Not too many villages in Ireland can lay claim to holding their 40th consecutive Field Evening.
Certainly, it was an occasion and achievement worth celebrating as all age groups gathered at Grange School to enjoy the occasion.
The threat of rain had thankfully passed and after weeks of preparation under the watchful eye of the Community Council chairperson Anne Casey the 40th Field Evening began at 7pm on Friday, June 15.
Anne welcomed everyone and especially all the guests who had been members of the Community Council over the past 40 years. Their significant contribution was acknowledged by Anne who also encouraged new members to join and continue the good work and highlighted the need for on-going funding to meet the costs of maintaining the community hall. She remembered past members who had gone to their eternal reward.
Anne thanked school principal Ms. Marie Keating, the staff, parents and children for their support in preparing for the Field Evening and praised the 3rd and 4th class children and their teachers Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Carroll for the impressive and artistic 1978 banner that they created.
Ger Liston set the scene with some well-chosen remarks about the 40 years of Field Evenings and the community sing-song was launched by the 5th class children who led a rousing rendition of the 1978 hit ‘You’re the One that I want’ made famous by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta of Grease fame.
The school orchestra, prepared by Ms. Sinéad Bergin, and supported by local accomplished musicians Tom and Clodagh Kenna accompanied the Grange Choir who led the singing of some other 1978 Irish Chart Hits, Mull of Kintyre, One Day at a Time and Dublin in the Rare Auld Times.
Highlight of this community sing-along was the commemorative song written by Mr. Richard Carroll to the air of the Beatles Hit ‘Let it Be’ which was launched by the school children.
To finish the official celebrations a beautiful cake was cut by members of the original Community Council 1978 Committee Ann Hanrahan and Michael Lonergan.
They added to the occasion with an impromptu waltz to air of Slievenamon sung by all present.
After the official celebrations finished all present toured the stalls and events with regular prompting and guidance from Yvonne Condon and Kathy Shone.
Those present tested their skills, tried their luck, competed in the races, bounced on the bouncy castles, bought bargains in the bric-a-brac, relaxed and reminisced as they watched the photos and memorabilia on display, sampled the welcome refreshments provided and finally outbid each other at the auction.
The creativity and enthusiasm of the 5th and 6th class children was evident in the variety of stalls and activities backed up by those who had 40 years of experience organising this wonderful community event.
All in all, a memorable evening and a fitting celebration of the 40th Grange Field Evening. Will the community target a 50th?
Enterprise Award/ Frank Hughes Perpetual Trophy
1st Place - “Lochness Monsters” - Millie McGrath, Caitlin Fanning, Kinvara Green, Ciara Hadley, Evlin Burke (6th Class)
2nd Place – “Prize Steps & Mystery Cake” – Alfie Neal (5th Class)
3rd Place – “The 3 Seans” – Sean Fitzgerald, Sean Downey, Sean O’Flaherty.
Tony Heffernan Literary Award for Year Book
Winner - Kinvara Green (Sixth Class)
Overall winner – Ciara Brophy (6th Class),
Junior Infants - Zoe Coates, Donal Carroll, Nuala Ryan,
Senior Infants - Memphis Buckwald, Zane Doheny, Jack Kirwan,
First Class - Amy Slattery, Charlotte Heavy, David Ahern
Second Class - Evan Cotter, Anna Hyland, Liam Flynn,
Third Class - Liam Carrabine, Caelan Morris, Evan O’Donnell,
Fourth Class - Isabel Dougan,
Fifth Class - Bella Healy, Eve Parratt, Abbie Leo,
Sixth Class - Kinvara Green, Ciara Hadley, Ellen Farrell
Mickey Phelan Cup
Winners – The White Wolves
Flower Arranging – Anne Casey Cup
Ellen Farrell – Sixth Class