Well the Laurence Gilson Bicentennial Commemoration weekend is now over. The committee were delighted at the turnout at all the different events over the three days and especially at the huge turnout for the unveiling of the statuary outside the Old Gilson School on Sunday 1st May. Everyone who has seen this scuplture has agreed that it is a really fitting tribute to Laurence Gilson and will be a lasting memorial to his generosity. For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to come to Oldcastle yet and see the statuary, here is a picture of it before all the weekend’s festivities began:
The man is presenting the two young children with a key which symbolises the opening up of education to the children of the area. The piece is worked in bronze and stands on a simple plinth.
Although the formal unveiling by Most Rev Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath and Most Rev Richard Clarke, Bishop of Meath and Kildare, did not take place until the late afternoon of Sunday 1st May, the statuary actually arrived on the previous Thursday. A number of the committee were there to see it arrive. Although I have seen numerous statues of all shapes, sizes and designs in various towns and cities, I’d never really given any thought to the process of putting them in place. After watching this piece arrive and be placed I can only say that its a huge and quite complex operation!
Once the statue was in place people were calling in to see it as they passed by.
Oldcastle was truly blessed with fantastic weather for the May Bank Holiday weekend – and indeed had been all week leading up to the event. This just added to the sense of celebration that was pervading the town. We have loads of pictures of the weekend which I’m going to add to this website along with more accounts of everything that happened. Hope you all enjoy them!