Before commencing our Diary for this year, we are making a few entries from December, 1937, which we feel will be of interest to our readers. Unfortunately the Magazine had already gone to Press when these happy events took place, so they have not, as yet, been recorded. Here they are.
December 3rd. A red letter day. The feast of St. Francis Xavier, one of our House patrons, was made especially memorable by the thrilling news of the success of Margot Jones in gaining her B.A. Those of us who have experienced the sighs and labours expended on a mere School Certificate, feel that she deserves a place among the " Great Women of England." Only her closest friends realised that the next time they were to see Margot, after the holidays, she would be among the Postulants.
The half-holiday was devoted to a " Lottery " - Seniors, Juniors, Boys - all took part. On the payment of a small entry fee, in aid of the Chapel Decoration Fund, we gained admittance to what looked like a magnificent Bazaar, and our first task was to look for a parcel bearing the same number as that on our tickets. You can imagine the scene!
After a few moments' noisy (I'm afraid) rejoicing over our treasures, we made a tour of the stalls. Pictures, Calendars, Sweets and Novelties were eagerly bought up. Who would have believed that a few coppers could have gone so far? In the Boys' Recreation Room further excitement awaited us in the shape of raffles and side-shows. We had a lovely time. Why did the minutes go so quickly?
Our picture shows: Net Ball Second Team (Boarders)
D. Elliot, B. Morton, T. Walter, R. Dix-Lewis, P. Vick, P. Miller, A. Russell.
December 8th. Two children, Joan Philpot and Jane Conlon, had the happiness of making their Holy Communion on this beautiful feast of Our Lady. To-day was also the occasion of the first performance of a Nativity Play by the children of the Junior School, and a Christmas Play by the Boys.
The opening scene of the Nativity Play struck an original note. Gabriel, amid the assembled choirs of Angels, announced his high privilege in being the messenger of the Annunciation. The play was mainly in verse, much of it was sung, and the entire performance was very creditably carried out. Even our tiniest appeared on the stage and knelt with simplicity and reverence round the crib - a picture which left no one unmoved.
Members of the audience were loud in their congratulations, and we Seniors were full of praise for this beautiful production.
December 10th. A second performance of the Nativity Play marked a fitting prelude to our Christmas holidays.
January 18th. The first term of the New Year began, as usual, in an atmosphere of Good Resolutions!
January 20th. For the benefit of the Domestic Science Students, there was a Lecture given to-day on " The Washability of Modern Fabrics," but the majority of the Senior School had also the opportunity to attend.
January 21st. Another lecture this time for the linguists. Our Seniors attended a lecture given at Talbot Heath by Mlle Letour on the subject of Madame de Sevigne.
January 25th. Fr. Cary Elwes, S.J., gave us a delightful lantern lecture on the British Guiana Mission. The lecturer is an old friend, and we look forward eagerly to his visits.
February 4th. Votes were taken to-day to decide whether the proposed Spelling Bee should be fought out between the School Houses or take the form of an " International." We take it that the large majority in favour of a House Competition suggests a keen spirit in that direction ! The actual contest is to take place at the end of the term.
February 5th. Three teams went to Talbot Heath to compete in the Inter, Schools Netball Tournament.
February 10th. We heard with deep regret of the death of Mrs. Kelly. She had been connected with the Convent for a great number of years, and had always been a very generous benefactor to it. As a token of our sympathy to dear Reverend Mother and Mother A. Kelly, the whole School was present at the Requiem Mass which we had celebrated at 9 a.m. in the Convent Chapel. May she rest in peace!
February 11th. This year, in order to make our visit to the Lourdes Grotto more impressive, each child carried a lighted candle; or at least, started out with a lighted candle, but as it chanced to be very windy there was more candle than light when we reached the shrine.
A complete set of Queen Astrid Memorial Stamps was raffled to-day. Peggy Miller had the good fortune to win the set.
February 26th. We broke up for half-term. A definite holiday spirit prevailed. The Seniors thoroughly enjoyed the novel " Doll-Dressing " Competition which was held in the morning. Two hours were allowed for the complete operation of cutting out, fitting and stitching up a complete set of doll's clothes.
At the end of the morning sixty smartly dressed dolls were arranged for exhibition. In the " Under 14 " Division, the prize winners were P. Webb, B. Barnes and M. Soanes. A consolation prize was awarded to Ann Bond. P. Watts was accorded " Honourable Mention."
The successful competitors in the " Over 14 "section were D. Elliott, P. McLoughlin, T. Walter, R. Dix-Lewis got a consolation prize. Extra prizes were awarded to M. Martin for originality, and for the best knitted outfit to M. Simpson and Messa Kaaten.
The juniors had a celebration all on their own - which took the shape of a Treasure Hunt in the house and grounds of St. Joseph's. Judging by the sounds of merriment which were heard - it was a huge success!
March 2nd. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the second half of the term. With the added stimulus of Lent, the work should go well ahead.
March 8th. To-day we had a visit from the " Old English Players," who acted scenes from " The Merchant of Venice," " Macbeth "and " Hamlet." They gave us a very enjoyable afternoon. .
March 17th. St. Patrick's Day - always long looked forward to! Instead of the usual International Netball Match we were able to organise a complete Tournament, three Irish and three English teams competing.
The games were played with tremendous enthusiasm, and the sides were well matched. England finally won the day! The Boarders enjoyed their customary feast day tea, and finished off the day with dancing.
March 19th. An important day for the Juniors. They celebrated the feast of their patron, St. Joseph, first, spiritually by attending the 10 o'clock Mass in the Church, and later in the day by treating the Seniors to a Concert, which included a Percussion Band performance. They were splendid. The proceeds from the Concert are to be devoted to the Santa Rosa Mission.
March 21st. Instead of our usual Monday morning Conference - a delightful surprise! Quite unexpectedly, Fr. Bourgois, S.J., from the Esthonian Mission, paid a visit to the Convent. He had only a short time at his disposal, but was very anxious to tell us of the Missionary work being done on the Russian border, so the lecture was given immediately.
In the course of the lecture, Fr. Bourgois gave us the benefit of some very beautiful Russian records - among them a remarkable Credo rendered in a manner peculiar to Russian custom.
March 25th. To-day there was a reception of Children of Mary in Our Lady's Oratory.
Owing to the presence of workmen in the Chapel we had the privilege of having Benediction in our own Oratory on this occasion. Archbishop Mostyn was present. The newly received Children of Mary had a special tea and enjoyed the evening together.
March 30th - More diversion! This time our pleasure took the form of a Whist Drive, a treat we always enjoy.
March 31st. Archbishop Mostyn left us to-day, after a stay of some weeks. We all assembled to receive his blessing, and to wish him " God Speed ! "