College of Business Studies staff reunion ... in hotel built on site of their old building

Having been demolished in 2015, a reunion is planned this week for a department within the College of Business Studies, in the hotel built on its former site.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 4:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 4:26 pm
The College of Business Studies was demolished in 2015
The College of Business Studies was demolished in 2015

The nine-storey college in Brunswick Street opened its doors in September 1971 and housed four departments, including the Department of Catering and Food Studies who have organised the reunion in the Maldron Hotel.

Gareth Jones, who is on the organising committee, worked in the catering department for 34 years.

He said: “It was brilliant. I really enjoyed my time there, even through all the Troubles.

The meat technology unit in the Catering department of the former College of Business Studies

“Every time a bomb went off in the Europa we used to get the blast shooting up Amelia Street, and hitting the front end of our building.”

He added: “The camaraderie throughout the college was great.

“It didn’t matter what side of the fence you were on.”

The College of Business Studies offered a wide variety of programmes for business, academic and secretarial students.

The Japanese Consul with some guests at a a Japanese-themed lunch at the old college

The Department of Catering and Food Studies was the largest, occupying floors five to nine.

It offered a range of training facilities for students including a public restaurant on the seventh floor, numerous training kitchens, bakeries, and a meat technology unit and butchers shop.

When the college moved to the Titanic Quarter in 2011, its former home was sold, demolished in 2015 and then rebuilt as a hotel.

Mr Jones said: “It seems providential that a hotel has replaced a building that, for many years was synonymous with the hospitality industry here in Northern Ireland and worldwide.”

The meat technology unit in the Catering department of the former College of Business Studies

A reunion of past staff of the catering department from the Brunswick Street days has been organised for Friday from 12.30pm in the Maldron Hotel, now in its place in the same street.

In encouraging former staff to attend, Mr Jones said: “It’s very informal. It’s basically about getting together and having the craic, getting to know each other again.”

Those planning to attend are asked to text their name and – if possible – their email address to 07973111504.

The Japanese Consul with some guests at a a Japanese-themed lunch at the old college