls, staff and members of the Board of Governors made the journey by coach to see it presented and to lobby MLAs that this was a very retrograde step for Fermanagh.  On 22nd September Lord Morrow MLA and Arlene Foster MLA, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment put forward a motion in the Assembly requiring the Minister to reject the WELB development proposals 260, 261 and 262 regarding the proposed closure of the Collegiate Grammar School and Portora Royal School and to seek consensus on the future of these schools with broad community support was carried by a clear majority in a lively debate in the Assembly.  Sinn Fein had an amendment which was defeated.  It was a great disappointment to hear on 28th November 2014 that the Education Minister, John O’Dowd, had approved these Development Proposals, 260, 261 and 262.   However we are continuing to try and overturn this decision.  To have a split site school at opposite ends of an island town with a reduced number of grammar school places for the community does not bode well for the education of our young people.

 Our programme for the coming year is as follows :-

 Saturday 9th May 2015 at 10.30am Coffee morning at the home of Mrs Avril Kee (nee Stronge), The Anchorage, 5 Lakeview Park, Enniskillen, BT74 6AR.  All Old Collegians and their friends are most welcome.

 Friday 12th June 2015 at 7.00pm – the AGM and Annual Dinner in the Killyhevlin Hotel.   Our speaker after dinner is Kate Doherty, former Principal of the School talking on her ten years of involvement with Operation Rescue in Ethiopia.

Please reply, either to me (028 89521203) or by email to the address given in this letter or Hazel Scott (028 66323229) by 7th 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 19th September 2015 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. 

 Lunch in Killyhevlin. On the first Wednesday of each month during term-time the Old Collegians have a table (September to December and February to May inclusive).  If you wish to go, please phone Florence 028 89521203 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   To receive this letter electronically in future please send me your E-mail address which will save on stationery, time and postage, which is becoming very expensive. Please send me a message, subject – Old Collegian, with your name, so that I may add it to my list.   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)


Janice Murray(nee Robinson) Olive Elliott  (nee Beacom)               

Averil Dunlop (nee Fleming)  Carole Graham (nee Rutledge)                      

Evelyn Hassard (nee Moore)     Catherine Irwin (nee Morrison