Last night saw the official launch of the tome," A View the Foyle Commanding," which relates the history of Foyle College since its foundation in 1617. I won't pretend that I was the youngest person in attendance, but I certainly fell within the youngest quartile. Not unsurprising I suppose. History, reminiscence and memory tend to be the métier of the grizzled and follicly challenged.
The venue for the event was the old Lawrence Hill premises of the School. Opened in 1814 it was only in 1967 that the School vacated its portals and moved to the angular Springtown building. I cannot imagine that that edifice will survive to see its two hundredth birthday nor I expect will the planned modular monstrosity which is to be the new home of the School. Maybe I am more grizzled than I imagine!
There were a total of six speeches. Initially we were assured that the speakers were limited to five minutes each. However we had just congratulated ourselves following this announcement when the MC did warn us that one of the speakers was a cleric and he feared the worst. His fears were not ill founded. This was not just a cleric, but a retired one. He had a captive congregation or at least a captive audience. He had a lectern in front of him and he was not going to loose his opportunity. He didn't. He seemed very happy with his allusions , they just weren't very apposite.
What then of the book itself? It is certainly a more professional production than those other School histories which I have seen. To date I have only dipped into the book so I am as yet unable to comment on the content in much detail. On a cursory glance I would probably suggest more socio-historical data and rather less emphasis on rugby and cricket.