Greenmount welcomes back students

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In September1954, 48 students enrolled at Greenmount for the 1954-55 year, 45 in the Agricultural Course and three in the Horticultural Course

Sixty years later, on 12th June, 18 of us returned along with our wives for a reunion

We were also joined by 11 ex students and wives from the 1953-54. We were blessed with good weather.

The reunion was organised by William King and Ross Workman from the 1953-54 year, while Joe Kelso was the co-ordinator for the 1953-54 year.

Following morning coffee, Mr Ian McCluggage (Head of Dairy, Pigs and Poultry Unit] ‘set the scene’ by giving a short account of the history of Greenmount and what was happening at present.

Everyone then visited the Darren Clarke School of Golf which was set up at Greenmount years ago, in conjunction with the Golfing Union of Ireland.

It is one of two such like schools in Ireland and was opened by Rory McIlroy.

Kieran Mullholland (lecturer in Horticultural Education) explained the workings of the school which deals both with golfers skills and the maintenance of golf courses by greenkeepers.

Following the visit to the Golf School we visited the Horticultural Unit where we were met by Mrs Berta Cunha [Horticulture, Crops & Sustainability Development] who showed us round the extensive glasshouses and the new Horticultural Educational Unit.

Over lunch, Dr Sam Kennedy, Deputy Director of CAFRE, welcomed personally all ex students and their wives.

After lunch the party split up to visit the Walled Garden and Floristry Unit and the New Dairy Unit.

At the Walled Garden, where mainly wives and former horticultural students were present they were met by Caroline Mathers, (lecturer in Horticultural Education) and shown around by Anne-Marie Grant(lecturer in Floristry) who briefed them on the Floristry Unit and demonstrated the making of floral fascinators and bouquets.

The very impressive new dairy unit was the choice of most of the ex-agricultural students where Michael Graham (farm manager) explained in detail the workings of the unit and the thinking and planning which had taken place previous to it being built.

The group of ex students included former student Derek Glass who had travelled along with his wife, from New Zealand for the occasion.

Derek and his twin brother Edwin, emigrated to New Zealand less than a year after leaving Greenmount, where the took up farming.

They have hosted Greenmount students on their farms in Ashburton on the South Island

The day concluded with a welcome cup of tea in the conference hall where much more reminiscing took place.

All who attended, were very appreciative of all the help given in organising our reunion, by all the Greenmount staff we came in contact with, especially John Hamilton and Paddy Sloan, who arranged transport, photographs and accompanied us for most of the day