There were celebrations at Banbridge Academy on Friday as the annual Prize Day was held.
However, Principal Robin McLoughlin said that it was also a time to say ‘farewell’ to some friends of the school.
“Prize day is a happy and joyful occasion when we celebrate success but we cannot ignore the fact that since this time last year many in our school community have known the pain of bereavement and loss,” he said.
“We thank the Patterson family for their generosity in providing The Linda Patterson Memorial Prize for Religious Studies, a fitting tribute to their daughter, who was Dean of Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand.”
Mr McLoughlin continued: “At the end of the academic year we lost our dear friend and colleague, Mrs Jayne Friar. Jayne was a highly committed teacher to countless pupils in the Academy.”
Amongst the staff who retired were Dr Pat Jeffers, Mrs Marie-France Browne, Dr Bill Coulter.
“Obviously at Prize Day last year we celebrated the leadership, dedication and commitment Mr Pollock gave to the Academy.
“Today, we award, for the first time, the Raymond Pollock Perpetual Award for the pupil who in the view of their peers has best upheld the values, tradition and spirit of Banbridge Academy.”
Mr McLoughlin added: “We are proud of all our young people and today we celebrate and applaud the impressive success of pupils across the school.
“I have been extremely impressed with our young people and I take this opportunity to thank them for the warmth of their welcome since I joined the School
“Once again this year’s results in August reflected the tremendous hard work of pupils, staff and parents. I congratulate not only the pupils, but also their parents and teachers on the quality of their examination results.”
• See photos from the Academy’s Prize Day on pages 16 and 17.