Pictured at the Loreto Kilkenny Gala were (from left:) Statia O’Carroll, Helen Moroney, Nelly Delaney, Ann Lanigan and Sarah Drea
On Friday night, in the perfect surroundings of The Ormonde Hotel, over 100 past pupils gathered for a gala dinner to celebrate 150 years of the Loreto School in Kilkenny city.
And what a night it was. People came from near and far, even from across the water in England.
Former students from as far back as 1948 attended with many from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s also there.
The Loreto Sisters, who were past pupils and past teachers also attended and were in big demand for photographs.
There were also retired teachers, present teachers and members of the board of management in attendance as well as the Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere.
The atmosphere was one of great excitement as those attending met up with class mates and friends from years gone by.
The chat started from the time they arrived and the volume rose as the night went on.
The howls of laughter and the surprise of meeting up with school friends were heard throughout the hotel.
Many had arranged to come in class groups while others came along with their own siblings who had also attended Loreto.
After a delicious dinner there was an opportunity to look at press cuttings from as far back as 1868 when the school opened right up to the present time.
This exhibition, which was of great interest to everyone, was the culmination of a lot of work of principal, Mr Colm Keher, and the transition year students.
There was also a cardboard version of a faceless student in uniform so the past pupils could have their photograph taken as if they were in the present uniform.
And a power-point presentation of old, not so old and present day photos of life in Loreto over the 150 years ran constantly during the night.
People had a chance to exchange email addresses and phone numbers and cameras flashed constantly as groups of friends posed for photographs.
The night was all about people from times past catching up with each other allowing them to rekindle friendships and share their stories so speeches from Mayor Cllere, principal, Mr Colm Keher and the chairman of the Board of Management, Mr Tony Joyce were kept to a minimum.
The Mayor also assisted with the cutting of the cake with three siblings, Anne, Margaret and Eileen Bourke, who had travelled to be part of the celebrations.
These three ladies were the longest left from Loreto and their presence there made it even more special.
All in all it was a great night and hopefully it is just the start of a Past Pupils alumni going forward.