Methody Collegians

Methody Collegians was founded in 2003 as a result of the merger of the Methodist College Belfast Old Girls and Old Boys Associations. We aim to help keep you in touch with each other and to support the College and its past and present pupils.

TO MY FELLOW COLLEGIANS – President’s Welcome

President’s Welcome from the Annual General Meeting on 28 June 2021.

I would like to welcome you all to the Annual General Meeting, and start by apologising for the late notice given of the meeting. COVID has given rise to all sorts of problems, exacerbated by problems with the printing and sending of the notice. While I know that objections could be taken to holding the meeting in these circumstances, we had no AGM at all last year, and, if you will bear with us, we will try and get things back on the straight and narrow next year.

Another result of COVID was that Karen McCrea has served three years as President, and I, in turn, have served three years as Senior Vice-President. I thank you for electing me as President and look forward to my year in office. Karen has done an excellent job in very trying times and will be a very hard act to follow.

Clearly, events in the next year will depend on how COVID, and the related restrictions, develop. We are going to start gently by simply planning to hold our regular lunches, the Christmas lunch, and the annual dinner. I hope that as many as possible of you will attend to support these events as we try to get our organisation up and running again.

The first lunch will be at Deramore on Friday 10 September when the Principal, Scott Naismith, will be the speaker. His report on how he and his staff coped with the myriad of problems they have had over the past year and a half should be very interesting.

The next lunch will be on Friday 5 November, again at Deramore, when the speaker will be the new Lord Mayor of Belfast, Kate Nicholl, a former pupil of the school.

The Christmas lunch will be held in the Ulster Reform Club on 6 December. Numbers were a little down when it was last held two years ago, so we are hoping for a good attendance this year, subject, of course, to the dreaded COVID.

We will give notice later of the lunches after Christmas. However, we have set a date for the annual dinner. As you will know, we had planned to hold it in the Whitla Hall in 2020, until we had to cancel it, and no dinner was possible this year. We now plan to hold it in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast on Friday 1 April 2022, when the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has agreed to be the guest speaker. She has a long history of interest in education, having been a Professor of Criminal Law, Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s, the first female pro-vice-chancellor of Queen’s, and she is now the Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin. It is the hope of the committee that holding the dinner in the school for the first time will encourage a big attendance.

Before I close, I want to express particular thanks to several other people. The role of President of this organisation is something of a figurehead. The real work is done by the Honorary Secretary, Gerry Beamish, the Honorary Treasurer, Anne Millar, and the Honorary Membership Secretary, Joanne Mehaffy. They voluntarily put in many hours work, year after year, to keep this organisation going. We can best repay that work, and show our appreciation for it, by attending and supporting the events they help to organise. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the events in the forthcoming year.

Alan White