OVER 100 former pupils of Balteagh Primary School came together for a special reunion at Tamnificarbet Orange Hall last week.
It was a special occasion that even attracted a former pupil who travelled to Northern Ireland from his home from the USA, and two from Liverpool.
Those attended included people from their mid-forties to mid-nineties!
The Haffey’s from Kilvergan, Hewitt’s and McCullough’s from Twinem Tce, Russell’s, Neill’s and Thompson’s from Marlborough Tce, the six Morrison brothers and Campbell’s from Balteagh were among those who enjoyed exchanging old memories.
Balteagh Primary School was situated in the townland of Balteagh, midway between Portadown and Lurgan, roughly where Rushmere Shopping Centre now stands.
It was a two-teacher school, and notable principals were Lewis L Bell, Samuel Mailey, Edwin Abraham and Marshall Matchett, who held the post at the time of closure in 1969 to make way for the new city of Craigavon. The late Miss Margaret (Peggy) Agnew was the junior class teacher for over 40 years.
Mr Matchett was present and spoke of the period leading up to the school closure and his transfer to Tullygally Primary, the first school built in the ‘new city’. A former pupil, Mr Errol McCready, who was a long and distinguished teacher at Lurgan College, gave a very humorous talk on his days as a pupil at Balteagh.
After a hearty supper was served, a £360 collection was taken up for the Alzeheimer’s Society. The main organisers of the event were former pupils Ivan Russell (and his wife Muriel), Derek Neill and Erroll Somerville.