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Michael Flanagan (1975 - 1981)

Hi to all at Elmgrove Primary,

Well I was just recapturing my childhood this morning and listening to my old tape recording of Elmgrove's Christmas Concert of 1981, and I got the urge to type in "Elmgrove Primary School" at the internet search prompt, and here we are! I am so excited to see a web page for the school.

My name is Michael Flanagan, and I attended the school from 1975-1981 as I lived just a short distance away in Nendrum Gardens. Then, halfway through P7, I emigrated to Canberra, Australia with my family; where I still live eighteen years later.

This was certainly an interesting period for the school, for it was during my first year in P1 that the lower half of the school was burnt down (oh, how I cried myself to sleep for weeks at the thought of the tadpoles in Mrs. Andrew's classroom frying to their death!) by vandals. And amazingly, it wasn't until I was leaving in P7 that re-building finally commenced. I've always wondered what the new buildings turned out like...

My teachers, as I recall it, were:

P1: Mrs Andrews
P2: Mrs Downey
P3: Mrs Dunn/Miss Knox (my first crush! *sigh*)
P4: Ms Jennings
P5: Dr Grant
P6: Mrs Williams
P7: Mr McCallion

And I remember the others too; all the dinner ladies, Mrs Neil & Mrs Hall on playground duty, Mrs Jackson in the office, and of course Dr Hunter who was principal all the years I was there. Though, from my perpective at the time, he was a 10ft tall giant that commanded much awe and respect (not to mention fear!).

I feel particularly indebted to Elmgrove for the wonderful music program it had - and especially to the fantastic efforts of Mrs McBride & Mr McCallion. The grounding in music I received from them and the school program is something that I carry with me to this day, and I will always be grateful for it. Although I am an electronics/communications engineer by profession these days, music is very much still the biggest part of my life - I still play trumpet & other instruments to this day in various bands around town. It's a long, long way from making my solo debut playing 'Trumpet Voluntary' at the Elmgrove '81 Christmas Concert, but I still remember those early days so well and so fondly.

If there are any teachers or students from my time who remember me, I would dearly love to hear from them. Plus, I am finally making my first trip ever back to Belfast in August/September this year, and I am very much hoping that I will be able to visit the school then.

Best wishes,

Michael Flanagan