Mark Thomas, Sang Gyu Park, Darren Cormican, Conor Breslin, Robbie White, Mrs. Theresa Thomas, Cormac Hegarty, James Collins Caffrey, Marcus Jankola, Mr. Philip Thomas (behind), Rhys Hylle, Cathal Duffy (behind), Mr. Niall Leahy, Mr. Noel Mason.
On Tuesday the 6th of January eight Rhetoric Orchestral musicians and two Elements Schola singers, accompanied by Mr and Mrs Thomas, Mr Niall Leahy, Mr Noel Mason and of course the indispensable Fr Michael Sheil, undertook our annual journey to Cherryfield, the Jesuit convalescence home in Ranelagh to play the most patient of audiences a range of festive Christmas carols and songs.
There were some grumblings (mainly from the lads it has to be said) that Christmas was over and everyone would be sick and tired of hearing these songs. However, upon arrival and greeted with the now familiar sight of a warm welcome from the friendly staff and residents of Cherryfield, the grumbling ceased and everyone assembled their instruments and began to play.
The appreciative audience of retired Jesuits, including some familiar faces such as Father Paddy Crowe SJ, were extremely receptive and favourites such as “Hark the Herald” and the “Jingle Bell Rock” received resounding rounds of applause. Elements, Marcus Jankola and Rhys Hylle, accompanied by Mr Noel Mason gave a sonorous rendition of “Walking in the Air” to a very appreciative staff and community.
After the performance both students and Jesuits gathered to chat about times past, future ambitions and shared interests. The former “Gallery Prefect” of Clongowes was a particular crowd favourite as he recalled some of the more challenging times he experienced in this role. Chatting eventually had to come to a close unfortunately as the lads and teachers journeyed home, but not before a highly anticipated pit stop in McDonalds.
A great day was had by all and it must be remembered that were it not for the hard work and dedication of the staff in Cherryfield and the continued efforts of Fr Sheil, Mr and Mrs Thomas and Mr Mason this wonderful tradition would have become a mere memory many years ago. A big thank you must go to the staff of Cherryfield for the continued work and generosity towards us as visitors from Clongowes.
Robbie White, Rhetoric