Monaghan Collegiate School, cancelled their formal Prize day normally held in St Patrick’s Church and instead distributed the prizes on a class by class basis in the school’s sports hall on Friday 23rd October 2020.
Mr Reid welcomed each class in turn saying that he was so sorry that those being awarded prizes in recognition of their hard work couldn’t have their families present to share in their success.
He asked the students to take a moments silence to remember those who have suffered and continue to suffer, those who have been isolated and are still isolated and lonely, those who have missed out on special family occasions and gatherings, those who have suffered illness and fear, and those who have lost loved ones. He also asked them to remember those working in the hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, in care homes and the community.
In his short address to the students Mr Reid said that the 2019-2020 school year could easily be called a game of two halves, half in school half out of school. Half the normal routine of school and half the virtual world of zoom and google classroom. He said that “we will all remember the eerie feeling of the 12th March, the excited uncertainty of an unknown future, the exhilaration of an early holiday and the trepidation of a fast changing world.” “And yet” Mr Reid continued “as a school we have come this far fairly unscathed, we have experienced God’s protection and grace. We have done online classes, experienced predicted grades and calculated grades, returned to school in masks, learned to sanitise our hands and follow the arrows. For your support and cooperation I say thank you.
I also want to thank your teachers and the non-teaching staff of the Collegiate for their tireless efforts. Our motto is “working together so that we may flourish as individuals”, I believe that the past few months have eloquently demonstrated that truth.”
Mr Reid said that “The young people can look forward to the future with the optimism of youth and the support of the school community. As a school we have exciting times ahead with our new build. With our trust in God and our hope in the indomitable human spirit there are bright days ahead to be grasped.”
He expressed his hearty congratulations to those who had won prizes, urging everyone else to keep giving of their best. He paid tribute to the students who had just left. He said that they had been on a roller-coaster of emotions and stress over the past few months with all the uncertainty of the on and off, Leaving Cert and predicted grades. Mr Reid said that they had been one of the school’s most competent academic years and felt a degree of regret that they did not get the proper opportunity to shine. He made particular mention of the top two students, Mujtaba Ahmed who has gone to UCD to read medicine and Matthew Wallace who has gone to TCD to read computer science, Matthew has been awarded a Naughton scholarship. Both students have been awarded a Principal’s prize.
Concluding, Mr Reid urged the young people to be the best that they can be, to do the best that they can do and to live the best that they can live, noting “It doesn’t matter how long you live it matters how you live”.
Chancellor Berry brought congratulations on behalf of the Board of Management and concluded the short service with prayer.