One hundred and seventy former pupils of Downshire Primary School (1950-1957) recently returned to Hillsborough to mark their 60th primary school reunion.
The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Tim Morrow welcomed everyone to the event, which was held in St Malachy’s Church Hall.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor said: “I understand some former pupils have travelled from as far as Australia, Canada, Japan and a bit closer to home, Jersey. I would like to commend the organisers and volunteers who have made today such a success, which is no easy task to organise over several time zones.
“I am sure this reunion will renew a few lost friendships and that there will be a lot of sharing of memories of your time at Downshire Primary School. No doubt everyone will also get the chance to tell their school friends what you have been up to since you left primary school and rekindle old friendships.”
Sam McLorn and Maurice Boreland, two former pupils, were Masters of Ceremony at the reunion and interviewed the furthest travelled pupils. A book of old photographs, a series of very interesting and amusing memories alongside photos from the 60 year reunion will be printed and made available to past pupils.
Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, presented a memento to each former pupil who had travelled back to Northern Ireland. He said: “It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet former pupils of the local primary school; and I thank those who have travelled many, many miles to be part of this wonderful reunion. May I also commend Robin Graham for all his hard work on successfully bringing so many former pupils back to Hillsborough.”
Alderman Ewart presented Robin with a piece of crystal to thank him for organising a very enjoyable event.
The Hillsborough Old Guard, a long-standing organisation within the village, attended the reunion and arranged a display of photos of Hillsborough and its people over the years. There was also an Act of Remembrance held to remember and reflect on memories of those school friends who have passed away.