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The Hamrock Family

While on a school tour to Fishguard in 1987 a chance encounter between fifth and sixth class pupils and four members of the Hamrock family from Whittier in Los Angeles led to a special friendship between our school and the Hamrock family. This was before the amalgamation of the two schools took place.

 

At this time we were in urgent need of new classrooms as one teacher was expected to teach in the local hall which was almost half a mile away from the school. The Boys school consisted of three rooms and conditions were far from satisfactory. Plans for the new school were shelved as a result of the educational cut-backs at that time, the local tannery had closed and things appeared bleak.

Amid this came the unexpected support and generosity of Ed. Hamrock and his family. During the next few years the school received money and gifts from the Hamrock family. The pupils in the school regularly sent letters to Whittier which were all read with enthusiasm and answered. Indeed we still have all of these special letters in the school. Unfortunately shortly after meeting us Ed. suffered ill health, and was diagnosed as having cancer.

Ed. had a burning desire to see the school receive the funding required to build the much needed extension. Indeed Ed. offered the pain he was suffering for Portlaw and that our plans would be realised. I spoke many times to Ed. on the phone but he never managed a final visit to Ireland as he passed away in 1991. This special man made a final request that there would be no flowers at his funeral but the money would be sent to Portlaw N.S. a request which was honored. The school now bears little resemblance to the building of 1987 but the imput from Ed. Hamrock will not forgotten.

Direct contact with Edís family was lost until quite recently when partly as a result of the schools homepage, e mails were exchanged between the Hamrockfamily and Portlaw. This was very appropriate as our first computer, an Acorn, was financed by Ed.

 Ten years ago we would never have thought of web sites or E- mails !!!!

Fishguard '87.jpg (75070 bytes)

School Tour to Fishguard, June 1987

 

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