Today marked the final day for four key members of the Dominican Staff as they begin their well-earned retirement.
Mr Keith Gilmore leaves us after more than 30 years of service firstly as a Biology teacher and, in more recent years as head of Science.
Mr Dermot Bannon joined the Dominican staff on September 3rd 1979 as a Chemistry teacher and continued to pioneer the idea of the outdoor classroom. He leaves behind a strong environmental legacy which will continue in the work of the eco club.
Mr Hugh Doone joined the Dominican staff on the very same day, as a teacher of Geography and RE and would go on to lead the Geography Department. His colleague Mr Crutchley, currently on DofE duties in the Lake District, also leaves the school this summer to take up a post in Down High.
Mr Declan Brolly, our longest serving member of staff, joined the school in September 1976 as a History teacher. He would go on to lead the History department and help lead the school as a senior teacher.
All these men have, in their collective 153 years of service to the Dominican Community, instilled the values of the Dominican ethos, inspired and enriched young people, contributed to the education- in its academic, pastoral, spiritual and extra-curricular sense and led by example.
As a school community of staff, parents and governors we salute the work done by these Dominican men and wish each of them and their families a long and happy retirement as we endeavour to continue to build on their legacy throughout our centenary celebrations and beyond.Thank you Declan, Dermot, Hugh and Keith for the wonderful years of service, laughter and friendship.
A fond farewell from staff and governors to Mr Brolly, Mr Bannon, Mr Doone, Mr Gilmore and Mr Crutchley who have given us one hundred and fifty-three years of wonderful service.
Dominican Staff and governors met yesterday to coincide with the final Board of Governors meeting of the year. This gave us all the opportunity to reflect on another busy and successful school year, but also to celebrate the 153 years of service given by the four members if staff retiring in 2016.
Sr Lucina told staff that this traditional end of year gathering usually involved someone moving on but that this year was unique; not just because of the number of people moving on but also their seniority and years of service to Dominican education. She remarked that she had been involved is the decision to employ each of the five either as principal or as a member of the governors and that only two of the original “golden oldie” members of staff remain from her time here as principal in the 1980’s.
Paying tribute to Mr Brolly after 40 years of service, Sr Lucina reminisced about the wonderful History Department he built up beginning with his days in 1976 in what was then the Palais de Dance. She reflected on how the unique Brolly humour was manifest early on when, under the leaky roof of this building, Declan quipped, “Yes Sister, but we have a Brolly”. Sr Lucina thanked Declan for epitomising the Dominican ethos of education in his roles as teacher, governor, head of department and senior teacher throughout his forty years of outstanding service.
Paying tribute to Mr Bannon who arrived in Dominican a few years later in 1979, Sr Lucina reminded us of the fact that he was timetabled in a mythical Room 22 which would only arrive in the school four months after Dermot. She spoke about how Dermot’s belief in “the outdoor classroom” and how his novel approach to teaching Science at the nearby rock pools would continue to the present day and his work in recycling and particularly the eco group.
Thirdly, Sr Lucina thanked Mr Doone, who also arrived on the same day as Mr Bannon in 1979, for his contribution to both teaching in and leading the Geography department and also RE in the school over the past 37 years. She reminisced about a pupil’s comments in Hugh’s first RE exam on the occasion of our school chaplain, Anthony Farquhar becoming a bishop that “Bishops used to be a lot older and wiser”.
In paying tribute to Mr Gilmore who joined the school a few years later, Sr Lucina reflected on how he was a teacher with a strong social conscience due to his work on the RNLI lifeboat and also the man who taught in “the nicest Biology room in the land- the double mobile in the farmyard!” and she praised his contribution to the Science department both as a teacher and leader throughout his career at Dominican College.
Reflecting on how busy she has remained since her own retirement in 2001, Sr Lucina both questioned the definition of “retirement” and commented on how each of our new retirees was now “a primary source of history” as the centenary of the school beckons. She wished each of the retiring members of staff a long and happy retirement and thanked them for their individual and collective contribution to the school.
Concluding her reflection, Sr Lucina spoke about first meeting Mr Crutchley at interview eight years ago and expressed her regret at him leaving us so soon into his career. She thanked Mr Crutchley for all his work in Geography and in extracurricular areas such as DofE and wished him all the best in his new job in Down High school.
Mr Michael Fleming, chairperson of the Board of Governors took the opportunity to introduce our two news school Governors- Dr Michael McNeill and Justice Teresa Doherty and paid tribute to the work of our two departing governors Mrs Jill Mullan and Mr Feargal Quinn and for their commitment and service to the school.