Oldest Saint Columbkille Alumnus Recalls His Catholic Education

Gerard Joseph Quin, Saint Columbkille class of 1937, is believed to be the school’s oldest living alumnus. He is a member of the school’s second co-ed graduating class; his sister Lucy graduated in 1936 in the first coed class. Gerard, who goes by Gerry, will turn 101 in January 2021. He is the 9th child in a family of 12 kids who grew up on Market Street just opposite St. Columbkille Church. Most of his older siblings attended Brighton High School, but his older sister Lucy, he and his younger brothers Donny and Bobby attended Saint Cols. Gerry attended Saint Columbkille from first grade through his senior year of high school.

Gerry calls Saint Columbkille “a real nice school” and recently told fellow alum James Downey (class of 1962), “Those were the days my friend. I thought they would never end; they were good times.” He was number 30 on the Saint Cols football team, playing as kicker, and played shortstop on the baseball team. Of note, Bishop Joseph Maguire also graduated in 1937.

When asked about receiving a Catholic education, Gerry says, “it was great. We always went to church and my Catholic faith came in handy. It taught me a lot of things: what to do, what not to do.” He’s still religious today and during the pandemic has been watching Mass on TV.

After high school, Gerry went to work at New England Telephone installing telephones. He is also a World War II veteran, having fought in an infantry division in Guadalcanal. Following the war, he came back to Boston and married Mary Scahill in 1946 at St. Patrick’s in West Roxbury. The couple lived in Brighton and had three sons. They were married for 69 years before Mary’s passing in July 2015.


Writtyearbook photoen for Gerard in the 1937 yearbook:

He’s bright and cheerful all day long,

With an earnest endeavor to do no wrong.

God guide him and aidhim to do what is right,

And help him succeed in life’s hazardous fight.


“The famous coffin-corner kicks of Gerard Quin” - Class Will

“And Gerard, an actor for all to see” - Class Prophecy
1937 football team