Mr John McGuinness

Wednesday 28 November 2018.  Mr John McGuiness.  Inter-schools Historical Society

Probus Vice-President, Oliver Loughran [left] with John McGuiness
The final speaker of the year was Mr John McGuiness, formerly Vice-Principal of the Christian Brothers Grammar School, Omagh in which some 50 years ago he founded the Inter-schools Historical Society.  The moving spirit behind the initiative was Br Newell of CBS supported by the Heads of History in Omagh Academy and Loreto Convent, namely Mr Ross Henderson and Mrs Mary McCaughey.   The aims of the society were to foster community relations and encourage an appreciation of  history.  During the decade from 1969 and 1979 – a period of considerable unrest in the Province – the society flourished, inviting speakers from the Ulster American Folk Park, The Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra and the History Departments at Queens and University of Ulster.  Day trips to the Beetling Mill at Wellbrook and the Spade Mill at Ballyclare paved the way for trips further afield to places such as Wexford and Galway.   With two coach loads of Sixth Formers in tow there were many anecdotes to be shared and enjoyed.   The society continued through the 1980’s with trips to the battlefield sites on World Wars I and II in Flanders and Normandy and has left all of those who participated with treasured memories of their school days.