20 years later former students share memories

20 years later former students share memories

16 November 2011

OVER 250 former Castlewellan High School pupils gathered for a special reunion last weekend.

Newcastle’s Burrendale Hotel was the venue for a night of nostalgia and reminiscing to mark the 20th anniversary of the closure of the school.

Castlewellan, Killyleagh and Quoile High schools closed as a result of a controversial shake-up of controlled secondary sector education in the Mid Down area.

The move resulted in the amalgamation of the three schools to form the new Down Academy based at the former Quoile High School site at the Old Belfast Road in Downpatrick.

Former Castlewellan High students who now live as far away as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand returned for last weekend’s reunion event along with many others from across Europe and a lot closer to home.

Former school principal, Mr. Ken McCammon, said it was “wonderful” for so many former students to get together again to talk about their days at Castlewellan High School and what they are doing now.

“People who were educated at the school in the 1950s attended last weekend’s event and there was a great buzz on the night,” said Mr. McCammon.

He gave a short address during which he reflected upon Castlewellan High School’s proud history and said how delighted he was that many pupils had gone on to achieve great things in their life.

Mr. McCammon also referred to the tremendous community service many former pupils now provide via their association with a number of key organisations, including the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, RNLI, Fire Service and the Coastguard.

The former principal added: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and

the craic was great and everyone had a lot of fun. It certainly was a night to remember.”

Also in attendance at the Burrendale event was the school’s former secretary Doris McCracken who worked at Castlewellan High between 1956 up until it closed in 1991.