Author Topic: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road  (Read 120983 times)

slan

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #555 on: April 26, 2017, 05:34:01 AM »

Jimmy Dean teaching IT and Gerry Mc Mahon teaching TD.
Took the bus from town to St Teresa's for Sean Mc Cann's funeral. This bus went via the Whiterock and saddened me to see St. Thomas's   .Phil Coulter sang about Derry and the words " to see a town that's been brought to its knees".  I could steal the words and insert " a school" instead of " a town " in relation to St. Thomas's.

This school should never have been closed and decisions were made behind closed doors and without consultation.

Good to see Jim Brown, Tony Clifford, Larry Burns, Oliver Watters, Tony Mc Elkearney and Mickey Bennett. I am sure other ex staff would have been in St Teresa's if they had known of Sean's sudden death. Very proud to say that I was a colleague of Sean's and may he rest in peace.
You weren't a woodwork teacher by any chance.

slan

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #556 on: April 26, 2017, 05:43:03 AM »


Hi All
 Canon Murphy must be shoveling lots of coal  in Hades.This man as well as "falling out with  Sammy Mckeown and jap Carvill  also  banished a saint as he harassed Mother Teresa  out of Springhill. What a guy was full of his own self importance

                                                  Bridge Ender  past pupil  proud to be one

I think the final straw for Sammy came when the Silver Circle fund, collected within the area, was brazenly pilfered by the Church for another project in St Louise's. Sammy had hopes for a Tech block to be built, so pupils could have vocational training in the school.

GandT

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #557 on: April 26, 2017, 10:52:02 AM »


Yes, it is!


You weren't a woodwork teacher by any chance.

I think you're thinking of another Mr Magill who did teach woodwork there!

GandT

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #558 on: April 26, 2017, 10:53:01 AM »

Sorry left out question by Clint - Yes, that is Mr Dean!

bridge ender

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #559 on: April 27, 2017, 01:11:23 PM »
Hi All
 was at Sean,s funeral and was speaking to Tony Clifford who taught me French at school. Sean was active up until his heart attack and .I  had been talking to him earlier in the day. great wee man .

                                 RIP  Sean

Life is lived forwards and understood backwards.

Clint

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #560 on: April 27, 2017, 08:04:32 PM »
Thanks GandT

Chris C

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #561 on: June 16, 2017, 12:07:35 AM »
I had the honour of attending St Toms, had good times and some bad times. On reflection I look kindly on the input from those charged to educate me, they had a formidable task and for the most part they stuck to the job. I got hammered, pushed , punished and to their credit I  came out the other side. I would not say in May 1974 I left  a better person however I would say I do not envy those that had the formidable job of delivering education whilst around us there was  daily mayhem, riots, state murder, sectarianism,   local area discrimination by the catholic church and internment without trial of my fellow pupils.I accept that the regime was at times harsh, I recall a hiding from one teacher that to this day was without justification, he knew that he was wrong, my hands bled  and to this day I find it hard to forget, I don't forgive.However there were teachers who looked after me, helped me and showed me that the way to address some of the issues I had was in achieving educational qualifications . I have never forgotten those decent people, forever in their debt, Wee Dolly, Jim Brown, TD Doran, Big John Farry, Mickey Dennis, Fergie , Tony Clifford, Kevin Teague, Charlie Hanna, Sammy, Purvis, Micky B, Paddy Joe, to name but a few. Other names escape me but what happened and who done what to whom made me. Shame on those who denied Ballymurphy, Whiterock, Springhill, Westrock, New Barnsley, St james of a chance to better themselves.

StevieS

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Re: Jack Mc Keown aka Sean aka Sammy
« Reply #562 on: January 20, 2018, 10:02:14 PM »
I attended St Thoms 1963-65 I was never a 1st or 2nd year but was ‘parked’ in 4F  for evaluation by Sammy (MrMcKeown) he came into the class and asked them was I ‘smart’ I can’t remember what the concensious was however I was sent to Jimmy Dean who was the form teacher for 3C. I had no Irish and this was 3rd year, Sammy gave me an Irish book before I went into the ‘forest of Dean’s’ class. Dean and I hit it off from the start, we loathed each other and in short order Dean said I wasn’t staying in his class. I ask to be excused and went straight to Sammy, meeting him on the corridor. I gave him back his book thanking him as I wouldn’t be needing it. The incredulous Sammy asked why? so I told him Mr Dean was putting me out of his class. Sammy lookd at me saying keep the book and tell Mr Dean you are staying in the class.

We were taught geometary by Micky McLaverty in Bulldog Farry’s room ,19 I think, it was 6d if you got the hard questions right but that only applied to those who didn’t normally answer the questions. ‘Mickey’ also taught us philosophy I remember
“Any housewife in Belfast could run any chancellery in Europe”  it made sense as it was the women who ran the house hold accounts on very little money. Another was ‘ If you find yourself in the ‘Crum’ ask the warder for a pencil a ruler and sheet of paper and you can draw ciricles and triangles all day working out the angles, it will help the time go in”. He was always on the look out for budding writers and would give you essays to do as punishment for bad behaviour.
He was a gentle man I still can see him in his green tweed suit with the comb over billowing in the wind.

Sammy was a man of his time with regard to corporal punishment as was Jap who was my form teacher in my last year. I have great respect for both men especially Sammy, prior to exams Sammy had us in after hours week days and Saturday monrnings doing past maths papers, that is dedication. He would say ‘you have no uncle Sammy in the shipyard or mackies to get you a job the only thing you will have is your education’. Indirectly he taught me self reliance, as for Jap his mantra was ‘the world is unjust don’t expect justice in my class’ and he practiced it.
I left with very few exams (4 junior tech subjects)but later in life I got all the professional qualifications  I needed including a Masters Degree, to enable me to have a couple of careers.

One regret I had throught my life was my lack of Irish. At the time of my schooling the ‘prostitution’ argument was strong re Irish ie if you cannot make money out of somthing what value had it. One of Sammy’s quotes that stayed with me was
 ‘when the master had a slave he branded his name on their skins like cattle, we have the brand of our master on our toungue, English’.
Nearly 40 odd years later when I was awarded my Fáinne Óir Sammy was in my thoughts as i walked out of the room.

In later years I met Mr Dean in a shop he was with his family. The angry emotions of my boyhood engulfed me, I felt like confronting him, the boy in me now a man was able for him. I reliased immediatly the idiocy of the situation, my mind was being controlled by a boy that didnt exist anymore. Thank God for maturity, I nodded to a quizzical older man, who must have been wondering at the flash of anger on my face, as I left the ghosts of my boyish reasoning to dissolve.

I have met collegues with degrees and no education, St Thomas’s gave me an education I’m proud of, it served me well and I am thankful to the men who tought me.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh


Ballymurphygirl

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #563 on: January 21, 2018, 09:02:14 AM »
Chris C and Stevie S what great stories from you both
The truth will set you free . I support Ballymurphy & Derry families Justice for the innocent

Follower

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #564 on: January 31, 2018, 01:02:26 AM »
Loving the comments here about St Thomas's. ...taught there from 78 until 82. Fantastic pupils and staff ....will never forget the experience!

Chris C

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Re: St Thomas' School - Whiterock Road
« Reply #565 on: May 10, 2019, 10:30:19 PM »
Sad to see the demolition of the school.