Turning 50 is a momentous occasion in most people’s life and to mark hitting ‘the half century’ some former pupils of Thornhill College have decided to hold a reunion this month.
One of the organisers Deirdre Doherty explained why the idea for the reunion came about: “I attended Thornhill College between 1978 and 1985, and as most of the ladies in our year all turn the big 5 - 0 this year, myself and a few yearmates decided to organise a reunion in the City Hotel on December 27.
“We have also set up a facebook page for the reunion to help everyone get in touch and to look back at old photographs etc.”
Deirdre recalled those early days: “On September 1978 we all filtered through the doors of Convent of Mercy, Artillery Street, absolutely terrified but also buzzing with the excitement of starting Thornhill College, some of us had a friend or two with us but quite a few knew nobody.
“We were divided into our different classes and sat in alphabetical order as we were given our weekly time-table as well as the school rules which were to be obeyed at all cost. The whole experience was quite intense for many of us but after second period ended, we were led in single file, class by class, out through the big wooden gates and across the street to the city of Derry walls. This was to be our playground for the next ten months, come hail, rain or shine, it was sectioned off at either end by barbed wire barricades, placed there by the army but that never bothered us.
“Twelve months later, we were the newbies again when we started at the ‘big school’, totally in awe of the lanky 6th years who were at the entrance each morning to record any late-comers. For the first week or so, the place was an absolute maze, with some of us getting lost or even being deliberately sent in the wrong direction by older girls as they giggled at our confusion.
“Then each lunchtime there was the crazy dash down the stone, stepped corridor to the canteen for the school dinners, with the smell of the food wafting towards you...ooohh the memory of that dreamy custard!
“Towards the end, there was our time in the library with Mrs McLaughlin, having survived the first five years and returned for 6th form, we had earned a few little extra privileges.”
If you went to Thornhill College from 1978 to 1985 and would like to go along to the reunion go to: www.