20/06/2012 - 7 pm. Accompanied by the boss to the beautiful church of St. Fergus for a celebratory Mass for this term's school leavers followed by a prize giving ceremony over the road in the school. Beaming children in lovely school gowns and mortar board hats were the stars of the show as they participated in the service and at the presentations. I watched these 12 year olds speak with such confidence and authority to the congregation in church and to the assembly in the school and, not for the first time I reflected that when I was that age no amount of coaxing or threats could get me to stand up and speak to such a crowd. What a pity I'm not still like that I hear some of you murmur.
I was delighted to hear and join in with some of the hymns which I have got to learn over recent years, always referred to by me as "new hymns" At the age of 63 years I doubt if any of these "new hymns" lovely as they are will ever take the place of those that I learned and grew to love as a boy, I still only have to hear the opening bars of 'Hail Queen of Heaven' or 'Sweet Heart of Jesus' and I am completely unmanned. It is by the way worth your while to attend Mass at St. Fergus's Church to sing hymns along with Father Oliver who can croon along like Bing Crosby.
One of the things which has always impressed me about St. Fergus's School is the intense loyalty on show from teachers who have dedicated the major part of their careers to teaching the children of Ferguslie Park, they are an impressive bunch of professionals and two of them who have served 71 years between them at the school were at their last leavers 'do' last night. Big bouquets of flowers were presented and a few eyes glistened while the love and affection between these ladies, their fellow staff members and above all their pupils was palpable. Not everyone gets to have such a long career doing something they love and come out the other end of it able to say "I made a difference, I did my best, I'm glad I became a teacher" these two retiring teachers are entitled to say this. They looked happy, a wee bit sad as well as contented and proud and so they should be. So should everyone at the school, I wish them a long happy retirement and best wishes to the latest batch of students to move on to "the big school" Best wishes also to the 2 ridiculously young looking teachers who will be replacing the retirees. Also a big thanks and congratulations to acting head Maureen and all her staff.