When the current students of St Louis headed home last Friday evening, a group of teachers gathered to transform the Chapel Hall into a warm atmospheric venue for the St Louis Past Pupils Cheese and Wine event.
Almost 100 past pupils gathered to taste wines provided for the evening by Alan Mac Guinness, and cheeses chosen by Peter Thomas of Bellingham Blue. Past pupils from 1958 to 2002 mingled and chatted together and shared their memories of the school. There was a visitors book for pupils to sign, Brenda Murphy, a past pupil herself, brought along a copy of every Inklings Magazine published for the visitors to look through and reminisce.
After meeting up with their old classmates most of the students headed off for a walk through the corridors to remember their own schooldays. A group of ladies from the class of 1970 met with the youngest visitors from 2002 and laughed as they realised that in fact a lot of their memories were quite similar.
It is interesting to see how the fashions changed through the years. The uniform has evolved down the years into the lovely checked pattern it has today and the hair has changed dramatically. Maggie Kavanagh of 1970 recalls how hair had to be short in her day. When they left school the first thing they all did was to grow it out.
Everyone had fond memories of the Louis nuns who taught in the school for so many years. To their delight Sr Mary O Connor, and Sr Siobhán called in to say hello, as did some of our retired teachers. Ray Byrne who is responsible for so much of the wonderful archive material on the Past Pupils Facebook page was busy all evening catching up with lots of past pupils, all of whom remembered him fondly from Geography classes.
The elder lemon of the evening was Rosemary Winkless who was there with three generations of Louis girls. She is a proud past pupil of 1958, and was looking absolutely radiant on the night.
Local songstress Sinéad Mc Nally of the class of 1997 met with a gang from her year – the Sherry twins, Niamh O Keefe and Elaine O Mahony, home from honeymoon who travelled from Tipperary for the event.
Other local girls – the class of 4B from 1994 showed up in force, took a wander back to their home class and stayed out late celebrating – enjoyed coming back to the school For Sinéad Murphy it was her first time back in the building.
Lynda Mc Quaid who herself won the Sr Claire Memorial Award at last years Awards Night was back once again – no stranger to the place in recent times.
Michelle Dolan welcomed everyone to the school and thanked them for coming. She welcomed the re-establishment of a Past Pupils Union, which had been run for years by Sr Claire, and expressd the hope that relations between past and present could be fostered in the three years leading up to the 70th anniversary of the Louis Order in Dundalk, due to be celebrated in 2020.