It was with mixed feelings that the governors, staff, parents and pupils bid farewell to our Vice Principal; Gerard Conway who was an esteemed colleague and friend; a father figure within the school who has retired after 40 years in “active service”.
Mr Conway took up his first teaching post in 1978 in St Patrick’s PS Mulnahoe and in 1984 joined St Colmcille’s where he remained until his retirement, bar a short sabbatical as acting principal in St Patrick’s PS Augher. He was appointed as VP in 1988 and was responsible for curriculum coordination, Key Stage 2 coordination, Literacy and liturgical celebrations. He had served on the school’s board of governors as Teacher representative for twelve years. He took a keen interest in sports in the school particularly cross-country. He was an active participant in the school’s Comenius project having visited partner schools in Mesanger, France; Dambovita, Romania; Berlin, Germany and Palermo, Sicily. Mr Conway was popular with staff, parents and pupils who all enjoyed his witty anecdotes. School principal,
In June, Mr Conway was presented with a special Holy Family icon by Archbishop Martin during the school’s 50th Anniversary mass. A special evening was held recently in Glenavon Hotel, where his career was honoured by staff and governors. He was presented with a print, created by former pupil, Elwyn Colgan, monitory donation from staff and governors.
Parish priest, Fr Sean O’Neill; who wasn’t able to attend the evening secured a very special award for Mr Conway – a St Patrick’s Certificate and Medal presented by the Archdioceses of Armagh for his commitment to liturgical services within the school.
School principal, Peter Cush stated that his attributes of conscientiousness and reliability were the two mainstays of his character. His attitude to preparation and subsequent marking was commendable. His relationship with his class was excellent and he always endeavored to help each child achieve their maximum potential. During his speech, Mr Cush used a quote from Dead Poet’s Society “Look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you.”
Gerard’s moto had always been “Work hard, Play hard & Pray hard!”
Mrs Ursula McElroy as Chairperson of the board of Governors, praised Mr Conway’s commitment to the school. She also acknowledged the excellent contribution of fellow governors; Damien Loughran and former Chairperson, Mrs Karen McElduff who like Mr Conway are retiring from the Board of Governors. A bouquet of flowers was also presented to Mrs Conway.
During his speech, Mr Conway praised the governors, staff, parents and pupils for giving him the opportunity to serve them during his 35 years in St Colmcille’s.
With all our hearts and with the blessings of everyone in the parish of Carrickmore, we wish Mr Conway a contented and joyous life in his retirement.