Local residents who live close to the old Newtownbreda Primary School, past teachers and pupils and local politicians said ‘farewell’ to the old school today (4 October) before its demolition next month to make way for Mencap in Northern Ireland’s new Children and Families’ Centre.
The day was themed ‘Celebrating history, building the future’ and welcoming everyone to the event, including the Mayor of Castlereagh, Aldreman Jack Beattie, Mencap in Northern Ireland’s acting director, Paschal McKeown said, “For 70 years, the primary school played an important part in the life of the local community and in the lives of thousands of children over a number of generations,” she said.
“I think that it is only fitting that there is an opportunity to reminisce, share memories and celebrate a proud past today, while looking to a new future and the new the life that will be breathed into the site as it is transformed into Mencap’s new Children and Families’ Centre.”
One of the local residents who came to say ‘farewell’ to the school and look at the plans for the new centre was one of its first pupils. Mrs Irene Kilpatrick, who attended the school from 1939 to 1947 said, “My favourite subject was anything to do with history and to this day reading. I really loved the school and feel sad that it is going, but very pleased that Mencap is coming as it will bring children about the place again.”
Thanking Castlereagh Borough Council and Newtownbreda Community Association for their continued support, along with the volunteers, face painters and Tesco Newtownbreda for donating the prizes for the children’s colouring competition; Paschal McKeown also thanked the members of Newtownbreda Baptist Church who kindly provided the tea, coffee and tray bakes, along with tables and chairs.