College celebrates 50th year

College prefects from 1991-92.
College prefects from 1991-92.

It was back on Tuesday, September 3, 1968, that a new school called Cullybackey County Secondary School opened its doors for the first time.

A teaching staff of 13 - nine men and four women - led by the Principal Mr Samuel Hanna - was ready to welcome 301 school children, who arrived into school on what was described as ‘a typical Irish morning, drab with drizzling rain!’.

The school's choir of 1998.

The school's choir of 1998.

Over the next 50 years the name of the school would change to Cullybackey High School and eventually become Cullybackey College.

Year on year, despite the many challenges faced by education, the reputation of the school has continued to grow.

Presently it has 700 pupils aged from 11 to 18 and includes a vibrant sixth form.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the school and the school community is keen to celebrate this with as many people as possible.

Cullybackey College pupils from 1969-1970.

Cullybackey College pupils from 1969-1970.

On Thursday, November 22, Cullybackey College is opening its doors to welcome past pupils, parents, governors, staff and friends for ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’ to mark and celebrate this golden occasion.

From 7-8pm, visitors are invited to view a display of photographs and memorabilia in the Assembly Hall and to take a walk on the corridors to see how the classrooms have changed over the last 50 years. From 8pm to 9pm guests will make their way to the Canteen to be welcomed by Mr Donaldson, the current Principal, for a reception and supper.

The College would like to extend a welcome any people who have been connected to the school over the last 50 years to come and join them for this special celebration. Those who attend are welcome to bring any old photographs or memorabilia with them on the night.

Former staff of the school.

Former staff of the school.

Cullybackey pupils from 1969-1970.

Cullybackey pupils from 1969-1970.

A class from1998 at the Cullybackey school.

A class from1998 at the Cullybackey school.