Drumbo Primary School
A Service of Thanksgiving was held in Drumbo Presbyterian Church
on Sunday 3rd June to mark the closure of Drumbo Primary School
this summer. The minister, the Rev Adrian McLernon led the
service. Mark Milligan on the organ, and Colin Reid, a past
pupil, on drums led the praise. The hymns were 'Lord for the
years', 'The Lord's my Shepherd', 'My Jesus, my Saviour' and
'One more step'.
Mrs Hilary McCluggage welcomed the large congregation to the
service on behalf of the Board of Governors, staff and pupils.
Those who took part in the service were Canon John Bell, former
Rector in Drumbo Parish Church, who opened the service in
prayer. Mrs Aline Hanna spoke of her memories in Drumbo School
between the years 1940 - 1944. Mrs Florence Reid the present
Principal, and also a former pupil, read the Scripture lesson
from Psalm 78 v 1 - 16. The present school pupils led by
teachers Miss Rachel Loney and Mrs Rebecca McCready performed an
item of drama and two songs. Each pupil also shared a special
memory of their time at the school. Mr James Kelly, a former
Principal, led the congregation in prayer, followed by some
reflections from the Rev Kenneth Smyth, who spoke about his time
as minister in Drumbo, and being a former Chairman of the Board
of Governors. Miss Elizabeth Campbell, a past pupil, played the
piano and sang a solo, followed by a solo on the flute by
another past pupil, Dr Karen Orr. Holly Lyons, also a past
pupil, who was on holiday at the time of the service put some of
her memories on to a video clip, which was projected on to a
large screen. The Rev Adrian McLernon gave the address, taking
as his theme 'Passing on the faith through the generations'.
Pictured at Drumbo Primary
School last Monday afternoon morning (11th June)
are L to R: Mr James Kelly (Past Principal
1987-1997), Mr Herbie Curry (Past Principal 1945
' 1981), Mrs Florence Reid (Principal), Mrs
Hilary McCluggage (Chair of the Board of
Governors), Rev Adrian McLernon and Rev Kenneth
Smyth (former Chairman of the Board of
The offering of £400 was given to Drumbo Presbyterian Church to
be used for Summer Outreach.
Refreshments were served afterwards in the Church Hall,
providing an opportunity for former pupils to renew old
friendships and recall happy memories of their early days at the
school. A gallery of old photographs was also available for
people to view while having a cup of tea.
The Service followed on from an enjoyable BBQ held at the school
on Friday 1st June, which was also attended by past and present
pupils and friends of the school. The school will officially
close at the end of August, but its twelve remaining pupils will
leave at the end of June. The pupils will take part in their
final School Assembly on Monday 18th June.
Sandra Rice is pictured serving tea and scones to
past pupils Bell Macauley and Violet Spence (fourth
from left) at Drumbo Presbyterian Church 'Drop In'
centre. Violet was dinner lady at Drumbo Primary
School in the 1960s and was caretaker and playground
assistant in the 1970s and 1980s. Included in the
photo are Rev Kenneth Smyth (former Chairman of the
Board of Governors) and Mrs Hilary McCluggage
(present Chair of the Board of Governors).
Brief history of the school
There have been four school buildings in Drumbo over the
years, three of which are still standing. The first, which was a
hedge school, was operating about 1790 in the Session House
connected with the Presbyterian Meeting House. In the updated
history book there is an advertisement, in July 1796, for a
teacher in this school. The present Orange Hall was built in
1836 as a school, and is still being used. Drumbo Presbyterian
Church Hall was built as a school in 1896 and the present Drumbo
Primary School, was opened in 1959. The school history book,
written by Dr Chris Reid (husband of the present principal) has
been updated with the inclusion of old and more recent
photographs. The book is available for purchase at Eason's or
Waterstones Bookshops, Bow Street, Lisburn, and The Bookshop at
Queen's, University Road, Belfast, or by ringing 90 826580.
Dr Reid's book also contains the following poem entitled 'THE
DAYS I WENT TO SCHOOL', which was written in 1987 by Aline Hanna
(nee Matthews), a pupil in Drumbo Primary School from 1940 to
1/ In summer and in winter,
In sunshine, rain or snow,
I walked the road from Leverogue
To school in fair Drumbo.
Just a Master and a Teacher
With several classes each.
To read, to write and work out sums,
Endeavoured us to teach.
2/ I remember Mr. Morrison.
Headmaster of repute,
Miss Maxwell was the Mistress,
Precise and quite astute.
She took the girls for needlework,
To teach us how to knit,
It took so long to knit my socks,
I'm afraid they didn't fit!
3/ Although everything was basic,
Not up-to-date like now,
The things we learned, we learned them well,
And life was good somehow.
There was no central heating,
No low-flush inside 'loo',
Pot-bellied stove supplied the heat
The long, cold winters through.
4/ When the air raids came to Belfast
The classes rose in numbers
As children came to Drumbo
To escape from German bombers.
Many, many things we learned,
In those happy bygone days.
Things we never would forget
As we went our separate ways.
5/ Poetry learned long ago
I can remember still.
Songs and music from the past
I can recall at will.
From time to time I go back home
To Drumbo on the hill,
My schooldays now so far away,
But very near me still.
6/ In memory I'm setting out
Down Ballycairn Hill,
Past Sam Hanna's farmyard,
Walking with a will.
To Drumbo Schoolhouse, past the Church
I enter in once more,
With friends and pals from long ago,
And gently close the door.