The 10 years anniversary
We began our celebrations with a Garden Fete organised by the parents, staff and pupils in September. It was of those luckily dry days and brought a huge crowd into the school to mark the occasion.
The Garden Fete – some memories of a wonderful day.
The long-term forecast for the 25th September 2011 was rain and more rain, the worst possible climatic conditions for running a successful garden fete. Although we had contingency plans, who wants to go to a garden fete on a wet day? As expected, the day began with rain and when I reached Mounthawk I could detect from the physiognomy of one or two of our major players that another Ark might be called for before the evening. Miraculously, about 11.00 a.m. the sun came out and we were saved. Now, there was a strong wind and some of us had to drive our cars onto the tent flaps on the windward side of the marquee to keep it from relocating in another parish, but apart from that it was a lovely day.
It was our very first fete, the occasion being part of the 10 year Anniversary celebrations of the school. When planning for these celebrations some enthusiastic member of the Parents’ Council hit upon the bright idea of having a garden fete. It would be a piece of cake! Yes! We would get all the women to make cakes and we could sell them and make a fortune. We could have “Guess the weight of…Guess the amount in… sporting competition for primary school kids, sack, egg and spoon races, three-legged races… encounters for the most unusual people, like myself, of dubious athletic significance…hop dancing…battles for the best rock band…talent competitions….book sales, T Shirt and ring sales… fortune telling…face painting, nail painting….you name it we paint it …and the best and most audacious of all, it being Kerry and the Sunday after the All Ireland, long discussions followed on who would be the best to ensure that The Gooche would be there with Sam.
Well before the crowds assembled every man, woman and child of the committee were in their assigned positions. It was then I noticed her, or was it him, in a large black car, enthusiastically waving at me, smiling as if I should know her. It couldn’t be a parent. No parent would come into the school with such an unkept hair style. Her consort with the long, silver- grey hair looked sinister. Should I ask them to leave?
The day turned out to be a resounding success, thanks to the commitment of a most energetic, committed and hardworking committee of parents, teachers, students, management and local supporters. It was a fun day and every school should have one. Above all it was a great community occasion, the coming together of all the local partners to celebrate. “The community rests at the heart of how the Catholic school should operate”, according to the CEIST Charter, and how right it is. It made us all realise how much talent there is in the school community; people not only with fertile imaginations, God bless them! but brilliant organisational skills, excellent compering skills and of course tremendous musical and singing talents. It was wonderful to meet again some of the most talented students who graced our stage during their times here and to relive with them some moments of their genius.
I loved the Book Sale where I purchased three books for five euro, one of Bram Stoker’s classics which has chilled all the family ever since. Mounthawk’s Got Talent proved how much talent passed through the place in the last ten years. The Battle of the Bands didn’t reach anywhere in the Richter Magnitude Scale to warrant the degree of seismic apprehension which it initiated. The auctions were great fun and our sincere thanks to our ever generous sponsors not to mention the genius of the compere. The kids “teamwork planks” was an ingenious contraption demonstrating the value of total co-operation, as any foot out of place was a weight on the team.
I had intended having my fortune told but left it too late. It was then I saw ‘it’ again, dressed in voluminous, flamboyant chiffon type attire. And the rather rotundgrey tout or pimp or whatever he was hoisting a large basket of Madam’s wardrobe accessories into the big black car. Madam Zelda’s tent was being dismantled.
The proceedings did have a rather sad sequel. On the Tuesday after the fete one of the most diligent members of the committee, Peter O’Neill, a man who could have done a thesis on car parking, died suddenly. Ardheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
This one was for you Peter!
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