College pays Tribute to Former Headmaster
St Mary's College has been paying tribute to one of the key figures in the development of the school. The college held a memorial mass for the life of former Headmaster Brother Philip Edmund Ryan - known as Ned - who died earlier this year. Brother Ryan's friends and former colleagues, and St Mary¹s governors and staff past and present, attended the special service which was conducted by School Chaplain, Father Patrick Harnett.
Brother Ryan - the last Christian Brother Headmaster of the school - occupied the position from 1987 to 1991. He had in fact started his career at the school in 1948, teaching maths, physics and religious education. By the time he returned to St Mary's almost 40 years later, he had already had two successful Headships at St Edward¹s College in Liverpool and St Aidan¹s in Sunderland. Although not in good health, Brother Ryan played an important role in two major developments at St Mary's - the change to co-educational status and the move to lay Headship of the school. He was forced to retire three months early after suffering a stroke in May 1991. However, he recovered well and later that year was able to attend a mass honouring his work celebrated by then Archbishop Derek Warlock.
Following the recent mass at the school a eulogy was delivered by Brother Ryan's former colleague Chris Cleugh, who is now Headmaster of St Benedict's, one of London's leading independent Catholic schools. In a moving address, Mr Cleugh described Brother Ryan as an inspirational leader and a man of great faith, vision and courage. He also pointed out that his period as Head marked the end of an era for the college.
Father Hartnett is pictured with Chris Cleugh (second right), current St Mary's Principal Michael Kennedy (second left) and Brother Ryan's former colleagues Brother George Gordon (left) and Dominic Sassi.
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