Deo Gratias! Preserved from danger we are able to fulfil our promise of another Christmas issue of the School Magazine. During these anxious days it is consoling to find how deep an interest our pupils past and present, take in the welfare of the Convent.
Every loving thought, you may be sure, is reciprocated by Reverend Mother and the Community, and a very special place in the prayers of all, is reserved for the children of to-day and yesterday, whom it has been their privilege to care for and instruct.
Exigencies of the times forbid the production of a publication as attractive as those of happy, pre-war days. However, we feel confident that this simple edition will fulfil its essential purpose as a record of life at Boscombe Convent, and as a means of helping Past Pupils to keep in touch with friends of their schooldays.
Thanks to the work of the Red Cross, news has been received occasionally of Reverend Mother General. Very little information may be sent, but it is a relief to know that the nuns are safe and continuing their work. We pray God to hasten the end of the war and look forward to the time when dear Reverend Mother General may be able to pay the visit which has been so long awaited.
A review of the past year recalls two items of news which have a special significance. The first is a loss - which older readers in particular will feel keenly. For many, recollections of Boscombe are intimately associated with the person of dear Reverend Mother Afchain, whose death occurred at the Convent of the Cross, Ryde, on January 9th.
There is consolation in the thought of her long and devoted life, and we trust that she is now enjoying the reward of her untiring generosity in God's service. Within a fortnight of Reverend Mother Afchain's death, Sister Brigid and Sister Mary died at the Convent, Boscombe.
May they rest in peace.
A novel Competition! All the Music pupils were graded and asked to play before
the whole school. Reverend Mother kindly acted as adjudicator and awarded the prizes in each grade. She gave a short criticism of each one's performance.
At the end of term we enjoyed some delightful French Carols. We must thank Mother d'Alancon and Mother Dunnett for what we have come to regard as a regular Christmas item.
During the "Aid to China" week we were given an interesting lecture by Dr. King who brought with him fine specimens of Chinese handwork. The proceeds of a concert given to the juniors raised our Aid to China Fund to £6 14s. 9d.
Great excitement on March 16th! The beginning of three days' Inspection of the school by three of His Majesty's Inspectors. They were present at the "International" Netball match on St. Patrick's Day, when the English managed to rob the Irish of Feast day honours after a very good game.
"That Youth Organisations are to be encouraged rather than feared," was the subject under discussion at a lively debate. The chief speakers were P. Mackenzie and R. Stevens, but almost all those who were present joined in the debate.
Current Events. Various subjects were named in advance, and on the day appointed each of us drew a slip of paper and we were expected to speak on the subject mentioned. We thank Miss Stafford for arranging this competition, and congratulate Upper IV, who were considered to have shown most information as a group.
Who would have thought that as soon as the Boarders departed for Easter Holidays their places in the dormitories would have been filled? About a hundred members of the junior Red Cross of Hampshire, together with their instructors, spent the Easter week-end at the Convent, when they were attending a Rally in Bournemouh.
A Pantomime at this time of the year! Yes, indeed, and what is more, in French. Forms III Upper and Lower produced 'Le Chat Botte," and we all enjoyed the adventures of Puss in Boots to the full. Much preparation and hard work must have been required, and everyone was eager to congratulate Mother d'Alancon and Mother Potter, and of course, the performers.
Lower IV also entertained us by a Latin play, a Roman wedding, and they acted as though speaking Latin came quite naturally to them. On another occasion the same Form invited the school to a French play, "Guignol."
The Feast of Corpus Christi was the First Communion Day for several of the younger children. The names of the First Communicants were:
V. Burt, L. Templer, J. Pelosi, H. Nash, W. Gilchrist, A. Zanselli, S. Philpot; T. Brooks, M. Mawson, P. Perkins, S. Medley, A. Bein, J. Byrne (received into the Church, June 12th).
June 29th was a very busy day. On the eve we offered Feast Day greetings to dear Reverend Mother, in the form of verses recited by each Form, wishing her some special blessing. The day itself was marked by games and competitions, and Reverend Mother invited us to a Picnic tea in the garden.
In the evening the Seniors gave a concert for their parents, and as a result of the collection, £10 was sent to the Red Cross. After a day of revelry, one of silence. On June 30th, Father Diamond, S.J., gave us a day's Retreat.
On July 4th, the following received the Sacrement of Confirmation at Corpus Christi Church:
A. Turner, M. Blakeway, P. Clayton, J. Atkinson, E. Smith, M. Kelly, J. Powter, M. Greensmith, E. White, A. Wyatt, J. Doyle, D. Wilson, W. Gilchrist, J. Morton, M. Brewer, N. Brewer, A. King, L. Templer,
C. Allison, H. Bond, V. Burt, J. Green, J. Byrne, J. Duckham, M. Doran, T. Sibeth, B. Fernback, V. Browning, E. Callis, J. Carroll, S. McFadden, C. Morton, S. Philpot, P. Coyle.
At the end of July the Annual Retreat for Ladies was preached by Father Eustace Warnekin, O.F.M., but unfortunately few of our Past Pupils were able to come. That is something else to which we may look forward when the war is over.
On Our Lady's Birthday the following had the happiness of making their First Holy Communion:
B. O'Connell, B. Simmons, A. Grant (received into the Church, September 7th), P. Mackenzie (received into the Church, August 17th)
Everyone welcomed the formation of a third House and the Stanislausians soon began to make themselves felt. The inauguration of the House was deferred to the Feast of St. Stanislaus, November 13th. Mass was offered in the Convent Chapel for the intentions of all members of the House.
After Mass, at which the hymn to St. Stanislaus was sung, the Stanislausians were invited to breakfast in St. Helens.
We are pleased to report that news has been received from Pat Worster's father and also from Kieran Powell, who had both been "Reported Missing," while S. and M. McFadden's father recently arrived home among the repatriated prisoners of war.
Our sympathy is extended to R. Stevens on the death of her father, to M. Mawson on the death of her father, to H. Combes on the death of her mother, and to J. Pelosi on the death of her mother.
Courage. Perseverance! That is our motto, and the words should mean a great deal to all of us Stanislausians. What looks of curiosity would be seen on the faces of many Past Pupils at the sound of this name, for they had been familiar with only two expressions, "Play up Ignatians" or "Play Lip Xaverians."
We may be called "upstarts," and at first despised by the longer established Houses, but Stanislausians of to-day, although we have as yet no tradition, we are engaged in making one, which we trust will be by no means inferior to theirs. You are the foundation stones, as it were, and on you depends the future strength of the House.
I am sure that you are all full of enthusiasm, as everyone is when something new presents itself, but that enthusiasm must be kept up when the novelty has worn away.
Like our patron, we must "Persevere," and with true Stanislausian courage inaugurate a tradition worthy of our Polish Patron.
M. Brewer. VI.