Today saw the class of 2020 from our local primary school here in Muff finish their 8 years of study there. Fr Farren celebrated a beautiful mass for all the children of Muff school and a special send off was celebrated for the sixth class pupils: the pupils who didn’t get to finish primary school in the normal way: the pupils who didn’t get to say goodbye in the normal way.

Mrs Ward, school principal, spoke at the mass today and said how this was great class. She described them all as ‘hard-working and lovely.’ That says a lot about you all.

School days are said to be the ‘best days of your life.’ Sadly this class didn’t get to experience the best days at the end of their primary school life, but you will be remembered for all the right reasons. You will be remembered for being the class who adapted to a new way of working. The class who adapted to a new way of communicating. The class who adapted to a new way of learning, and a class who adapted to a new way of saying goodbye.

This has been a huge upheaveal in everyone’s life, but none moreso than in the 6th class of 2020.

As you finish this chapter in your life at primary school, it is now time to look forward. Time to look forward to the many wonderful opportunities that await as you turn the page of life and begin your secondary school experience. It’s important to remember that everyone starting secondary school with you have all experienced this unusual situation you have been through. So you are all in the one boat so to speak.

Having overcome so many hurdles in life in recent months every one of you is so well prepared for a very bright future. A future which will not be tainted by Covid-19, but in fact strengthened by it. You young folk are the core of community and you are the strength of it too.

As you make this new transition take with you the knowledge that you are strong; you are adaptable; you are dedicated; you are hard-working; you are unique, and you are all special.

As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!”

He also wrote, “Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened.” As you all begin your new chapter, do it with a smile, and here’s wishing you lots of luck as you go on your way.