The former Minister for Children and Youth Affairs visited the Patrician Primary School in Newbridge on Monday as part of it’s 100 years celebrations from 1914-2014.
Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who was appointed the Minister for Justice and Equality and who hails from Newbridge, planted a tree to mark the occasion.
The Boy Band welcomed the Minister with a fanfare of musical tunes including ‘The Curragh of Kildare’ while the pupils of fifth and sixth class dressed up in old costume and lined the corridors.
The Minister thanked the school for her invitation and praised the boy band and the school choir for their efforts before planting a tree in the school grounds.
“We are celebrating a 100 years of education in Newbridge,” said Principal John O’Donovan. “The school and the building dates back to 1914. It was a boys school and the Patrician Brothers took it over 75 years ago. We still have the roll books dating back 100 years and there were three teachers in 1914, William Cummins, James Brennan and Eveleen Johnson.”
William Cummins who later became Senator Cummins was also the first Principal of the school.
“The first number of boys registered on the roll book were between 13 and 14 years old which seems a bit old for primary school,” he added. “They all paid a quarterly fee to the school and the roll book shows how much.”
The roll books will go on display alongside a photographic exhibition of old photographs in the school next October.
There will also be a school pageant in June to commemorate the centenary through song and dance.
“The school would love to hear from any past pupils for stories and photographs for an upcoming event and photo display. We have a lot of photographs already but would welcome more.”