Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Record turn out at Old Scholars AGM


Ken Boomer, incoming President of the Friends School Old Scholars' Association, presents a plaque to his predecessor as President, Ann Cully. US21-769SP
Ken Boomer, incoming President of the Friends School Old Scholars' Association, presents a plaque to his predecessor as President, Ann Cully. US21-769SP

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 present pupils.

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 accountability.

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. US21-768SP

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 community.

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.

Ulster Star