1950 promises to be a great year for the Church and for our Convent. This is the Holy Year "the year of the great return and the great pardon", and it also marks the Centenary of the re-establishment of the Hierarchy in this country. In our private sphere we anticipate the Golden Jubilee of Reverend Mother Kelly who has spent the greater part of her Religious life in devoted service to this Convent.
The first social event of the term was a violin recital arranged by Mr. Noel Hale. We appreciated the items played by Mr. Hale and Miss Gallo, our new Violin Mistress, accompanied by Miss Pascal, and many more pupils are resolved to emulate them.
A fortnightly series of Geography Lantern Lectures was given this term, the speaker being Captain Francis Leeson, F.R.G.S., a former pupil of the Convent. The first lecture on Nepal delighted us all, for Captain Leeson provided interesting personal details as he commented on the exceptionally beautiful photographs he showed.
Before the month ended, Mother McEvoy was able to read us a letter from Reverend Mother General, in answer to the Christmas wishes which we sent. Reverend Mother General's final message was "God bless you, my dear children.
In return for your good wishes I send you mine, that the New Year may be for you really good and holy, because you will seek not your selfish pleasure, but God's Holy Will by the faithful fulfilment of all the duties of a good pupil of the Cross."
On January 31st there was a fitting close to the first month of a full year. Many of the seniors attended the Winter Gardens Concert for Schools. We found the programme more enjoyable than ever. It included the Londonderry Air, Bolero, Edward German's "Henry VIII Dances", and the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor.
On the first Saturday we were invited to the Gaumont Cinema to a pre-view of the film "Come to the Manger". However, this was not to be a month of pure enjoyment. Tests began?faces lengthened - and instead of the usual groups characterised by carefree laughter, we saw solemn individuals muttering to themselves in corners.
As a transition between Tests and the resumption of normal routine, we were invited to the famous French film "Monsieur Vincent" shown in the Gym room. Through plenty of practice which we encourage to the full, Mother Wallace and Mother McLoughlin are becoming perfect operators.
The story of the heroic saint moved us deeply, and although the harrowing details came as a shock to many, we all left the hall with a far greater realisation of the influence one really good man can exert and still more of the tremendous power of prayer.
The Novena in honour of St. Francis Xavier was preached by Fr. Cedric Myerscough, S.J. Juniors attended the afternoon service and seniors the evening sermons. Did someone whisper to Fr. Myerscough that we have a Xaverian House and are very interested in St. Francis Xavier? On March 10th he brought us a series of lantern slides on St. Francis Xavier. May we take this opportunity of offering our thanks.
Preparations were afoot for St. Patrick's Day, on which Reverend Mother keeps her feast. The eagerly anticipated day arrived, and when the whole School had assembled,
In the photograph are:-
Back row: Susan Winsey, Patricia Beer, Mary Doran
Front row: Kathleen Anthony, Barbara Withington, Joy Winterbottom, Jean Money, Joan Stevenson.
Barbara Withington offered our wishes to Reverend Mother, to whom we were happy to present a new white vestment for the Chapel. The Feast Day Song followed also, in keeping with the day, for the tune was the Irish air `The Young May Moon.'
The weather proved disappointing and we doubted whether the historic `International'
English v. Irish Netball Match could be played. St. Patrick did manage to send an hour or so of sunshine, but he did not quite succeed in arranging a victory for the Irish. Tea followed the match and then we were invited to a film show - and even the seniors must confess they could have watched `Squirrel Warfare' time and time again.
Dancing followed for the seniors until the time fixed for Benediction. We all assembled in the Chapel, thanking God for the happy day we had spent, and not forgetting to pray for Reverend Mother and all who had worked so hard to give us pleasure.
March 21st was the occasion for a second visit to the Winter Gardens, and we enjoyed Handel's Largo and a Hungarian Dance by Brahms. Every day seems to be worthy of record. Netball Matches had been causing the usual excitement, and were completed by March 22nd. Before leaving school that day we enjoyed a lantern lecture on `The Journeys of St. Paul'.
Next day, Father Bulbeck kindly gave a lecture on the Life of Our Lord to the Middle School pupils who were delighted to see the slides which illustrated his talk.
On March 25th a great opportunity was offered to Sports enthusiasts. For the first time ever, the International Hockey Match between England and Wales is played at Bournemouth. A large party from the Convent watched England win by 4? - 0, in an interesting game.
March 30th was the date selected for an official visit from Alderman Richards and other members of the Town Council in connection with the Golden Jubilee of the Borough of Bournemouth. In the afternoon we were asked to write an essay, for which prizes were offered by the Borough. The subject chosen for us was "Places, like people, have a personality.
Attempt to define the Character of Bournemouth". The staff must have had a busy time correcting. Barbara Withington produced the best essay and Teresa Tallyn gained 2nd Prize.
March 31st was the official end of term for the stalwarts who had not already fallen victims to the `flu germ'. Many Boarders remained at school until April 3rd when our pilgrimage to Rome was to begin.
The School Religious Certificate Examination was held in Passion week, and the candidates would like to thank Father Moore, Parish Priest at Iford, for the interest he took in their work and the help he gave them.
During Lent, each Form had been collecting for the Orphans of the Diocese Fund. As a stimulus to greater efforts, Mother McEvoy promised that whichever Form achieved the highest average should have the honour of writing to the Bishop when our contribution was sent.
Form Lower III were delighted at securing this privilege, and Upper II are to be congratulated on coming so near. On Good Shepherd Sunday, a cheque for £50 IOs. Od. was sent to His Lordship, the Bishop. This represented the total contribution of the Pupils.
This is always the most popular term and promised to be more crowded than ever this year. Forms V and VI were required immediately for Choir Practices as they had been asked to sing at the Mass and Clothing Ceremony on May 3rd.
The latter event aroused much interest as few of us had witnessed a Clothing Ceremony, and one of the Postulants to receive the Habit, was to be our last year's Xaverian Captain, R. Brown.
May 3rd was a memorable Feast of the Cross. At the early Mass, Sister Elizabeth renewed her Vows on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. Her customary happy smile looked even brighter to-day. A second Mass was attended by the whole School. It gave us great pleasure to see as Celebrant, Father Gibbons, S.J., formerly Parish Priest at Corpus Christi.
The weather proved ideal and sun was shining as the two postulants in bridal dress entered the Chapel and approached the Sanctuary where His Lordship, Bishop King and many of the local clergy had already taken their places.
In his address the Bishop linked the Golden Jubilee Ceremony with the Clothing Ceremony, explaining to the Postulants and to us all, that the sole purpose of Religious life is the consecration of self to God. The Jubilarian would be able to confirm from her long experience that this
the essence of even natural happiness in Religion.