History

The Belfast Royal Academy Old Boys’ Association was founded in 1931 and the first President was Mr. Justice Hanna. The objects in the constitution are "to promote and increase intimacy and good fellowship amongst old boys of the School and to keep them in touch with the School, its Board of Governors, masters and pupils." These are as true today as they were over 75 years ago. It also seeks to provide continuing contact between old boys by means of sporting, charitable and social functions. It is also a channel by which the views of old boys may be made known on various matters to the Board of Governors and the authorities.

 

At the end of the Second World War, in 1945, The Association backed the formation of Belfast Royal Academy (Former Pupils) Rugby Football Club which, like so many Old Boys’ Clubs, has become an "open" club in recent years. Later, a cricket club was also formed, and both of these, along with the Owls Ladies Hockey Club, share Clubrooms at Hydepark and play out of the School playing fields at Roughfort.

 

An Old Boys’ Golf Society was formed and the late Jimmy Picken presented a trophy, The Picken Cup, which is still played for annually. Later, one of the foremost golfers in the Province, Billy Ferguson, presented a trophy for the best aggregate points total over the two outings held annually. Currently the Society runs two outings, the Picken Cup, held at Malone in June, and Captain’s Day, played in September at Royal Belfast. The Society is presently being organised by Ken Knox, who can be contacted for full details.

 

The major social event is the Annual Dinner, held in November at the Wellington Park Hotel. In recent years, this has increased in popularity with in excess of 150 members and their guests attending . Interestingly, Old Boys’ Dinners were held long before the Association was founded. "The Owl", published in Easter 1932, recalls that a "Menu Card", showing that the first Annual Dinner of the Old Boys’ Society was held in February, 1903; unfortunately The Society collapsed and the Dinner was not revived until 1929. (In those days, there were at least ten speeches).

 

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