A 60-YEAR era came to a close at St Mary’s School, Pembroke Dock on Friday (April 12), as the school closed for Easter and for the last time.

St Mary’s has been an integral part of the community in the town since it opened in 1959 after much campaigning by the Catholic community.

A steadily falling roll was the primary cause of the closure, with only 24 pupils on the register when it closed, down from over 100 in 2016.

Acting headteacher Colin Greenwood said: “All in all, a day of mixed emotions.

“I think it was reasonably upbeat, there were fairly happy people there – not because the school is closing, but because they are optimistic.

“Sixty years should have been a great celebration, but hey ho.”

Mr Greenwood took over running the school as it was entering its final days, having also been asked to help out in 2016.

Praising the staff and parents, Mr Greenwood said: “The staff have worked incredibly hard.

“Morale could have taken a hit, but they wanted to give their best for the students up until the end.

“The parents, considering the news, every single thing we did they supported us to the hilt.

“The parents of the 24 students at the end were incredibly supportive, as they will be of their new school I’m sure.

“The parents were brilliant, they want to know if there was anything the could do - it just wasn’t sustainable at the end.”

The Bishop of Menevia, Thomas Burns led a Mass of Celebration with the extended school community on April 2, an uplifting experience which cut through the gloom, reflecting upon the work that had gone before.

All of the pupils have new schools to go to after Easter, with seven children going off to St Teilo’s Catholic School in Tenby. Pupils, staff, parents and governors were joined by the Diocesan Director of Schools, Paul White in a final assembly on Friday morning which was followed by a series of fun activities before the close.