Fellow Past Pupils,
My name is Brian Quigley and I have been honoured by being elected President of the Presentation College Bray Past Pupils Union for 2016.
First and foremost I’d like to thank 2014-2015 President Graham O’Neill for his hard work and dedication during his term of office. Thankfully Graham is staying on the PPU committee as Honourary Secretary for 2016 and I’m also delighted that our Honourary Treasurer Michael Glynn is staying in his role. Having this support will be invaluable to me and I am extremely grateful to have it.
I graduated from the school in 1986 so being President in 2016 brings the added honour for me of being in office for my 30 year out anniversary – I’m looking forward to reconnecting with as many of the Class of 1986 as possible this year with a view to getting a group from the year to attend the PPU dinner later in the year. 2016 is of course also the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Rising and the school itself is on a 5 year countdown to 2021, which will be the centenary of the opening of our school.
I’ve been involved in the PPU committee for more than a decade at this stage and this involvement has been very rewarding. I’ve always been aware of the importance of an active PPU and seeing the workings of the union at first hand and the contribution it makes to the functioning and continued ethos of the school has been reassuring.
Past Pupil Unions are as vital today as they have always been, allowing members from a wide span of student days to connect, collaborate, assist each other in business, sport and beyond. In this era of social media and internet communication, the potential reach of a union is stronger and this is a real shot in the arm for an organisation like ours.
I thoroughly enjoyed my decade in Pres as a student and by coming back to be involved with the school in a PPU capacity over the last decade I have seen close up how much the current students, teachers and staff continue to enjoy the unique Pres experience. This is evident too in the long queues every year to enrol in the school, in the high marks the school achieves in audits and in the high participation rate of the students in 3rd level each year after leaving Pres. Sport is a big part of my life now and has always been. I’m a keen marathon runner and my interest in running was nurtured at school by the late Br David who had a particular interest in cross-country running. David of course was an esteemed rugby coach as well, and coached the 1975 JCT amongst other great sides in the history of the school. It is as a rugby school that I remember Presentaion College best from my time there, and it was fabulous to be a student in 1985 when Pres won the JCT again, led by coach Br Canice and captain Stephen Tully who I had the honour of being in the same class as. It is great to see the school enjoying something of a resurgence at rugby in the highly-competitive playing field that is schools rugby in 2016.
A good education sets a child up for life. The values you learn, the friends you make, the I’d like teamwork ethos instilled by participation in sport and the knowledge imparted from dedicated teaching professionals stay with you for life. I got a great education at Pres and have always been aware of how lucky I was to receive this. It is a pleasure to, in a small way, be able to give something back by serving on the PPU.
With more Pres boys than ever attending Third Level education now, the business network afforded by the Union has the potential [in addition to being a resource for past pupils themselves to utilise in their business lives] to provide internships etc. and this is an aspect of other Unions that we can put into practice more. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the coming year at our various events – the spring rugby social, the PPU Mass, the Golf Outing and the PPU Dinner.
In the meantime I’d like to wish you and your families a very happy new year.
Presentation College Bray PPU