'A heart warmer', now come full circle
OC T H Downes' (2047 - Leaver in 1929) Cricket 1st XI star is returned to Campbell College and will now be held in the College archive
Delighted to report that we were contacted recently by Sam McCrum, who lives in Waterford, with news he had in his possession an old Campbell College cricket star.
Thank you Sam for getting in touch; it is hugely appreciated!
It's quite the heart warming story and we are delighted that the star has now come full circle and will take pride of place in the College's archives.
As reported in the Belfast News-Letter, March 27th, 1979, a cricket team of Belfast schoolboys were on the Liverpool boat, en route for Worcester to play against Bromsgrove School in 1928.
On arrival at their hotel, laughter turned to dismay for one of the boys, on discovering to his horror, that his much prized silver team badge was missing from his tie.
The boy in question was OC Tom H Downes (2047).
We are told that the incident gradually receded from his memory, as he went on to University, and a medical career.
In 1978 - a full FIFTY years later - a letter dropped through Tom's letter box, in a sea-side town in Wales, where he was now a Medical Practitioner; the letter bore a Belfast post-mark and was from a lady in that City, who was unknown to him.
She had been sorting through an old chest and, among other treasures, she found a five-pointed silver star, on which was engraved 'T H Downes', and the year '1928'. She had no knowledge as to how it had come into her family's possession.
She contacted Campbell College's Headmaster at the time and via the OC Society she received the happy news that the owner of the badge was alive and well and still living in Wales. Post haste she wrote to Dr Downes!
To her delight she received a warm and responsive reply from the surprised and overjoyed OC Dr Downes, who clearly recollected his sense of horror, that evening in the hotel, so long ago:
"It was one of the few assets that I managed to collect at school ... I cannot thank you enough ... To me, it was a very personal and happy record ... many, many thanks ... The world is, indeed, a small place."
The badge was happily restored to its rightful and rejoicing owner.
The badge is now back at Campbell College, where it will be treasured as part of the College archive.