As Abbey Grammar students begin their first term in a spanking new school at Ashgrove, it is perhaps appropriate to remember earlier Christian Brothers Schools in Newry.
It is entirely possible that my own father was included in this class of Christian Brother students lined up for the camera outside the Carstands School about one hundred years ago.
It was not until a half centry later – when the first purpose-built Brothers School was erected on Courtenay Hill on the site of the old Cistercian Abbey – that the Christian Brothers pupils became known as Abbey boys.
For the first years of my schooling there I thought there was a direct link between the ancient monks and the Brothers, especially since they – like the Cistercians, who were respectfully addressed as ‘Brother’ too – were operating on the same site.
I asked my teachers more than once but curiously they seeming unwilling to disabuse me of my misconception: perhaps they revelled in the romantic notion!
… Carstands Reminiscences …