BY Ryan McDougall | October 4 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Mass marks 50 years of teaching at Catholic primary in West Dumbartonshire

St Michael's Primary school kicked off a series of celebrations this week to mark 50 years of providing Catholic education.

On Tuesday October 1, past and present pupils and staff, clergy, and representatives of West Dunbartonshire Council gathered in the nearby St Michael’s Church for Mass with Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow to celebrate the school’s golden jubilee.

Concelebrating was parish priest Fr Vincent Toal, former parish priest Fr John Lyons and former pupil, Canon Paul Gargaro.

The archbishop presented staff and pupils with mission Rosaries, marking the beginning of October, the month of the missions.

Headteacher Jennifer Mulvena said a ‘lovely day was had by all’ as the school now begins its year of 50th festivities.

School choir

“The whole school was there, and the pupils really raised the roof with their singing as they sung throughout the whole Mass—the archbishop seemed really impressed!” she said.

Mrs Mulvena has been headteacher at St Michael’s for five years, but has taught at the school for 26 years in total.

While the school is 50 years old, pupils moved into the current building in 1998, a ‘highlight’ in the school’s history for Mrs Mulvena.

“At the Mass I talked about the move to the current school,” she said.

“We were previously in an old building, and thanks to efforts of the parents we secured the new school.”

Hopes and dreams

When speaking at the Mass, she quoted a former teacher of the school, Sr Elizabeth Brady, who had told the school community as the new school opened: “When the ribbon was cut, hopes and dreams of a new generation were finally fulfilled.”

Mrs Mulvena added: “That was all thanks to the parents who had campaigned for it and although our school is now 20 years old it’s still a beautiful building and we’ve got really high aspirations for the children.”

The school has a series of other celebrations planned throughout the rest of the academic year to mark the 50th, including a performance of Lion King.

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