Sparkling achievement at OLA

Our Lady of The Annunciation Pr School, Diamond Jubilee Mass, at St Gabriels. Pic copyright Paul Mc Sherry
Our Lady of The Annunciation Pr School, Diamond Jubilee Mass, at St Gabriels. Pic copyright Paul Mc Sherry

This week the pupils and staff of Our Lady of the Annunciation Primary school celebrated a huge milestone with their Diamond Jubilee.

60 years ago, in 1956, the Merrylee school opened its doors to 73 people under the leadership of Mary Cairney, the head teacher at that time.

The school, originally called Friarton Road Primary, served the parishes of Holy Cross and St Mirren.

It began with two teachers and three multi-composite classes. In 1969 Friarton Road Primary became Our Lady of the Annunciation Primary.

Over the years the school has undergone substantial changes as well as the addition of an annexe, in order to accommodate its current roll of 200 children and 11 teaching staff. It remains a Roman Catholic school serving the Merrylee, Newlands, Cathcart and Langside areas and continues to have strong links with the parish of St Gabriel’s.

To celebrate such a significant milestone of 60 years, pupils of OLA have been learning about life through the various decades since the school opened and how it varies from life today.

Pupils too, have been marking their place in history by planting bulbs around the Diamond Jubilee tree; contributing to a mosaic depicting the school’s emblem which will placed on the entrance wall; burying time capsules; and finally adding each of their names to artwork designed by Michael Chromy, a former teacher of the school.

As part of their celebrations pupils – both past and present, parents and staff celebrated a mass led by Archbishop Tartaglia in St Gabriel’s parish on Thursday, November 24. The congregation, which included councillors, East Renfrewshire Council education services staff and other local community groups, were uplifted through prayer and song.

Mrs Claire Semple, a parent of the school, opened the Mass with a Gaelic Blessing, with Our Lady of the Annunciation’s school choir accompanied by the choir from Holyrood Secondary School adding to the joy with their uplifting performance performing of A Claire Benediction and Ave Verum.

Mass was then followed with a special morning tea at the school, where guests were entertained by a selection ofpupils who sang songs taken from the various decades since the school has been opened.