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Past Pupils Association News 1.


Pam Bridgen, who was a past pupil of the Convent, died on Wednesday 27th December 2017.
Her requiem Mass will be at Sacred Heart Church, Bournemouth, on Monday 15th January 2018 at 12.15pm.

MARY BROOKS (nee Browning)

FORMER Homefield School teacher, Mary Brooks, has died at the age of 85. Bournemouth-born Mary Rosa Frances Brooks was the eighth daughter of Thomas and Marguerite Browning, two more sons and two more daughters followed.

"She was educated at the Convent of the Cross in Parkwood Road, Boscombe, where she was a good student and popular with her fellow pupils, teachers and the nuns who taught her. She won the Elocution Cup in her final year and was the Head Girl," said her sister Christine Thackray Mary met her husband Eustace or Frank as he later became known, at teacher training college.

Mary went to Digby Stuart, Roehampton University, London and Frank to St Mary's University College on Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, and were close enough to see each other whenever studies didn't intrude.

"They married in 1953 while wartime rationing was still in force so her wedding dress had to be bought using coupons which were contributed by friends and family. The reception was held at the family home in Beechwood Avenue and the catering was done by her sisters and mother. Our father remarked that he would give the next daughter wishing to marry, £5 and a stepladder to elope," said Christine.

Mary taught at a small school in Westby Road and then her first son Peter was born the next year, followed by Vincent and then Gregory Then when Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was then called, appealed for teachers to come to the country Mary and Frank took their three small sons out to Africa. "It was quite an adventure but life was not at all easy for them for the first few years. However, they soldiered on and their fourth son Laurence was born out there. They settled down to make a wonderful life for their boys," said Christine.

In the 1970s when the UDI and all the troubles broke out in Rhodesia they decided to return to England.

After a short time in Surrey the family came back to Bournemouth where they both taught at Homefield School until retirement. "Mary was chairman of the Convent of the Cross Past Pupils Association and was in touch with past pupils from all over the world. She worked tirelessly for the association and will be greatly missed. She also went to a Hydro Active class every week at the Littledown and made lots of friends there.

"Mary was a much loved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister," said Christine.

She passed away on September 15 and her funeral at Corpus Christi church was full with family and friends, including past pupils of both the Convent of the Cross and St Peter's School, the two school having closely linked over the years. Some relatives attending the funeral came from as far away as Ireland, New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia.


Sr Ruth Mary Brown died on 27th February 2016.
She had been at the Convent in Sittingbourne, Kent where elderly and infirm Sisters of Christ were cared for. Sr Kate Morton is in charge of the Convent. Sr Ruth had been ill for some time and we had been asking you for prayers, in the newsletters. She had dementia and mobility problems. She would have been 85 in April. May she Rest in Peace.
The Requiem Mass and funeral - 21st March at the Sacred Heart Church in Sittingbourne.

The address of the Convent is:- The Sisters of Christ , 11 London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME 10 1NQ ‘Phone 01795 428744

Sr Ruth was a pupil at the Convent in Boscombe in the 1940s, she was in the same class as me at school. She was a nun for 64 years and taught at the Convent in Boscombe and then for several years in Portsmouth. After retirement she was still closely associated with the school and parish .

Unfortunately I will not be able to get to the funeral. I will have a Mass said at Corpus Christi Church, for the repose of her soul, from the Association. Please pass on the news to other Past Pupils to whom I have not sent this e mail, also to others you know. With all best wishes.
Mary Brooks ( Browning)


The President of the Past Pupils’ Association, JEAN WALSH (NEE HUGHES) 3/11/1916 - 26/10/ 2015, died in Exeter Hospital. She was a pupil and a teacher at the Convent and was the person who kept the Association going, through several difficult times.

The Requiem Mass will be on Tuesday 10th November at the Church of The Most Precious Blood, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8TW, at 11.30 a.m. Followed by burial at Sidmouth cemetery . The family invite all those present to lunch at The Sidholme Hotel. If you wish to go please let Mary Brooks know so that she can inform the family for catering purposes.

Family flowers only but donations may be made to their chosen recipient The Carmelite Monastery, Wetherby, Yorkshire. Cheques can be sent, made out to the undertakers Northcott Brothers, Sidmouth, stating that it is in memory of JEAN WALSH.


Betty, known to many in the area over many years, sadly passed away this past Easter Sunday morning. Betty was a member of staff at the Convent and then at St Peter's school where she taught Biology. She was also a member of the Past Pupils' Committee for many years and her children Peter and Mary are Past Pupils of The Convent and St. Peters.

The Funeral was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church on Friday 20th April, 2012.


Convent of the Cross teacher 1949 to 1962

MARY JOSEPHINE BINGHAM - Formerly a teacher at the Convent of The Cross, Boscombe from 1949 to 1962, passed away in hospital, aged 97.

A much loved mother, sister and friend. The Funeral was held in Sussex at 12:00pm on Friday 26 March 2010.

Geraldine Kenny

Convent of the Cross pupil 1963-67

Dear Mary Brooks,

I was so happy to see your excellent website on the Convent of the Cross. I was a boarder together with the following, if my memory serves me right

Linda Herbert;   Josephine Hennessey;   Diana Duff;   Susan Vincent;   Dorothy Handcock;   Carolyn Sherwood;   Joy and Pat Wong;   amongst others.

In the 1967 photo of the Pirates of Penzance, I am standing the second on the right. Carolyn Sherwood is standing to my right. I think Dorothy handcock is sitting right at the front.

I was hoping to see photos of some of the nuns especially Mother Key(e)s, Sister Ruth Mary, Sister Bernadette, Sister Margaret and Sister Mary. I might have some photos which I am only too happy to forward to you, should I find them.

I am planning a trip to Britain later this year and would love to hear if any of my fellow pupils are still living in England.

I have been living in Canada for the last 20 years after having spent 16 years in Berlin as a simultaneous interpreter and translator for the Berlin government. Together with my husband, I live on Quadra Island, British Columbia raise sheep and run a Farmstay.

My website is

Greetings from a sunny morning on the farm,

July 04, 2008

Sister Bernardine Callaghan

Dear All,

I have asked for prayers for Sister Bernardine Callaghan, Handmaid of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, having heard that she died on the 27th May 2008.

May She Rest in Peace.

Sr. Bernardine taught at The Marydale Convent in Highcliffe: when the Handmaids took over The Convent of The Cross in Boscombe, in 1970, Sr Bernardine worked with Sr. Mary ( Mother Keyes) initially then took over as Headteacher.

She was there until the closure of the Convent in 1980 and moved to St. Peter's School, Southbourne, with the Convent girls, where she remained for a few years.

Latterly Sr. Bernardine was at the Convent at,
25 St. Edmund's Terrace, Regents Park, London NW8 7PY.

The Requiem Mass will be held in the Chapel there on Tuesday 10th June at 11a.m. I hope to be present to represent all the pupils from our area, whom she taught throughout the years.

I shall also have a Mass offered for the repose of her soul at Corpus Christi Church, from the Association.

Genevieve Margaret Rose (Bond) Basto
Sunday 17th February 2008

Genevieve Margaret Rose (Bond) Basto died in the early hours of Sunday 17th February 2008, after a four-year battle with cancer, which she fought with grace, dignity and characteristic cheerfulness.

The Funeral Mass was held at her home in Cascais, Portugal, on Tuesday 19th February, and a Seventh Day Mass at Igreja de N.S. dos Navegantes in Cascais on Sunday 24th February.

A Memorial Requiem Mass will be held at 3pm on Saturday 8th March 2008 at St. John the Evangelist Church, Duncan Terrace, Islington, London N1.

John Basto

President Jean Walsh

Dear All,

I thought that this encouraging photo was well worth while putting on the website. It is an update on the progress of our President Jean Walsh ( Hughes) walking with her prosthetic leg, following the amputation. Pretty amazing for a 90 & 1/2 year old lady.

The grandson Tony's comments are good too.

Mary Brooks (Browning)

Hi all,

Extract from an email from my nephew Tony after a visit to Mum today.

"She was in good spirits and while we were there she had a practice walk on a zimmer frame with the physio specialists - see attached photo.

Granny was clearly pleased to be on her feet and walked about two thirds of the corridor in the photo. Afterwards she said it was tiring and her right thigh was a little sore because it was getting used to the leg.

The physios are also encouraged by Granny's progress - the chap in the picture said at one point, to himself more than anyone else, "I'm not even holding on anymore" and the other physio told me afterwards that my Granny was "a remarkable lady".

I hope they can keep up with her because she seems thoroughly determined."

I think this and the photo says it all.

Love Angie

Heather Knight - formerly, Linter,

Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:29 PM

Subject: Convent of the Cross - Boscombe


My name is Heather Knight - formerly, Linter, I was a pupil at the school from 1956 to 1968 and must congratulate you on the school web site. I have seen many names that I remember and some that from time to time I have made contact with such as Catriona Allen.

I was sad to see I had missed a recent re-union although I did attend one a few years ago, the last one held in the old junior school and it was great to meet up with old friends.

I would be really interested to hear from another ex pupil in my time, her name was Clare Waugh, and no one seems to know what happened to her or where she is now. Can anyone help?

I would be pleased to receive news of school events and memories, how do I get a copy of the newsletter?


Heather Knight

Mrs Marianne Bloggs (formerley Mrs Wiatr)

Our prayers are asked for the above who died recently. Mrs Wiatr taught maths for a number of years during the 1970s at Boscombe Convent School, Parkwood Road. May she rest in peace.

Also we have heard of the death of Dr Marguerite Zutshi (formerly Smith).

She died on the 7th June in London. May she also rest in peace.


Sister Mary Agnes

I have heard this evening, Friday 12 August 2005, of the death of Sister Mary Agnes in Cameroun.

She suffered a stroke. Sister Mary Agnes was a pupil at the convent, Norah Loftus. Later she joined the order, The Religious of The Cross, which later became part of The Sisters of Christ.

She taught at Holy Cross School, now Corpus Christi, and at The Boscombe Convent so she will be remembered to many as a pupil and a teacher. Sister Mary Agnes is a sister of Brother Ralph Loftus, formerly at St. Peter's School.


Sister Catherine Reynell

We deeply regret to announce that Sister Catherine Reynell, Handmaid of The Sacred Heart, died recently - mid July.

She had been ill for a long time and had become very weak.

The Requiem Mass was on Tuesday 20th July at 10a.m. at Corpus Christi Church followed by burial at Highcliffe, the Order have a plot there from the days of Marydale Convent.

News Wanted

Inez Lucantoni would love to have news of Myrette Parsons ( Ash ) and Clare Anderson."

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