2017 – Class of 62-67 Reunion Dinner
Photos courtesy of Pat Hanratty
Report by Pat Hanratty
Class of 1962-’67 Reunion 9th September 2017
Short but very sweet – it was great to be back for our 50 year reunion, everyone wondering where the time had gone, many of us happily retired, though some are still happily working. All seemed fresh and cheerful and there was a noisy buzz around the room in the County Arms where 36 of us had a superb meal, of which more anon.
For some it started with a tilt at the Abbot’s Cup golf, though no one from our year threatened the leaderboard. After the golf we dashed to the Billiard Room (or the Centenary Room as they now call it) for a reception and a presentation by Ronnie Culliton and Pat Sullivan dealing with the progress made since the traumatic days of February and March last. This was made jointly to the three years groups (ourselves plus the classes of 1992 and 1997) holding reunions that weekend. If the group photo looks a bit chaotic, put that down to the general chaos in the room at the time with dozens of guys from three different year groups meeting up with old friends and former teachers, in some cases for the first time since leaving CCR. It was indeed a pleasure to meet four of our former teachers – Sean Burke and Pat Kilbane as well as Vincent Leahy and John Shanahan the latter two having come all the way from Galway and Co. Limerick for the occasion.
There followed a Mass in the College chapel, beautifully celebrated by Dom Laurence and his wise, reflective, kindly words touched very profoundly on the fragility of life and reminded us of the benefits of having spent this important time in our young lives in the shadow of one of Europe’s great monastic traditions. When we last gathered 10 years ago, just 4 of our year group had passed away – Oliver Murphy, Jim Gaffney, Owen Farrell and Joe Mellotte. Since then, the number had more than doubled with the deaths of John McNamara, John ‘Chuck’ Cahill, Fintan Corrigan, Philip Hunt, Brian Ryan and Paddy Brown: sadly there is one more to add to the list of departed – Donal Hogan who had hoped to make the Reunion, but was hospitalised at the time and died a few weeks later.
Onwards to the County Arms where we had a thoroughly marvellous night. If having Sean Loughnane on our organizing committee was to mean anything, there would be pressure on his nephew Conor (CCR 1990-’95) to deliver the goods – and he did so in spades! All were fulsome in their praise of every aspect of the night’s proceedings! But the main contributions to a successful night come from the participants and just like on previous occasions, this crew made sure they enjoyed themselves. Nobody pre-planned the tables, but judging by the sounds coming from one table in particular, it was just like being back in school after a three month holiday.
Three guys came who had not been at previous reunions and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Three failed to make it due to illnesses or accidents just before the occasion – now thankfully recovered, and one who hadn’t committed beforehand turned up on the day, and enjoyed himself no end. Dan Ryan who captained Junior and Senior Rugby teams and played rugby into his 40s came all the way from Perth, Australia and gave a rousing impromptu speech, as did our House Captain Joe Hayes. The coup de grace, however came from our special guest, Union President Pádraic Ó Máille who was attending his very last event as President. After toasting us in his own unique way he announced the name of the incoming President to take office at the AGM the following day – our very own Liam Spooner! Liam then said a few words to the obvious delight of all present.
As in the case of other reunion groups at our stage of life, there were several suggestions that we reconvene after five years – here’s to 2022!