At lunchtime on Tuesday 26th August the corridors of Clongowes Wood College became home to the 201st class in the school’s history. While many of Rhetoric 2020 will have been daunted by their new surroundings, the presence of 18 welcoming house-leaders undoubtedly eased some of those anxieties – or at least the burdened climb up the stairs. Within a matter of moments, Mr Barry Bowen’s horizontal and tranquil summer came to an end as his dormitory teemed with life once again and lifelong friends introduced themselves for the first time.
In welcoming both the new and returning families to the school community, the Headmaster, Fr. Leonard Moloney SJ acknowledged the impact of the recently departed class of 2014 and invited the weary travellers to embark on yet another journey, this time through Clongowes life. In the main body of the school meanwhile, the adventure to which the Headmaster was referring was already in full swing as the boys visited the various locations in the college; the rec rooms, the sports hall, the classrooms, the library – places that will now be part of their daily lives.
Following Mass to celebrate the opening of the school year with Fr. Michael Sheil SJ (Rector and Third Line Spiritual Father), parents and sons alike assembled in the refectory where Ms. Ann Cooke and her team had laid on a delightful feast. Then, once the last crumbs of dessert had disappeared, the line of cars to the back of the castle also began to vanish…
Rather than stand idly by however, this latest batch of Clongownians met with their prefects before racing to the dorms to lace up their boots and unleash some of their boundless energy under the floodlights of the VMP artificial rugby pitch. Messrs Bowen, Tony Egan and Gary Corcoran in loco parentis kept a watching brief over their new charges as they began to settle down in earnest.
The icing on the cake came just before it was time to retire to their cubicles when the boys managed to douse a team of merry prefects with ice cold water! We hope they appreciate that they’ll never get a chance quite like it again…
Welcome to Clongowes boys, enjoy your stay – May 2020 won’t be long in coming!
Mr Richard McElwee