Loreto school celebrating 150 years

By Maria Pepper

Published 10/09/2016 | 00:00

The school has produced a brochure outlining the schedule of events.
The school has produced a brochure outlining the schedule of events.

The Loreto secondary school in Wexford is going back in history to celebrate its 150th anniversary with a series of exciting activities beginning with a concert in the National Opera House next Sunday night, September 11 at 8 pm in aid of Wexford Hospice Homecare.

The school which is looking forward to starting a brand new chapter in November 2017 when it moves to a custom-built 900-pupil campus in Killeens, was first established in Wexford on September 17, 1866 by the sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) better known in Ireland as the Loreto Sisters.

The Institute itself was founded in 1609 by one of the first women educationalists Mary Ward while Frances Teresa Ball established the first Irish foundation in Rathfarnham, Dublin in 1821.

On Monday, September 12, the stories of the two pioneering women will be told to all students in the school.

On Wednesday, September 14, a 150th anniversary book will be launched in the Talbot Hotel at 7pm along with the unveiling of a huge Loreto commemmorative cake which has been specially baked for the occasion.

Students and staff will recreate a school day from 1866 on Thursday, September 15, dressing up in old style clothing and imagining what it was like without computers, whiteboards, mobile phones, canteen microwaves, cars and school buses.

On Friday, September 16, a special anniversary Mass will be celebrated in Rowe Street Church by the Bishop of Ferns, Denis Brennan.

Past-pupils are invited back to the school for an afternoon of nostalgia on Saturday, September 17 from 2 pm to 5 pm with a ceremony of welcome taking place at 2.30pm.

A school walk in typical 1866 dress will take place to Wexford Racecourse for music, games and a picnic in aid of the Loreto secondary school in Rumbek, South Sudan on Tuesday, September 20, starting at 12.30pm.

The entire school community comprising 720 students and their teachers will line up in a formation of '150' for an aerial photograph at 12 noon on Wednesday, September 21.

A panel discussion on the theme of '150 years done -what now for the future' with contributors and audience will be held in the Talbot Hotel on Thursday, September 22 at 7pm and all are invited to attend.

The anniversary celebrations will close on Friday, September 23 with a classroom party and table quiz from 10.15 am to 12.15 pm when a short prayer service will be conducted before the school closes early at 12.30 pm to facilitate a lunch for past and present staff members.

The Loreto school opened first in George's Street before starting in Spawell Road in 1867.

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