Balloon release marks Huyton school’s 50th anniversary

Fifty purple balloons have been released into the air above a Huyton school to mark the school’s 50th anniversary.

Staff at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Edenfield Crescent, also marked the golden milestone with a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Liverpool and a party for governors, staff and students.

The children enjoyed a party box meal, provided free by Knowsley School Meals Service and a cup cake decorated in school colours.

The 50th anniversary theme is set to continue throughout the term.

Later this month the school will feature a museum of artefacts and stories from the 1960s; the children will be studying the history of 1966 and there are plans to bury a time capsule in the hope that it will be dug up in another 50 years’ time.

Five decades ago, Colette Wilson (then Mulcahey) was among the first children to start school at St Joseph’s. Now her dad, John Mulcahey, is Chair of Governors.

Colette said that although there have been changes to the building and staff, the spirit of the school remains, “It was always a happy school with the teachers expecting us all to do our best. I remember wooden desks in rows, much bigger class sizes and the teachers including Mrs O’Keefe, Miss Beesley and the headmaster Mr Walsh.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon had an excellent first impression of the school and congratulated head teacher Mr Charlie Newstead and all the staff noting impeccable student behaviour and uniform along with the welcoming and positive atmosphere of the school.

The Archbishop said: “St Joseph’s is truly a school based on Jesus’ teaching.”
At the end of Mass, the Archbishop thanked everyone for inviting him and said he would remember this day for a long time to come. He then joined the children to release 50 balloons, one for each year the school had been open.

Laila, a Year 4 pupil, summed up the day by saying: “We had a fun, and an enjoyable day releasing 50 balloons, learning about what my school used to be like 50 years ago, having a party box and meeting the archbishop. I also can’t wait to bury the time capsule.”

Later on, Mr Newstead said that the school will be featuring its own museum of artefacts and stories from the 1960s with an invitation to past pupils to visit and add their own stories of St Joseph’s. The exhibition will include medals and photographs of past pupils and stories about their memories and achievements.

Pupils have been studying the history of 1966 including England’s victory in the World Cup and Pickles the dog finding the cup after it had been stolen. They have also been singing songs from 1966 including the hits Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys and These Boots are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra.

Also a time capsule will be buried containing photographs of children and the school today, messages recorded on a pen stick as well as ideas from pupils about what school might be like in another 50 years’ time.

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