St Joseph’s Boys’ School celebrates 50 fantastic years

St. Joseph's pupil Maurice McCusker shows of the Peter Martelli Perpetual Shield for Art, shows off his award to pupils of his former school, Bridge Street Primary. (0703ST 01)
St. Joseph's pupil Maurice McCusker shows of the Peter Martelli Perpetual Shield for Art, shows off his award to pupils of his former school, Bridge Street Primary. (0703ST 01)

St. Joseph’s Secondary School, will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and to commemorate the achievement and remarkable history of the Creggan school, the major events of its first fifty years are to be documented in a new book.

Here ‘The Journal’ looks back to the early days of the school as reported by this newspaper.

This is the group of boys from St. Joseph's Intermediate School, Creggan who were successful in the Ministry of Education Junior Certificate examinations, as first published by The Derry Journal on September 6, 1966. (0703ST 04 )

This is the group of boys from St. Joseph's Intermediate School, Creggan who were successful in the Ministry of Education Junior Certificate examinations, as first published by The Derry Journal on September 6, 1966. (0703ST 04 )

On September 1, 1963, St Joseph’s Secondary welcomed its very first batch of students and in doing so it became the first intermediate school for boys in the city.

Throughout 2013 a series of events to honour this momentous milestone will take place.

The school is looking for help from past pupils and staff to complete the project.

The first principal at the school was Mr W.J. Maultsaid with Mr. Ted Armstrong as his vice principal. Initially there was a teaching staff of 44.

Mr Maultsaid was personally asked by the then Bishop of Derry, Dr. Neil Farren to become principal. Mr. Maultsaid brought Ted Armstrong back to Derry with him as his second in command.

The school was constructed to cater for750 pupils. But, such was the demand for places that the initial intake was 850 drawing students from Rosemonunt, Long Tower and St Eugene’s primary schools.

The first 15 A-Level students at St Joseph’s began their courses in 1977 and started the now long established tradition of St Joe’s boys going off to university.

In 2003, the new St Joseph’s Boys School opened its doors for the first time and welcomed students to a state of the art, purpose built facility.

The school is now appealing for assistance from any past pupil or teacher who may have old photographs or memorabilia relating to the school. Of particular interest would be material from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that may be of use when compiling the forthcoming book. If there are any stories behind the photographs the school would particularly like to hear those too.

If you have any old stories or photographs form your days at St. Joes’ for inclusion in the book, which is being compiled by the Past Pupils’ Union, please contact laurence.mcclenaghan@derryjournal.com