As we approach the end of our year, I would like to reflect on what Crescent College Past Pupils Union has achieved in 2022. It is through the dedication and hard work of our Committee members that we have built upon the excellent work of our past presidents, Geraldine Heslin Deery (2020) and Tommy Kelly (2021), during the challenge of covid and positioned the Union to meet the opportunities of 2023.
As a Committee we moved from zoom online meetings to in person meetings in the College halfway through the year. We maintained our momentum and were able to translate ideas into reality for the benefit of our Union members and for the students and staff of the College. I would like to give you an overview of our Committee work to date in 2022 by focusing on two areas of our constitution: bringing past pupils together and supporting activities in the College.
Workstream bringing past pupils together
Looking at the past pupils workstream, we saw earlier in the year that covid restrictions would be easing and we initiated a past pupil focused Tag Rugby Event which would be held in the College in the May timeframe. Extensive and thorough planning, with an excellent communications programme which reached out to past pupils was led by Eva Clarke and supported by a group of Committee members who oversaw the proposal’s development. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to defer the event to 2023. Please keep an eye on the website for further information.
The second past pupils focused event was the Ignatian Challenge Cup Golf Competition which was held on the 2 September at Limerick Golf Club. Our largest ever participation saw 67 ladies and gentlemen take part and through the generosity of our 17 sponsors and our players we garnered €1700. We donated €250 to the North Star Project in Limerick, €250 in support to the Pyjama Appeal in the college and €1200 to the College itself – a brief synopsis of each donation is provided below. We congratulate the winner Mr Patrick Cumiskey and acknowledge the work of the Golf Subcommittee led by Chris McNamara.
The third past pupils focused event was the return of our Annual Dinner after a three-year hiatus imposed by covid. Over 155 guests have met up to renew old acquaintances and to make new ones. We welcomed two Sacred Heart College reunions – the Class of 1960 organised by Mr Pat Reddan and the Class of 1962 organised by our own Committee member Mr Gerry McNamara –this event does not happen easily and a dedicated team led by Aedin Prendergast and supported by Geraldine Heslin Deery, Rachel Harnett, Eva Clarke, Dermot Maher and Orla Prendergast brought our idea to reality.
Workstream supporting the College, Students and Staff activities
Our other workstream is supporting the College, the Students and the Staff. Late in 2021 we established a database of past pupils and our wider network friends and contacts to provide advice and support to the students through the Guidance Councillors on profession, trades, careers and skills. This initiative is led by Jeannie O’Malley our Vice President; we have successfully placed students in work experience opportunities.
The second initiative is our support to the Library Reimagining Project being undertaken as part of the College Refurbishment Programme. We have reached out to past pupils in the fields of journalism and literature to give of their time and knowledge through talks to the students on their professional experiences. We have also made a significant donation to the project. Our link with the project is through Fr Liam O’Connell who sits on our Committee and the Project Committee.
The last initiative is the Junior Cycle Award which was built on a suggestion by Tony White of our Committee to champion creative writing amongst third year students. This attracted very high-quality entries with the winner, Luke Feighan, being awarded our Past Pupils Union Award and winning an on-site pizza day for his class – Berchmans.
We were saddened by the passing of many of our Union members during the year whom we acknowledged on our website. I especially recall the sad passing of our Committee member and Past President Don Reddan.
We know that many members and their families experience difficult times throughout the year which are especially highlighted at this time. We think of those families where health, personal and financial issues bring challenges. We hope that God will look favourably on you all and that we pray for relief and hope.
I wish to acknowledge the support of the Committee to me throughout the year, it is through their dedication that our Committee is able to fulfil its role. I also wish to acknowledge the support of Principal Diarmuid Mullins in facilitating our meetings and his and the staff support to our Union.
Finally, I would like to wish all our members a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a safe and wonderful new year.