Pleasant memories of my school days.

I have very many pleasant memories of my school days at Dreenan. I was born in `The Island` which is directly across a few fields from the school. I started in 1941 and left in 1948 to further my education in St. Louis Convent Ballymena. I joined another past pupil Mary B. O’Neill, who was a few years older than me. She later emigrated to U.S.A.
I started school during World War II when the American Soldiers and their lorries were on the road. The period of the Black - Out, Ration Books, Clothing Coupons, the Belfast Blitz and the introduction of free milk to the school.
Miss Mooney taught from low infants to second class. I remember learning her favourite alphabet;

A = An apple pie
B = Bit it
C = Cut it. etc

Counting on the ball frame with brightly coloured balls, writing on broken black slates with white chalk, knitting with white string on two large nails.
Miss Boyle taught third class. She taught Irish at school and also took evening classes in her own home. We entered for competitions at the Feis in Draperstown. I remember winning two scholarships to the Gaeltacht in Gortahork, Co. Donegal.
Mrs Jean Rankin taught for a short period during my time at school. She was replacing Miss Mooney, who was off on sick leave. I have a memory of her teaching singing and the song I remember was `Kitty of Coleraine` and we were fascinated with her English accent.

Fr. McFlynn was a frequent visitor to the school, his chauffeur Pat Convery (Roe) also Fr. Joe Doherty who was the new curate to the parish. He came on his bicycle. Fr Felix Scullion, who was a family friend of the Boyle family called in the school often to visit Miss Boyle. He was very pleasant and talked to all the classes.
Another happy memory of mine was going to Mary Ann Rankin’s for a bucket of water at ten o’clock. I remember her as a friendly happy person, who was always baking scones. She would give us a piece of hot scone with lovely butter melting on it and sugar sprinkled on top. It was delicious! Her husband Tom would be around also Tommy Felix and Lizzie. They were very friendly and most helpful. They played a very big part in the life of Dreenan School.
I also remember Miss Dinnen who taught many years in the school. Angela Convery or Ange as she was better known, took a keen interest in all the school children. Sadly all these people I have mentioned have gone to their Eternal Reward, but their memory will live for many years.
May I say a prayerful thank you to those teachers and priests who touched my life and educated me.
May God have mercy on them all.

BRIGID MADDEN (DIAMOND)

THE ISLAND

1941 - 1948