Dear Past Pupil,
When from Wesley far we scatter, the Wesley College Alumni (WCA) fosters ongoing friendship through in-person reunions and online social platforms.
All past pupils are members of WCA and I invite you to take a moment to register and/or confirm your contact details. This will allow us send you a newsletter, usually twice a year, as well as being an information source for organisers of class reunions and other special events.
I also invite you to follow us on social media where you will receive regular updates about the College and past pupils. Social media also gives you the opportunity to discover past acquaintances. Simply click the icons below.
The WCA also maintains an active link with the College, supporting its educational work, and providing assistance to pupils in times of financial difficulty.
If you have information you would like to share, interested in a reunion, looking for a classmate, or would like to contribute to the charitable aims of the Alumni, please send an email to email@example.com
Finally, I would like to thank Janice Walsh for all the assistance she gives the WCA, as well as to the Committee for their guidance and support.
Yours in friendship,
President, Class of 1981
President: Alan Rufli 
Hon. Secretary: Sylvia Ashe Stacey 
Hon. Treasurer: Graham Swarbrigg 
Ordinary Members: Simon Grier , David Phillips , Lynn McCrave (née Young) , John Coy , Avri Citron , Dave Bursey , Stephen May , Adam Curry 
Immediate Past President: Heather O'Doherty Dean 
Trustee Representatives: Deirdre Chadwick (née Fitzgerald) , Valerie Grimes (née McNeill) , Helen Holland (née Price) 
Ex Officio: Christopher Woods
Unfortunately many events during 2020 and 2021 have been cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic.
But there is still plenty of news about the College and past pupils on our Facebook Page. Find out more here.
Wesley College Alumni has been unable to hold any indoor events to mark the 175th anniversary celebration so during the month of June, we are calling on all past pupils and the wider Wesley community wherever you are to get out and walk, run, cycle, swim, play golf (whatever!) for 175 kms, metres, minutes (the choice is yours). Join up with a friend from school and walk together. Or, if you are not in a position to walk, simply meet up for a coffee or a picnic.
Post your photo stating the year you left Wesley (if you wish) on our facebook page. Alternatively, you may email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org but please bear in mind that all photos received by us will be posted on facebook. All photos posted will be entered into a draw for a €100 voucher at the end of June.
This event is also a fundraiser and, if you can, please make a donation to our appeal in aid of the past pupils' bursary fund and Peter McVerry Trust on idonate.ie/Walk175. The past pupils' bursary fund is a registered charity which provides financial support to past pupils of Wesley who have a child attending the College and are in need of assistance with payment of the fees. Peter McVerry Trust, also a registered charity, works with the homeless and has special accommodation for young people - it is supported by pupils in Transition Year. All donations will be shared equally between these two worthy causes and will be gratefully received.
Thank you very much - and enjoy your walk!
Annual Golf Outing : September 2021
The Annual Golf Outing will hopefully take place during September 2021
Details will be posted closer to the time.
Annual Dinner (175 Gala) : 2nd October 2021
As you are all aware, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant that it is vital to limit social contact and avoid gatherings. This situation is likely to continue for some time.
For that reason and with enormous regret, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our 175th Gala Dinner Event, that was due to happen in The Mansion House on October 2nd.
This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, but we feel we would not get the numbers of people prepared to travel and feel comfortable attending such a big event.
The London Reunion usually takes place in the Guoman Tower Hotel on the banks of the river Thames during March.
However, due to Covid19 the event did not take place in 2020 or 2021.
We have many regular attendees, from the UK, Ireland and further afield, who are passionate about Wesley and who very much look forward to this reunion every year.
The Committee is grateful to John Coy for managing the logistics and looking after us so well.
CLASS OF 2011 ::: 10 YEAR REUNION
Alison Shine is planning a 10 year reunion for the class of 2011
Venue and details to be announced.
ALL CLASSES ::: ANNUAL DINNER
All classes are invited to the Annual Dinner that usually takes place in October. See above for details.
Please let us know if you are aware of updates to these or other planned class reunions
Every class likes to organise their reunion in their own special way. Some meet up in Old Wesley RFC for pints & finger food, others in a hotel with full meal and budget of €50/head.
But whatever you choose to do, the Alumni is here to help!
Email email@example.com with details of the reunion – even if you are just thinking about organising one. We will:
Let you know if anyone else is already planning a class reunion so you can share ideas and jointly organise.
Provide contact details of your classmates we have on file.
Advertise and promote your reunion on the College website and Alumni social media.
Inform the Principal who is always interested to hear about Class Reunions, particularly the 20 year, and will gladly facilitate a group tour of the campus.
Contribute €100 towards the costs (snacks & drinks) of 10 year reunions.
We promise not to hijack or interfere with your reunion. All we ask is that you let us know it's happening and that you send us a group photo of the event so we can share it on this page. We would also be grateful for any contributions to the Alumni Bursary funds if you happen to fundraise or make a small surplus on the evening.
Finally, don't forget that the Annual Dinner in October is a great opportunity for mini class reunions, maybe for the "in between" years? You will meet friends from classes above and below you, hear from the Principal what has changed (and what has not!) in the College since you left, as well as network and chat with past pupils from a different era. It is a friendly and sociable event, and highly recommended.
Miscellaneous articles of interest or of importance
The College Hymn
Lord of Light! look down upon us,
Hearken as we cry to Thee;
Lighten thou our minds and lead us,
Thine now to be.
Lord of Life, the Bounteous Giver!
Evermore our portion be;
Guide our feet thro’ all life’s pathway
Nearer to Thee.
Lord of love! who only knowest
All the years that are to be;
Keep us pure amid temptation
Looking to Thee.
When from “Wesley” far we scatter,
Servants true for Thee to be,
Home at last, oh safely bring us
Father to Thee.
James Grubb, 1866-1937
The College Crest
The College Crest as we know it today is the latest in a long history.
In 1891 the school cap was designed bearing a Maltese Cross with the initials WCD. In 1892 the motto ‘God is love’ was added below the Cross, and in 1895 there was a new crest with the Latin motto ‘Aut discite aut discedite sors tertia hic nulla est’ which translated is ‘Either learn or leave; here there is no third choice’.
In 1909 a different crest appeared on the Wesley College Quarterly – a wyvern (representing the Wesley family) above a shield containing three flaming castles (representing Dublin City), separated by a bar, but without any motto.
In 1959 the College obtained from the Chief Herald an official grant of arms for the first time.
The upper part of the current shield has a red ground, and bears a book – The Bible – surmounted by a Maltese Cross, an old Wesley College symbol. Beside these is an escallop shell from the arms of John Wesley’s family. The lower part of the shield has a blue ground and on it a flaming castle from the Dublin City arms. The Wyvern, traditionally associated with the Wesley family, forms the crest above the shield.
The scroll below the shield contains the College motto in Greek ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (I Thessalonians 5; 21).
Spirit of Transition
Each year, the Alumni presents the Spirit of Transition to an outstanding Transition (4th) Year student. It is the premier award for the year and takes into account a wide range of involvement and achievement, including community service, academic achievement, use of initiative, extra curricular activities, personal development and maturity.
The award, which is possible by a generous donation from the family of the late Jim Dixon, is a sculpture composed of polished ancient bog yew from the midlands of Ireland. It was designed in 2007 by Celtic Roots, located near Athlone.
|2018||Peter Costello & Emma Paul|
|2016||Andrea Cabero del Hierro|
There are two bursary funds, the Wesley College Past Pupils’ Fund and the Doreen McDonnell Bursary Fund which was set up following a bequest from the late Doreen McDonnell, a past pupil of the College. Bursaries are available for pupils in the College or those hoping to attend the College to help pay fees. Both Bursaries are for those who are experiencing financial difficulties. However, the Past Pupils Bursary Fund is available only for children of past pupils, while the Doreen McDonnell Bursary is available to both past pupils and those who are not past pupils. Both funds have charitable status. The Past Pupils’ Benevolent Fund which was in the past available to give grants to past pupils in cases of hardship is depleted and is now dormant.
Applications for assistance from the Bursary funds are treated in strictest confidence by the Trustees. They should be made before the 31st of March and addressed to The Secretary, The Alumni Trustees, Wesley College, Dublin 16.
The Trustees of the WCA are under the Chairmanship of Deirdre Chadwick and comprises Valerie Grimes, Hal Hosford, Billy Given and Helen Holland. The Trustees meet annually with the Executive Committee, usually in January, and a report is presented to all members at the AGM.
The Trustees and Committee of WCA are most grateful for any contributions or bequests for the Wesley College Past Pupils' Fund and assure you that any contributions will be put to good use either to enable pupils to receive, or continue to receive, an education in Wesley College.
The Trustees wish to acknowledge with thanks the monies donated at the Alumni’s Annual Dinner, the golf outing, the London re-union, and at class re-unions.
|YEAR||WESLEY PAST PUPILS UNION|
|YEAR||OLD BOYS’ UNION||OLD GIRLS’ UNION|
|1988||H. C. Heather||Mrs. H. MacShane|
|1987||T.H.V. Good||Mrs. H. MacShane|
|1986||T.H.V. Good||Mrs. B. Syms|
|1985||M.E.J. Craven||Mrs. B. Syms|
|1984||T.G. Livingston||Mrs. M. Spencer|
|1983||H. Vard||Mrs. M. Spencer|
|1982||B. Fitzgerald||Mrs. B. Livingston|
|1981||W.C. Willoughby||Mrs. B. Livingston|
|1980||D. McCullagh||Mrs. S. Bell|
|1979||A. Cronhelm||Mrs. S. Bell|
|1978||G.C. Travers||Miss D. Pennefather|
|1977||Rev. G.G. Myles||Miss D. Pennefather|
|1976||R.J. Grier||Mrs. J. Hart|
|1975||W.G. Kirkpatrick||Mrs. J. Hart|
|1974||T.A. Beatty||Mrs. K.M. Fitzgerald|
|1973||J.H. Boate||Mrs. K.M. Fitzgerald|
|1972||Col. H.J. Johnston||Miss D.A.H. Lindsay|
|1971||D.C. Fitzpatrick||Miss D.A.H. Lindsay|
|1970||J.J. McConnell||Mrs. J.F. Halliday|
|1969||Rev. E.A. Carry||Mrs. J.F. Halliday|
|1968||A.D. Miller||Mrs. C.R. Kelly|
|1967||G.W. McConnell||Mrs. C.R. Kelly|
|1966||W.E. Pickering||Mrs. M.C. Thompson|
|1965||Ben Horan||Mrs. W. Campbell|
|1963||C.E. Polden||Mrs. R.S.W. Baker|
|1961||F.W. Olhausen||Mrs. N.McHugh|
|1959||Rev. J.L. Cairns||Mrs. E.K. Mackenna|
|1957||S.H. Polden||Mrs. T.H.T. Cross|
|1956||Col. B.E. Gentleman|
|1955||J.R. Lawson||Mrs. E.A. Whitaker|
|1953||J.S. Pickering||Mrs. H.L. Doak|
|1950||C.T. Attwooll||Mrs. A. Kingston|
|1948||Dr. W. E. Cooke||Mrs. W.H. Brown|
|1947||Rev. Dr. T.J. Irwin|
|1946||E.W. Massey||Miss N. Alexander|
|1942||Canon E.H.F. Campbell|
|1936 – 37||G.E. Robertson|
|1931 – 35||W.R. Burgess|
|1930||R. W. Booth|
History of Wesley College Alumni
The Wesley College Old Boys’ Union was founded at an informal meeting in Trinity College in February, 1901. Thirteen old boys were present with Rev. William Crawford in the chair. Later in the year about a hundred old boys and their guests attended the inaugural dinner in the College Dining Hall. The OBU lapsed during the First World War.
The annual dinners, which had been interrupted by the War, were resumed in 1927, and the OBU was formally refounded in April 1929. Seventy-seven were present at the inaugural dinner in the Royal Hibernian Hotel in March 1930.
The Old Girls’ Union was founded at a general meeting in the College in January 1930. During the first year Dramatic, Physical Culture and Rambling Clubs were formed. The opening social in the Large Schoolroom of the College consisted of competitions, musical items and supper. The summer reunion took the form of a Garden Party in Tullamaine when the members enjoyed clock-golf, croquet, table tennis and tea.
The OBU had been inactive during the mid-1930s until it was revived under the enthusiastic leadership of Jack Lawson. News magazines were published from 1937 to 1938; and annual dinner, golf and tennis outings, cricket and badminton matches against the College were organised. From 1937 occasional dances took place in the Metropole Ballroom in conjunction with the OGU. A Northern Ireland Branch and a London Branch were formed in partnership with the OGU.
In 1934 the OGU established a Bursary Fund to assist in the education of a child of an old boy or an old girl in need.
To help with the celebration of the centenary of the College in 1945, the OGU published a Centenary Magazine and formed an Old Girls’ choir with Mr William Watson as conductor, which flourished for some years.
In 1946 Mr. Eric Massey presented a chain of office for the President to the OBU and in 1947 Mrs. Nora Browne presented a President’s chain of office to the OGU.
Both the OBU and the OGU grew in numbers and founded new Branches from the 1940s to the mid-1960s. From 1954 there was a Junior Branch with a committee drawn from both Unions which organised a full programme of joint activities, which appealed to recent school leavers. In 1955 both Unions joined to celebrate the silver jubilee of the founding of the Unions with a Dinner in the Royal Hibernian Hotel.
The OGU promoted an annual programme of Dinner, Shrove Tuesday pancake party, golf competition and tennis tournament. Other events were also organised to raise funds for the Bursary Fund and later the Benevolent Fund, which was set up in 1969 to assist members in difficult circumstances with a once-off grant. In 1962 the Union celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the admission of girls to the College in 1911/12 with a fork supper in the new recreation hall in Epworth, a tour of the College Buildings and a special service in the Chapel.
The OBU organised an annual dinner, quarterly lunches, golf competition, and it supported a Bursary Fund. In 1957 it was responsible for the erection in the Chapel of a War Memorial plaque bearing the names of old boys who were killed on active service in the Second World War.
In 1968 the OBU recorded that the Junior Branch had been disbanded owing to a lack of interest amongst old boys who had recently left school.
In 1971 the OBU set up a trust to provide a music scholarship for the most promising music pupil in the College. The Bursary Fund was maintained. The OGU continued to support their Bursary and Benevolent Funds, and both Unions played major roles in raising money for the College Development Fund.
In 1985/86 the two Unions set up a committee to explore the possibility of an amalgamation of the Unions. During the presidencies of Hilda (Tennant) MacShane and Vivian Good a sub-committee drafted a Constitution for a Past Pupils’ Union which was considered at the subsequent OBU and OGU Annual General Meetings. On 30 June, 1988 the AGMs of both Unions adopted the new Constitution. The two Unions immediately met together and inaugurated the Past Pupils’ Union with Hilda MacShane and Campbell Heather as joint Presidents. A beautiful chain of office for the President of the PPU was designed by Mr Douglas Bennett, a past pupil.
Under the auspices of the PPU, trustees continue to manage the OBU Bursary Fund and Music Scholarship Fund and the OGU Bursary Fund and Benevolent Fund. The PPU has also established its own Bursary and Benevolent Funds. In 1995 under the terms of the Will of Doreen McDonnell the sum of £250,000 was made available to the Trustees of the PPU as capital to establish additional bursaries. In 2000 eighteen pupils in the College were beneficiaries of these funds.
At the 2018 AGM, it is unanimously agreed to modernise the name of the PPU to Wesley College Alumni, or WCA. Furthermore, to improve agility of the Alumni, a review of the Constitution took place to remove some archaic requirements.
The WCA continues to support the College, class reunions, social media interactions, and organises a number of social events, the most popular being the Annual Dinner in October, the golf outing in the summer, and the London Reunion lunch in March.
100 Years of Co-Education
In September 1911, after very careful consideration by the Governors, the College opened its doors to twenty one girls.
100 years later in 2011, the College celebrated 100 Years of Co-Education.
Read here about the events that took place.
Constitution of Wesley College Alumni
The Society shall be called “Wesley College Alumni” (“WCA”) (formerly known as and incorporating “Wesley College Past Pupils Union”).
The objectives of WCA shall be:
a) To support the educational work of Wesley College Dublin (“College”) and to bring together and form a link between Alumni of the College at home and abroad.
b) To foster the spirit of friendship and co-operation between Alumni by means of social and other activities.
c) To form sections of WCA which shall cater for the intellectual, social and other interests of the members.
d) To provide a Bursary Fund or Funds to assist in the education and advancement of a child or children of an Alumnus/Alumna who, in the opinion of the relevant trustees, need(s) financial assistance.
e) To provide a Benevolent Fund or Funds to assist an Alumnus/Alumna who needs financial assistance.
f) To provide bursaries for the fees and costs of the education of pupils of the College where families need financial assistance.
a) All Alumni of the College are members of WCA.
b) Both current or former Governors and current or former staff of the College are members of WCA.
The Officers of WCA shall be the President, the President Elect, the Immediate Past President, the Honorary Secretary (“Hon. Secretary”) and the Honorary Treasurer (“Hon. Treasurer”).
5. Executive Committee
a) An Executive Committee (“Committee”) to run the day to day affairs of WCA shall be comprised of the following: the President, the President Elect, the Immediate Past President, the Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer, the Principal of the College (“Principal”), a Trustee from each of the existing Bursary and Benevolent funds and eight Ordinary Members to be elected at the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”).
b) The President and President Elect shall be Alumni of the College.c) The Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer and other Committee members (with the exception of the Principal, current or former Governors of the College and current or former staff of the College) shall be Alumni of the College.
d) The Committee shall have the power to co-opt two additional Ordinary Members to the Committee.
e) The Committee shall undertake the financial and general management of WCA and its decision in such matters shall be final subject to the authority of the AGM.
f) The Committee shall meet at least four times annually. A special extraordinary or emergency meeting must be held on the written request of at least five members of the Committee.
g) Five members of the Committee including at least one Officer shall form a quorum for Committee meetings.
h) The Committee may reimburse when possible out of the current account any reasonable travelling expenses incurred by the President or his or her representative and administrative expenses of the officers, all expenditure to be agreed in advance.
6. Council of Trustees
a) The Council of Trustees (“Council”) shall be comprised of the President, the President Elect, the Immediate Past President, the Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer, the eight Ordinary Members of the Committee, the Trustees from each of the existing Benevolent and Bursary funds and the Principal.
b) The Council shall meet at least once between successive AGMs. It shall be empowered to make recommendations to the Committee regarding the Benevolent and Bursary Funds which shall be under the full control of the respective Trustees of the said funds. The Committee shall have discretion as to the manner in which such recommendations shall be dealt with, bearing in mind the joint aims and responsibilities of both the respective Trustees and WCA.
c) Ten members of the Council of Trustees including at least one Officer and one Trustee shall form a quorum for Council meetings.
d) The Trustees of the Benevolent and Bursary trust funds shall have full and absolute control over their respective funds. Any decision made by the Trustees in relation to the trust funds shall be final.
7. Sub Committees
a) The Committee shall have the power to appoint Sub-Committees and to form such sections of WCA as they may consider necessary.
b) At least one member of the Committee shall be appointed a member of each Sub-Committee.
c) The President and the Hon. Secretary shall be ex-officio members of all Sub-Committees.
8. Annual General Meeting
a) The AGM of WCA shall be held each year in April or May.
b) The Committee may summon a Special General Meeting at any time. A Special General Meeting must be held on a written demand signed by at least fifty members of WCA.
c) Twenty members shall form a quorum at the AGM.
9. Notice of Annual General Meeting
The Secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice in writing of the AGM or of any Special General Meeting to all members. It shall be deemed sufficient if such notice is posted electronically.
10. Election of President and President Elect
The President and President Elect shall be elected at the AGM and shall hold office for one year or in exceptional circumstances may be re-elected for a second year.
11. Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Auditors
The Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer and the Honorary Auditors shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
12. Reports and Accounts
a) The Hon. Secretary shall at the AGM present a report of the activities of WCA for the preceding year.
b) The Hon. Treasurer shall at the AGM submit an audited statement of accounts for the year ending on the preceding 31 st December.
c) The Trustees of the Benevolent and Bursary funds shall submit annual reports at the AGM.
A voluntary donation may be sought from each 6th year pupil on leaving the College.
a) At every meeting the chair shall be taken by the President of WCA or, in his or her absence, by the President Elect or a Past President nominated by the meeting. In the absence of the President Elect or Past President the members should elect their own Chairperson.
b) The Chairperson at any meeting shall have a vote and a casting vote.
All notices appealing for money shall be previously sanctioned by the Committee or the President and shall clearly specify the particular purpose for which the appeal is being made. The money collected as a result of that appeal shall be applied only to that particular purpose save with the approval of the AGM.
16. Alteration of the Constitution
a) The Constitution of the Union may be amended by a resolution carried by at least a two thirds majority of the members voting either in person or by postal vote at the AGM or at a Special General Meeting. Such resolution must have been proposed and seconded and forwarded in writing for consideration at the AGM and must be received by 1st March.
b) The members of WCA should be given at least twenty-one days’ notice of such a resolution.
17. Copy of Constitution
A copy of the constitution of WCA shall be posted electronically.