ENNISKILLEN Model Primary School welcomed back its oldest living former pupil during a special open afternoon held as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Second World War veteran Bill Eames, who is 94 years old, was among the past pupils and staff members who returned to the school on Friday for a cup of tea or coffee and a chance to reminisce about old times.

The event gave the visitors a chance to look at a display of old photographs and memorabilia associated with the primary school, along with an opportunity to view plans for the proposed new build.

Eagle-eyed Mr. Eames was able to find himself pictured in a photograph taken back in 1929!

With the roots of the Model going all the way back to September 1867, some of the school’s present pupils marked the occasion by dressing up in Victorian costume.

In the run-up to the open afternoon, a small team of former staff helped the school’s current vice-principal, Anne Keys, gather up the information and pictures that were on display.

Speaking to the Impartial Reporter this week, Mrs. Keys said she had been delighted with the response to the event.

“It was very much a big team effort from the whole school. I would also like to thank all the past staff who helped out, particularly our former caretaker and keen local historian Derek Davis,” the vice-principal said.

Any donations received from visitors to the school on the day will be given to Macmillan Cancer Support, Mrs. Keys added.

When the Model School first opened its doors 150 years ago, it was designed to be “completely open to everyone” and this integrated, inclusive ethos is still promoted by the present Board of Governors.

William Trimble, the founder of The Impartial Reporter, was a prominent supporter of the new school, which was controlled directly by the Commissioners for Education based in Dublin.