St. Peter’s College in Mountain Road was officially opened by Bishop Liston on 29 January, 1939. A week later 183 students across Forms I-IV began their tuition under the guidance of five Christian Brothers. Today the school’s role has grown to over 1200 boys. To accommodate such numbers, much has changed in the school grounds since 1939. Reeves Road, which ran past the front of the school has long gone; the far-field, or Cage, became part of the school grounds in 1959 and now sports artificial turf; a motorway appeared in the late mid-60’s; the netball and tennis courts (a favourite venue for sportsmen and smokers alike!) have been replaced by a state-of-the-art gym; Boston Road Railway Station is now known as Grafton Station and even the school is now geographically placed in Grafton rather than Epsom; the house names for the college’s sporting events – Bodkin, Nolan, Treacy, Lynch (in honour of four Christian Brothers who left Ireland for Australia in 1868) – remain but have been joined by O’Driscoll and Rice. The Christian Brothers no longer feature on the teaching staff but the names of many who served the school remain vivid in the memories of Old Boys as do those of a multitude of lay-teachers.
Aerial view of the school which appeared in the 1985 school magazine. Photo taken by Paul Doherty.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the fraternity between those who grew from boys in long shorts (or short longs) to become Peter’s Men. From the earliest days of the school magazine, the activities and achievements of Old Boys have been noted but with the numbers of Old Boys now in their thousands, it is hard to keep track of everyone! There have been several incarnations of an Old Boys Association but in 2012 such an Association finally became a modern legal entity. One of the aims of the Association is to be a bridge between those men and their families who have passed through the school gates, present-day pupils and future students of the college.