FORMER pupils recalled bygone memories and rekindled old friendships when St Gabriel’s RC High School staged a day of celebration to mark its diamond anniversary.

A mass was held in the school hall with more than 350 people attending.

Joining in the 60th anniversary celebrations at the school in Bridge Road, Bury, were past headteachers Eddie Robinson and Paul Hopkins, while other dignitaries, including Bury’s deputy mayor, Cllr Sharon Briggs, attended.

Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Salford, the Rt Rev Terence Brain, together with all the parish priests of the borough, and the school orchestra and choir were praised for their performances.

Following mass, guests went to the dining room where the parent teacher association (PTA) reminded everyone of school dinner puddings of old, with Manchester tart and cornflake cake two of many served up.

In the evening, 300 people were welcomed to Bury Town Hall with Martin Kay acting as the master of ceremonies. The past was remembered by David Willis, one of the original first year entrants in 1954. Deputy headmaster Adam Loster, who has served at the school for 39 years, gave the official thanks to the guests, the school leadership team, PTA and volunteer helpers.

One of the many successes of the evening was the launch of the Friends of St Gabriel’s which involves past pupils, staff and supporters uniting to keep in touch, and anyone interested in joining is asked to contact the school for further details.

Mr Loster said the celebration was a major event in the school’s history and showed the “strength of the St Gabriel’s family”.

He added: “It has been a wonderful day and I feel very proud for everyone involved — the school staff and governors, past pupils and families and, of course, everyone involved in pulling things together. A great St Gabriel’s team effort and a brilliant, brilliant day.”