Tomorrow the SDLP celebrates its 50th birthday, an occasion many of us thought it wouldn't be here to see.
Not so long ago the outlook was bleak. The party lost its three MPs in 2017, and the Westminster funding they secured.
Already operating on a tight budget, it put its Belfast headquarters up for sale.
That year the party's representation in Belfast City Hall was almost halved as three councillors resigned in a row over abortion.
It held its last annual conference, in 2018, in Titanic Belfast - an entirely appropriate venue for the sinking ship SDLP.
A merger with Fianna Fail was the only lifeline on the horizon. Two years later all has changed. Covid-19 means there will be no big 50th birthday bash, but the party still has every reason to celebrate.
After 20 years of decline, it's finally managed to stop the rot. It stands no chance of overtaking Sinn Fein electorally, but it is competitive again with its rival in several key constituencies.
The SDLP has an impressive front bench team that's the envy of other parties. There's an energy about them. Over the past week West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has made the running on the A-level results fiasco and secured an emergency debate at Stormont. DUP Education Minister Peter Weir was forced into a U-turn on grades.
Leading on that issue will have done the SDLP the power of good with the young voters it desperately needs to attract, who have so often run into the arms of Sinn Fein.
But it was the party's stunning success in December's Westminster election that has really aided its revival. For so long the SDLP had been labelled as losers - a very hard tag to shake off. If success breeds success, the same is true of failure. As one party source admitted: "Nobody keeps backing a horse that never wins. You lose heart, and switch."
The SDLP didn't just win Foyle and South Belfast, it won big, and that sent out an unmistakable message that it was back in business. Mark Durkan had lost Foyle to Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion by 169 votes. Colum Eastwood won it back with a 17,110 majority. To retake Foyle Sinn Fein needs a very strong local candidate, and none has so far emerged. The party has considerably more talent in its ranks in the Republic than it does on this side of the border.
The outpouring of emotion following the deaths of John Hume and Seamus Mallon has undeniably helped revitalise the SDLP internally and externally.
Its young leaders are now able to celebrate the party's old legends - not by standing in their shadows but, on their own ground, making their mark.
There is no need for any merger with Fianna Fail. Indeed, currently being tied to Micheal Martin and his party would damage the SDLP's electoral prospects.
It's not just the Taoiseach's less than ideal start to his term in the Republic, it's that he is seen as deeply partitionist by Northern nationalists. Greater numbers than ever before are looking to Dublin as Brexit has immeasurably changed the political environment.
To ensure continuing success the SDLP must find an all-Ireland dimension other than a partnership with Fianna Fail.
Last month Eastwood announced plans to establish a New Ireland Commission to "engage with people across the island on future constitutional arrangements".
He must start putting meat on the bones if he is to keep in step with his community's mood. Failing to make headway on this one would leave his party at risk if Sinn Fein comes to power after the next Dail election.
The SDLP also needs to hire a dynamic new chief executive to run the party, iron out local difficulties, strategise, and launch membership drives.
The SDLP will never have as many boots on the ground as Sinn Fein, but it can still use its recent successes to build its base.
The party currently has 12 MLAs and there are hopes of winning up to four more seats next time round, which would put it on course for a second Stormont ministry.
Strangford, South Antrim, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and possibly a second seat in South Belfast, have been mentioned.
But the May 2022 Assembly election also carries great risks. The SDLP could lose seats - some of which it holds by a slim margin - in Upper Bann, East Londonderry, South Down, and Lagan Valley.
Sinn Fein has had a rough few months at Stormont all of its own making. Finance Minister Conor Murphy was embroiled in controversy over comments he previously made about IRA murder victim Paul Quinn. The Bobby Storey funeral, and now the victims' pension issue, have piled the pressure on the party.
Yet Sinn Fein remains remarkably resilient. The SDLP must stay at the top of its game, and make its own luck, as it claws its way back into contention.