COVENTRY’S St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School brought together its former staff members, including its very first headteacher Richard Carson for a special event to mark its 50th anniversary.
The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, the Archbishop of Birmingham, held a special mass for children, staff and governors, colleagues from across the Romero Catholic Academy and guests.
He then blessed the school’s newly-refurbished hall which has been named ‘The Robert Wright Hall’ in memory of its parish priest and school chaplain Fr Robert Wright.
He was better known as Father Bob and passed away in March last year.
Guests were treated to canapes and refreshments before taking a tour of the school which included displays of photos taken during the last half century.
The children enjoyed a special lunch, had a visit from an ice cream van and were given commemorative bookmarks and sweet cones to take home.
Paul Madia, St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School’s executive principal, said: “It has been wonderful to reflect on 50 years of delivering Catholic education in Coventry and celebrating everything the school has achieved during this time.
“It’s been fantastic to welcome previous leadership and staff members from across the years and also welcome the Archbishop of Birmingham who delivered a Mass and paid tribute to much-missed Father Bob.
“The children had a wonderful day celebrating and sang so beautifully during Mass, and of course enjoyed the visit from the ice cream van.”
Richard Carson, who retired from his position in 1999, said: “It was brilliant to come back to St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School once again to celebrate such a milestone.
“When the school opened, I was the youngest head in Coventry at the time at just 29-years-old.
“I chose the colours of the uniform which are still used today and so have many fond memories from across the years.
“It was excellent to share these memories and catch-up with former staff members, and it was a lovely way to also remember Father Bob who I knew very well.
“It was a very fitting celebration to mark the occasion and I am extremely proud to have been part of it.”