2015 Newsletter :: Niall Sisson

Dear Members,

President Niall Sisson

Please note the following PPU events taking place in the coming year

AGM, 20th May 2015
Wesley College

Golf & Dinner, 3rd July 2015
Rathfarnham Golf Club

Annual Dinner, 7th November 2015
Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club

London Re-Union, 20th February 2016
Guoman Tower Hotel, London

I was very honoured to serve as President of the Wesley College Past Pupils’ Union for 2014/2015. I have thoroughly enjoyed the year especially the privilege of representing Wesley at many other Association dinners. I also thoroughly enjoyed the annual ecumenical Thanksgiving Service ‘For the Gift of Sport’ held in St Anne’s Church, at which the journalist, sports commentator and former rugby and soccer player Tony Ward, gave us a most entertaining talk on how sport has made such a difference in his life. I would encourage you all to consider attending this next year.

We held a number of events during the year. In June our annual Golf Outing & Dinner was held in Rathfarnham Golf Club. This proved to be a great success building on the same formula as the previous year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Stroughair and Melanie Lawlor for their hard work in making this day so enjoyable. I’d also like to congratulate our golfers who competed in the ASU Golf Tournament against 9 other schools in July. Melanie Lawlor won the Wendy Porter cup and the Wesley team won the overall ASU Golf Cup for the first time since 1959!

The highlight of the year was our Annual Dinner which was held on Friday Oct 3rd in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club (the site of Epworth Hall). I was delighted to welcome our guest speaker for the evening, the Rev Dr. Heather Morris (nee Kingston), the former president of the Methodist Church in Ireland and a proud past pupil of Wesley. In a thoughtful and entertaining speech she spoke eloquently about the challenges of being a working mother and the difficulties in achieving balance between work and family. She fondly remembered her time in Wesley and indeed attributes a lot of her success and strength of character to the education she received there. She also praised the encouragement and support she received from her teachers in Wesley.

After the dinner, I had the opportunity to recount the story of the 1st XV rugby team of 1914 who all signed up to fight in World War 1 and we remembered the 600 Wesley past pupils who served and in particular the 83 who gave their lives. In response, the Principal also took a look back to the school in 1914. He noted many parallels to the school today and told the story of Turner Huggard who was the organist in Wesley in 1914. Today, the Turner Huggard Memorial Cup is awarded to the best choir at the annual Feis Ceoil, and this year, the fitting winners were the Wesley Senior Choir.

The winner of the 2014/15 Spirit of Transition Award, which is sponsored by the PPU, was Owen Clarke. This is the most prestigious award in Transition Year and takes into account a wide range of involvement and achievement. I was delighted to attend Prize Day in the school to present the prize to Owen.

Other events that took place during the year include our Annual Table Quiz which took place in March in Old Wesley Rugby Club. This was a really enjoyable and sociable evening, despite tough questions from our new quiz master! Special thanks to all those on the committee who helped collect and mark answer sheets and for those who brought prizes. Congratulations to Peter Lydon for being on the winning team for the third year in a row! We raised a large sum for the bursary fund during the evening and I can report that 18 people received assistance from our various funds in 2014.

The Annual London Lunch Reunion was held in the Guoman Tower Hotel on the banks of the river Thames in March. This is a fantastic venue, made even more special given the beautiful weather we had. This is a unique event with past pupils attending from all over the UK. We have many regular attendees who are passionate about Wesley and who very much look forward to this reunion every year. We were also delighted to welcome the principal who updated us with news from the college. Helen Holland and Valerie Grimes deserve enormous credit for the huge amount of work they put into organising this.

I’m particularly proud to report that five Class Reunions were held in 2014, which the PPU supports and facilitates where possible. These reunions were for the classes of 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 & 2004. These were all well attended (over 100 attended the Class of 2004 reunion) and are hugely enjoyable events. If you haven’t already please check our Website (wesleyppu.com) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wesleyppu) for details of these and indeed all our events. Over the year we almost doubled the size of our online community and we now have 1,250 past pupils and friends connected together through facebook. I really encourage you to join us there.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the executive committee for their help and support during the year and I am sure you will all join me in sending Lynn McCrave good wishes during her forth coming year as President.

With best regards,

Niall Sisson
Class of ‘91

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