150th Anniversary Service31/01/2010
Click on the picture below to see pictures from the 150th Anniversary service held at Terrace Row Presbyterian Church on 31st January.
2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Coleraine Inst. To mark the start of the sesquicentenary celebrations a Service of Thanksgiving was held in Terrace Row Presbyterian Church last Sunday, attended by a large congregation of past and present teaching and ancillary staff, governors and pupils, along with many friends of the school. Those present represented every decade in the school’s history since the 1930s, and included both former dayboys and boarders.
Among the distinguished guests were Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Co. Londonderry Mr Denis Desmond, The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Sandy Gilkinson, and local M.L.A.s David McClarty Mervyn Storey and George Robinson. Also present were two former Headmasters, Stanley Forsythe and Len Quigg, and past Presidents of The Institution, James Tweed and John White and several local clergymen.
The congregational praise, and the musical selections before and during the service, was led by the School Orchestra under the direction of Mrs Suzanne Cameron, Director of Music at C.A.I., with trumpet accompaniment by Mr Adrian Millar, a former pupil. The organist was Dr Brendan Drummond, former Head of Music at the school. During the service a trio comprising Mrs Cameron, Mr Eric Boyd, a school Governor, and Mr Colin Elliott, NEELB tutor and former pupil, presented a Musical Reflection entitled “Ashokan Farewell”. The boys of the school orchestra made excellent contributions, displaying their ability and skill with a range of musical pieces.
The Headmaster, Dr David Carruthers, welcomed guests and friends of the school. He explained that the service marked the beginning of a year of varied celebrations, and drew attention to a brochure detailing specific events which is available from the school and on the CAI website.
Those taking part in prayers and scripture readings during the service included The Very Rev. Dr David Clarke, Minister of Terrace Row; Mr Hugh Clarke, President of Coleraine Old Boys’ Association; Mr James Smyth, Chairman of the Board of Governors; Mr Robert McGregor, Senior Teacher at C.A.I; Mrs Andrea McCook, Chairperson of the Coleraine Inst Friends’ Association and The Rev. Philip Campbell, a Governor of the school.
During the service, three members of the school community offered some personal perspectives. Retired teacher and current CAI Museum Curator Mr Joe Cassells took a look at the past, referring to some of the staff, pupils and places which shaped the school’s history. Andrew Whitmarsh, Head Boy of Coleraine Inst, reflected on the school of today, and the academic, sporting and spiritual opportunities he had received during his time at Inst. Finally Marcus McKeag, a first year pupil with an Inst connection going back three generations, spoke of his hopes for his future educational career.
The guest preacher was the Rev Frank Sellar, minister of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, Belfast, a pupil at Inst from 1969 to 1976, and one of five 1976 leavers to have entered the Christian ministry.
Taking as his theme the school motto “Work while it is day”, he explained that the school motto is a quotation from John’s gospel chapter 9. He reflected on the importance of work, both in Christian terms and in the school community. Further, he showed from the context of scripture the importance of doing God’s work while there was opportunity, and of believing in Jesus Christ, whom God had sent.
Following the service the school catering staff with the assistance of members of the Friends’ Association served refreshments in the church halls.