You Are Here » Methodist College Home Former Pupils

Former Pupils

Class of 1984 -  30 year reunion - 
Saturday 7th June 2014
Place: Belfast Harlequins
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: £10 for a light supper – payable on the night
Contacts: Craig Henderson  email:
               Anne Cunningham (Lavery)
London Dinner 2014
The MCB London Dinner will be at the RAF Club on 21 February 2014, when our speaker will be Philip Graf CBE.

If you are interested in attending, please contact:
Alison Wright Reid,
MCB Association in London
Tel 0790 1916774 or 020 8394 0199
Any former pupils living in or around London are very welcome to attend. Even if you don’t, please feel free to book your place and make a weekend of it in the capital!

Read on for news about what some former pupils have been up to!

A Special Request: The Careers Department! 

The College Careers Department would like to develop a display for College Careers Events, to encourage current pupils in their career aspirations by highlighting the progress of former pupils in the early years of their careers. 
We would be delighted if you would share with us some information about the path you have taken since leaving school. Any help that you can give us will be gratefully received.  We would be particularly interested in hearing from former pupils who left the College from approximately 2000 onwards. 

If you feel you can help us, 

Where better to celebrate the work of talented young artists than in this year's City of Culture, Derry~Londonderry?
The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) will be showcasing a collection of some of the most contemporary work of A level Art and Design students at an exhibition in The Void Gallery from 19-29 November 2013.

Two of our ex-pupils, Nina Foster and Anna Hardstaff have had work selected for a prestigious exhibition which showcases the work of A Level Art and Design students demonstrating a contemporary approach to their work.  

 Anna’s sculpture ‘Dogs’

The exhibition will be opened by Willie Doherty, a former Turner Prize nominee, who is from Derry. The exhibition forms part of the City of Culture Celebrations and is being held to coincide with the Turner Prize exhibition. Anna is now studying the History of Art and Architecture with Classical Civilisation in Trinity and Nina is studying History of Art at Oxford.

Nina’s sculpture ‘Sleep’ 

please complete this form and return it [with a photo if possible!] to us as soon as possible.

Red Rickshaw Revolution: Laura to drive tuk tuk from Delhi to Mumbai

From March 9th to March 18th 2013, Laura Turkington (MCB 1998) is driving a tuk tuk 1500km from Delhi to Mumbai to raise awareness of 'ordinary women doing extraordinary things' in India to bring change and hope to their communities.

Please click on logo to read more about this exciting adventure!

To read more about this extraordinary adventure, please visit or

Bike for Mike Event

EDINBURGH OR BURST - former Collegians take on ‘BikeForMike’ challenge fundraiser in memory of school friend Michael Arnott (MCB 1977-1984). 
The Bike for Mike team arrived safely at Murrayfield , having cycled 130 miles down the east coast of Scotland from Aberdeen. Click here for the full update. The cycle, in memory of Aberdeen-based school-mate Mike Arnott, who lost his fight with MND last year has raised over £19,000 to date.


Mike, an academic at the University of Aberdeen and father to three young children, died in February last year aged just 46 after a long and courageous battle against the debilitating condition. Mike was part of a group of Methody pupils, now scattered across the UK and Ireland, who have remained close friends through the quarter-century since they left the Sixth Form Centre.
Mike and Alan

Mike’s brother Alan (MCB 1980-1987) is one of the organisers of the ‘BikeForMike’ fundraiser. “Mike was like the rest of us”, Alan recalls, “raising his family, going to work and living his life, until his world was ripped apart by being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. What people found most inspirational about him was his attitude to the disease. The courage, dignity and intellect he brought to the fight. He inspired us to take on this challenge in the depths of the Scottish winter and hopefully we can inspire others to donate to the fight against MND.”

David McCrea (MCB 1980–1987) is another cyclist gearing up for ‘BikeForMike’. “We learnt a lot about the importance of friendship and service to others at Methody,” David states, “and Mike was a great example of a true Collegian. We also gained a love of Rugby, and although he lived in Scotland for most of his career, Mike was a devoted Ireland fan. The BikeForMike route leaves from Mike’s home village outside Aberdeen and arrives at Murrayfield ahead of this year’s Scotland v Ireland Test. Mike always loved those matches, and we know this year he will be there with us in spirit. We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible to help others affected by this cruel condition.”

All proceeds from the BikeForMike fundraiser will go directly to Motor Neurone charities in the UK and Ireland. Details of how to donate to the charity cycle can be found at the website
For more information about Motor Neurone Disease please visit the MND Association website.

Former Pupil Lewis Mooney (MCB 2009) heading to Washington

 As the world turns its attention to the race for the White House and the battle for control of Capitol Hill in this Novembers Presidential and Congressional Elections, former Methody pupil, Lewis Mooney is preparing for an exciting summer living and working in Washington D.C.

Lewis, who is now a student at Trinity College Dublin, was selected from more than 350 applicants to participate in the Washington Ireland Program (WIP). WIP is a cross-community charity which offers young leaders from Ireland & Northern Ireland the opportunity to live and work as an intern in Washington D.C, while completing leadership training and public service projects. WIP awards each student a prestigious 2-month internship ranging from Capitol Hill to government agencies, entrepreneurial businesses and the non-profit sector. This coming summer, Lewis will be working in the Congressional Office of Republican Congressman Tim Murphy. 

Throughout its eighteen year history, WIP has built strong links with the political elites in Washington D.C. with several interns working with then U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and current U.S. Senator John McCain.

Lewis, from Helen’s Bay, will be joining the WIP network and building his skills in DC. Lewis told us, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected for WIP, it’s a fantastic opportunity and I plan to make the most of it.  It’s a unique programme and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow interns who each come from various backgrounds and have their own interests and talents; I’m sure the experiences I have with them in Washington DC will be incredible for all of us.”  

If you would like to track the progress of this year’s team, you can read their personal blogs and view photos at the programme’s website:
To read full version of press release, please click here. 


Former Pupil Peter McColl (MCB 1991-98) - Rector of University of Edinburgh

Congratulations to Peter McColl who has been confirmed as the new Rector of the University of Edinburgh.He was named as Rector following an uncontested election and took up the post on 1 March 2012. He succeeds writer and broadcaster Iain Macwhirter as Rector.

For more information, please follow the links:

Link to Edinburgh Evening News

Class of 1980 - Reunion Report

The Class of 1980 recently held a reunion - please click to read the report of this very successful evening. 

Former Pupil John Roberts takes Yale University to Victory in an historic match!

 Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut is one of the top Ivy League varsities in USA. Trinity is a prestigious private university which held an unenviable record of not losing a competitive squash match since 1998 a winning streak of 252 matches.

  However, thanks to three top squash players from Belfast studying at Yale and playing for the Yale Bulldogs Squash team, this winning streak finally came to an end.

Brothers John and Joey Roberts (aged 22 and 20) and Neil Martin (aged20), all former MCB Squash Club captains who also played for Belfast Boat Club prior to commencing their USA scholarships, were part of the team who beat Trinity.

The climax of the night was John's victory defeating Trinity 11-4 in the fifth game thus becoming a local hero at Yale.

As with any US college sport, there is a fanatical and partisan culture so the win was extensively celebrated right around New Haven. 


The result was so historic that it has made national sports news on ESPN with John Roberts - "the Irishman" - being praised in an interview with the team captain for his achievement in the deciding match.  To view Yale University's coverage please click:

Former Pupils at Celebrating Excellence Event

Two former pupils recently attended the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment's (CCEA) Celebrating Excellence event  at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn.

This event is an award ceremony held to recognise those students who have achieved top marks in CCEA's summer 2011 A level examinations.

Congratulations to David Bennett and Mark Jamison for these outstanding achievements!

David Bennett and Mrs Stott with Gavin Boyd (CCEA) for 1st Place in A Level Physics

Mark Jamison and Mr Lindsay with Gavin Boyd (CCEA) for 1st Place in A Level Economics

For more information about the awards, please visit the
CCEA website

Former Pupil Niall plays for Barbarians RFC 

Niall Annett (captain of MCB 1st XV in 2008-09) represented the Barbarians RFC on Tuesday 12th October against The South of Scotland at Hawick Rugby Club.

 Niall Annett (player closest to camera) representing Barbarians RFC

This is a very prestigious honour and we are only aware of 5 previous members of the college who have achieved this. 

These include N. Malone, J Davidson, R. Young, M. Grimshaw and S. Jackson.

{Apologies for any omissions!}

Gap Year Report - Edward Hamill - Volunteer Cricket Coaching in South Africa

Edward Hamill, a former pupil who left MCB in 2010, has recently been in touch with his report from part of his Gap Year spent coaching cricket in South Africa. Edward received funding for his gap year from HMC through being a recipient of a Bulkeley-Evans scholarship award.

To read his report please click here.

For more information about this award please
click here

Former Pupil Success at Cambridge

It is always good to hear that our pupils continue to achieve the highest academic standards when they progress to university, and I am pleased to report that three of our recent FPs have had a very successful year at Cambridge:

Anandagopal Srinivasan has been awarded a Hyett Senior Scholarship for his “First Class” performance in his examinations. Jill Christy also impressed her examiners and as a reward for her exceptional results has been elected to a Moses Holway (1695) Scholarship.  While Piers Murphy has sustained his high level of achievement and has been re-elected to a Senior Exhibition for the coming year.

 They are all a credit to the College.

S. Naismith


Obituary - John Herivel
John Herivel, a former pupil of Methodist College Belfast, who went on to become one of the leading codebreakers at Bletchley Park during World War Two, has died. He was 92.

Mr Herivel attended Methody from 1924 until 1936 and was then awarded a scholarship to study mathematics at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

While there he was recruited by his former supervisor Gordon Welchman, head of the newly formed Hut 6 team which was set up to crack German army and airforce Enigma ciphers.

Aged 21, he arrived at the top secret Bletchley Park Centre in Buckinghamshire at the start of 1940. After being trained how to break the Enigma network by Alan Turing, he was set to work.

At the time, Hut 6 was having limited success in cracking the Luftwaffe’s Enigma code, used to liaise, between the German airforce and ground forces, but Mr Herivel was determined to find a solution. He spent many days and evenings wrestling with the problem and one night in February 1940 he made his breakthrough.

He identified potential slack practice by German operators when using Enigma. This led to his being able to break the Enigma ciphers by hand, a system which became known as the “Herivel Tip” or “herivelismus”.It was relied upon by Bletchley Park over the crucial summer of 1940, a time when England was under threat of invasion by the Germans.

Welchman later said that without Herivel, Bletchley might have been unable to break the Luftwaffe cipher – with disastrous results for Britain.Historians agree that the role played by the team at Bletchley Park and the use of the Herivel Tip helped to shorten the war.

In recognition of the contribution he had made to the war effort, Mr Herivel was singled out and introduced to Winston Churchill during a visit to Bletchley Park.

John William Herivel was born in Malone Avenue, Belfast. His distinctive name came from his father, who was from Alderney in the Channel Islands and who married a Belfast woman.

During his time at Methody he spent a summer holiday youth hostelling by bicycle in Germany, an experience which convinced him of the seriousness of the threat posed by the rise of Hitler.

After the war Mr Herivel returned to Belfast where he taught for a year, but struggled to control “the rumbustious boys”. Instead he took a post as a lecturer at Queen’s University, where he was a reader in history and the philosophy of science. In 1978 he retired to Oxford, where he was a Fellow of All Souls. Mr Herivel was honoured by being made a member of the International Academy of History of Science.

He published a number of books, his subjects including Isaac Newton, Joseph Fourier and Christiaan Huygens. In 2008 he published his final book, called Herivelismus and the German Military Enigma.

Mr Herivel married in 1947 and his wife, Elizabeth Maude Jones, who was also from Northern Ireland, died in 2005.

Mr Herivel, who had always prided himself in keeping fit, died suddenly on January 18. He had driven to the library to collect some books and upon his return home parked his car safely but then suffered a massive heart attack. He is survived by the couple’s daughters, Susan and Mary.

(Note: the text of this Obituary originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph 27/1/11)

For more information, please click on the links below:

Telegraph Obituary

Tribute on Bletchley Park Website

2011 MCB London Association Dinner

The London Association Dinner took place in the RAF Club, Picadilly on Friday 11th February.

A big thank you to Alison Wright-Reid for her organisation of this event, and to Trevor Campbell Davis for agreeing to be speaker.

MCB FPA Travel Bursary 2010/11

The Methodist College Former Pupils Association ("MCBFPA") has announced that it will again award a Travel Bursary to a pupil in the 5th or 6th form. The Travel Bursary will be a single payment for a minimum of £500, with the MCB FPA reserving the right to increase the award/make an additional award depending on applications received.

To read the criteria and details of the application process, please click here

Celebration of Boarding

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Celebration of Boarding events July 2nd & 3rd and August 27th & 28th. It was lovely to meet so many of you, to hear your stories about your time in boarding and to see you enjoy meeting up with old friends.

Headmaster Mr Scott Naismith, Former Headmaster Dr Wilfred Mulryne and former boarder Christopher Brown (aka Chris Barrie) with the Celebration of Boarding book

Please visit the
Reunions page for more information about these events and links to some of the many photographs that were taken over the two weekends.

With warm best wishes

Alison Weir
Alumni and Development Office

Denise Lowry
Event Organiser

Former Pupil Success at Henley 

Congratulations to former pupil Michael Ewing who stroked the Nottingham and Union Rowing Club Coxless 4 to an impressive victory in the Wyfold Challenge cup at Henley Royal Regatta on Sunday 4th July 2010. The cup was presented by Dame Kelly Holmes. For more information please visit the
NURC site 

(please note, the College takes no responsibility for content of external sites.)

Mike and team-mates following their win at Henley