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School to celebrate centenary 12 November 2007

BALLACLOAN Infants’ School is appealing to the public for memorabilia ahead of its centenary celebrations in 2008.

The school in Demesne Road, Douglas, which has 118 children on the register, has set up a committee to steer the celebrations.

It comprises Headteacher Mrs Jill Gill, her predecessor Mrs Anne Caine, former deputy Mrs Margaret Cain, ex-pupil Geoff Corkish MHK, current history co-ordinator Mrs Debbie Booth and teacher Mrs Christine Coates, who has been at the school for 30 years.

The committee is appealing to former staff, parents and pupils to raid their attics for memorabilia for a display that will form part of the centenary.

It would particularly like to borrow:

? Photographs

? Individuals’ written memories of their time at Demesne Road/ Ballacloan

? Items which parents may have kept for sentimental reasons

On September 6, 1974, Demesne Road School officially become Ballacloan Infants’ School. There were 135 boys and girls on the roll. By September 9 this had increased to 169.

Mrs Gill admitted there was confusion over when the 100th anniversary of the school’s opening fell. She said:

‘The majority of available resources state that Demesne Road Boys’ School opened in January 1907, although the first reference I found in “Manx Schools Past, Present and Proposed” by Ronald S. Ely, published in 2003, states the opening was 1908.
‘Obviously we have now missed the centenary of the 1907 suggestion but due to the uncertainty over the dates and because we didn’t want our celebrations to be overshadowed by those for the centenary of the TT, we opted for 2008.’

Mrs Gill said the planning committee had already started work but said:

‘In order to collect and collate information, artefacts etc in between meetings, we would love anyone with available time to join the committee.’

Mrs Gill can be contacted via the School Administrator at enquiries@ballacloan.sch.im

She said:

‘We hope to produce a book of memories for distribution, hold one or more social events for former pupils together with current and former parents and staff and stage a themed week of special events for anyone with past and present links. ‘The themed week will be held in one of the summer months to allow us to take advantage of the better weather but children’s learning about the history of the school will begin before then.’

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