‘Tech’ staff in 40-year reunion

Some of the former and current staff of Portadown Tech, now Southern Regional College. INPT35-206.
Some of the former and current staff of Portadown Tech, now Southern Regional College. INPT35-206.

Staff from the former Portadown ‘Tech’ enjoyed a good old catch-up when they attended a reunion to mark the 40th anniversary of the move from its Armagh Road premises to Lurgan Road.

Around 50 people from areas including Dungannon, Lisburn, Rostrevor and Bangor attended the get-together in the Masonic Hall.

The event was organised by David Hamilton, who taught technical drawing - later becoming Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) with the advent of computers in 1988.

Among those reminiscing were former staff - Barry Doogan, head of English; Jim Warnock, deputy vice-principal and Barry Crawford, head of engineering.

Also there were Derryhale man Eddie Bailie, who taught technology and recently celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary; maths teacher Joe Neill; science teacher Irish Suitor and Wilbur McKee, deputy director.

Said David, “It was great to see so many old faces and there was talk of making it an annual occasion.

“I hadn’t seen some of them for 20 years and they hadn’t changed a bit.”

David recalled how he first attended Portadown Technical College as an 11-year-old before returning as a teacher.

The ‘Tech’ became Upper Bann Institute before being renamed Southern Regional College.

He added, “The biggest thing that happened during the past 40 years was the separation of Craigavon Senior High School. It changed from being one school on the Lurgan Road to two campuses in Portadown and Lurgan.”

The senior high’s former principal and former Tech teacher David Mehaffey was also at the reunion.