by NEIL GREENLEES
|Ken Boomer, incoming
President of the Friends School Old
Scholars' Association, presents a plaque
to his predecessor as President, Ann
THERE was a record attendance at the recent
119th meeting of Friends School Old Scholars Association which
saw new President Ken Boomer welcomed and introduced by his
predecessor Ann Cully.
Mr. Boomer's first duty was to return the
compliment by presenting Ms. Cully with a plaque in recognition
of her contribution during her term as President.
Other presentations were made to Head Girl
Victoria Jordan and Head Boy Stuart Bothwell.
Mr. Boomer explained their presentations were
a recognition of the link between the old scholars and the
He asked Victoria and Stuart to encourage
pupils in their year to become members of the Association.
Mr. Boomer told those present he had
extensive family connections with Friends School and said he was
looking forward to opportunities of meeting with old scholars
and attending school functions.
He spoke of his own vivid memories of being a
pupil at the school which included sport, geography and music as
well as his many friends.
His continuing interest in the violin, he
said, was inspired in the music classroom by Mr. McGraw.
Those present also heard of his enjoyment of
hockey and how the foundation in the sport he received during
his time at Friends meant he was able to help the Old Boys team
win the Ulster Cup in successive seasons during the mid 1960's.
Mr. Boomer thanked Principal Mrs. Elizabeth
Dickson for her interest in the Association and her active
support for its activities.
After dinner there was some real homegrown
entertainment with Haylee Howe playing two violin pieces
accompanied by her husband Timothy.
These were followed by a sketch during which
Gareth Aughey and Robert Cully indulged themselves and the
audience by poking fun at political correctness and
The evening closed with Mr. Boomer saying he
hoped its success augured well for a prosperous year.
The members of the outgoing
Committee of Friends School Old Scholars
Association. Back row from left - Gareth Irwin,
David Thompson, Pamela McKitterick, Janice
Crowe, John Ard and Noel Clarke. Front row from
left - Ken Boomer (President Elect), Ann Cully
(President), Elizabeth Dickson (Principal), Mary
Donnelly, Judith Ard and Derek Shuter.
Sadness at death of former president
THERE was sadness at the meeting as outgoing
President Ann Cully paid tribute to her predecessor Jim Caves,
who passed away shortly after completing his year in the
position. She said his passing had left the Association with a
great sense of loss and spoke of his warmth as a person and his
great commitment to both the Old Scholars and the local
She thanked members of the Committee and others
who supported her during her year in office and expressed
pleasure at having had the opportunity to attend school events
as President. Secretary Derek Shuter gave a report on the
activities over the past year which included a St. Patrick's
Night pig roast and barn dance at Boomer's Farm. He also
reported the Committee had decided to present annual membership
of the Association to each year's Head Boy and Head Girl.
Treasurer David Thompson said he was pleased to
report an increase in income. He was also pleased to report the
Committee had been able to allocate funds for the purchase of
furniture in the Archives
Room currently being set up. Principal Mrs.
Elizabeth Dickson welcomed the Old Scholars to Friends and
talked about changes which had taken place in the fabric of the
building as well as the longer term programme of development.
She said the school continued to emphasise
traditional values and standards and thanked Old Scholars for
replying to the consultation process on government proposals for
change in post-primary education. She also expressed regret more
notice had not been taken of their comments.