‘Class ring’ for Thornhill

Margaret Keys and Marie Louise Muir, former students at Thornhill College, were presented with the new alumni ring at a recent gala concert hosted by the school.
Margaret Keys and Marie Louise Muir, former students at Thornhill College, were presented with the new alumni ring at a recent gala concert hosted by the school.

Derry’s Thornhill College has come up with a novel way of marking its 80th anniversary - a commemorative ring.

The new piece of jewellery, custom-made by D. Cooley Jewellers of Shipquay Street, is based on the the class ring - also known as a graduation, graduate, senior, or grad ring - worn by students and alumni in the United States and Canada to commemorate their graduation, generally for a high school, college, or university.

The Thornhill ring is the brainchild of Pat McLucas, the school’s former Head of Biology, who has a class ring from her old school in Canada.

College principal Marguerite Hamilton is delighted with the finished product and hopes it will be a big hit with both past and current students.

“I think it’s a wonderful way of not only commemorating our 80th anniversary but also of remembering your time at the school,” she said.

“In a sense, it can be seen as an expression of school pride and it was fitting, therefore, that two of the rings were presented at our recent gala concert to former pupils, Marie Louise Muir [broadcaster] and Margaret Keys [international soprano], who’ve done the school proud in their respective careers.

“We’ve already had a lot of inquiries about the new ring and I’m sure it will prove to be a popular gift.”

Raymond Kelly, of D. Cooley Jewellers, revealed that the new alumni ring, which features the school crest, is custom made in both solid silver and 9 carat gold and is available in two styles - cushion and oval shape.

“It’s the first school ring we’ve ever done and, as such, it was a new challenge - but we’re really happy with the finished product,” he said. “It’s simple and not fussy - but really effective.

“Its uniqueness - it is, after all, the first such piece of jewellery to be made available in the city - will, I think, ensure its success.”

D. Cooley is renowned for its popular “History of Derry” series of jewellery.

This range - which includes ear-rings, pendants, cufflinks, pendants and charms - features famous icons of Derry including Free Derry Corner, the historic City Walls, the oakleaf and St Columba.

The Thornhill College Ring can be ordered from both the school or from D. Cooley Jewellers, 22-24, Shipquay Street, Derry. Tel: (028) 71 362984.