A Diary should begin with the New Year and its resolutions, but perhaps we may be forgiven for glancing back at the close of 1953, since we are so often reminded that the events at the close of the Christmas term seem to escape mention as they occur after "we have gone to print".
The production of J. M. Barrie's "The Admirable Crichton" proved far more successful than we had dared to anticipate with such a young cast, and our only regret was that the actresses were denied the stage facilities which the New Assembly Hall will provide. The general opinion was that a play had rarely been produced in which the acting was so uniformly good; each one seemed to be living her part and consequently playing it with conviction.
Distinctions would be invidious but the audience were impressed by the insight revealed by Claire Anderson in the difficult part of Crichton, the ease with which Anita Woodeson played Lady Mary, and the delightful humour shown by Mary Hanlon as Lord Loam and by Rosemary Ennis as Ernest and B. Kent as Lady Catherine. Congratulations to the girls themselves and to Mother Potter were voiced at the performance by Colonel Hackett.
On the last Sunday of term Carols were sung in the Chapel and each year, Miss Gobell's efforts seem to reach a higher standard. While giving excellent training and opportunities to every Form in the School, these Carols help to keep us all in the true Christmas spirit. The proceeds of the Silver Collection taken, and of the Carol singing by a group of Seniors in Bournemouth and Boscombe, enabled us to send a welcome Christmas present to the Crusade of Rescue and to little Orphans in the Diocese.
The practices chosen for the Marian Year were resumed. Each day the Middle School assembled in the Oratory for a hymn and devotions in honour of Our Lady, while the Seniors arranged to take turns in saying the Marian Year prayer at a private visit to the Blessed' Sacrament.
Throughout the year, each class has studied some special aspect of Mariology during Doctrine lessons and we have tried to show our love for Our Blessed Lady in particular by imitating her example and by trying to increase our devotion to the Rosary.
Our photo shows: A. Spicer, D. Brownrigg, Z. Frowde, B. Bartion, M. Ennis,and N. Yiannaki - winners of the Dramatic scene, at the Bournemouth Festival.
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was, not a favourable day for a procession but each Form managed to visit the Grotto either in or between the showers, and the Community and Boarders made a visit in the evening, when the Rosary was said and the Lourdes Hymn sung.
Just before Half Term Juniors and Seniors alike enjoyed "Never Take No for An Answer". The story in itself appealed to all and the pictures of the inside of the Vatican were instructive as well as enjoyable. If pleasure is revealed by tears, everyone appreciated the film and all were anxious to find their way to the second performance. That was reserved for Boarders who remained for the Half-term week-end.
The Novena of Grace in honour of Saint Francis Xavier is a Mission time in the Corpus Christi Parish. Juniors attended the afternoon instructions and the Seniors went to the evening sermons. This year Father Baron, S.J., arranged for the Holy Childhood service to take place during the Novena.
After he had explained the difficulties of missionaries at present in countries where their work has been making such progress, Father Baron urged us to help by our prayers and collections for the Holy Childhood and Propagation of the Faith. G. Bond, the Head Girl, presented the School's offering of £ 16.4.0.
March is always an exciting month, for the whole School looks forward to Reverend Mother's Feast. This year the juniors' Party was arranged for March 13th, the preceding Saturday, and all the younger children, came with their pretty posies to offer their good wishes. How proud they were to sing, dance and play the Percussion Band for Reverend Mother and the Staff.
The Senior Gym Room was used for this first part of the programme, but they afterwards returned to the junior School for tea. All the rooms were cheerfully decorated and a very happy scene met the eyes of all who managed to visit St. Joseph's as "helpers". The evening ended with a Film Show, in which the coloured cartoons were particularly popular.
On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, Reverend Mother General came to Boscombe, and it was an added pleasure for us to know that she would share in our celebrations of Reverend Mother's Feast. The Gym Room, decorated with foliage, streamers and shamrock the delight of young artists - looked even more impressive than usual, for a picture of St. Patrick, painted by R. Ennis and C. Anderson, occupied the centre of the wall.
Those concerned deserve praise for their work, which impressed everyone on that day and later, when it was displayed in the Art Room. After the Feast Day Song had been sung and an Address read by Genevieve Bond, we advanced to offer our wishes individually and to renew our thanks to Reverend Mother for her interest in all that concerns the pupils.
Excitement reached its peak when all repaired to the garden and the two teams arrived on the scene, the English resplendent with the Tudor rose and various red trimmings, the Irish in white blouses, green skirts and white socks and plimsolls. This year the play was far better than usual, for on such occasions high spirits tend to make us forget such rules as not to run with the ball.
We feel that St. Patrick and St. George must have come to an agreement to suit the day, for a very close match resulted in a victory for the Irish.
By this time everyone was ready for tea, which was served in the refectories and St. Helen's. We then divided into two groups, one for dancing in the Gym Room, the other to see films in the junior Play Room. All tastes were catered for as there were travel films, Nature films and of course some coloured cartoons. The groups changed occupations and the time passed all too quickly.
At 6 p.m. our Chaplain, Father Weaver, S.J., kindly came to give Benediction. The Senior Choir had learnt a motet, "O Quam Suavis", for the occasion. It has become a tradition for them to, sing some quite new piece on this day. There is no need to add that all joined wholeheartedly in the hymn "Hail Glorious Saint Patrick" after Benediction.
We then said Good-night to the Day Girls and the Senior Boarders still had energy to make preparations for the Concert which they had arranged. We reproduce the Programme, which will give some idea of the fun, but one needs to have been present to appreciate it to the full. On many occasions the laughter was so continuous that we wondered whether Reverend Mother General really heard all the words.
Master of Ceremonies: C. Anderson.
1. The Convent Philharmonic Orchestra, under its conductor C. Anderson, plays:
i. "There's No Business Like Show Business. "
ii. "In a Persian Market."
Those who normally play Vioin, Piano or 'Cello were supported by players of sundry other instruments, notably C. Murray on the comb.
2. Conjuring tricks performed by C. Anderson, aided and abetted by A. Woodeson and M. Barker.
3. "The Kentucky Minstrels" sing:
i. "Camptown Races."
ii. "Uncle Ned" (Soloist: G. Bond).
iii. "De Ole Folks at Home."
A realistic item - so realistic that it took many hours and much effort to wash away the Kentucky hue!
4. Flashback to the 1920's.
Silent film of a stark drama, starring: Charlie Chaplin, M. Barker; Heroine, A. Woodeson; Boss, R. Ennis; Villain, C. Elgar.
5. The Boscombe Girls' Choir sing:
i. "The Mountains o' Mourne."
ii. "Phil the Fluter's Ball."
6. A "Pas de Trois" starring the world famous ballerina, Bridget O'Connell, with her equally famous male partners, Clare Murray and Caroline Adams.
There were many aspirants to the fine art of ballet and their reactions to this noble performance may be surmised rather than expressed
7. A Monologue, "Ordering the Meat" by J. Brewer.
8. A Humorous Character Song, "Italio-de-Lingo", by C. Elgar, A. Woodeson, R. Ennis and B. O'Connell.
9. Sketch: "The Man in the Bowler Hat." John, C. Murray; Mary, C. Adams; Hero, C. Elgar; Heroine, B. Kent; Chief Villain, L. Logan; Bad Man, B. O'Connell.
10. "At the Girls' Convent of the Cross."
When the final Chorus brought the entertainment to an end, tired but happy we were - for once - only too ready for bed, and we were grateful for the enjoyable day we had spent. Each of us was thinking, "I hope that Reverend Mother enjoyed her Feast as much as we did".
Two days later the Children of Mary and Guides of the Corpus Christi Parish invited the Boarders to a Dress Rehearsal of their concert. We have to thank Miss Cummings for this pleasure, and it was good to watch some of the Staff as well as fellow pupils on the stage.
Another interesting event of the month was a talk given by Mr. Terence Gavaghan, District Commissioner, under the Imperial Institute Scheme for Commonwealth Lectures to Schools. The speaker as well as his brother and sister were pupils at Boscombe.
Mr. Gavaghan brought photographs of the people with whom he is particularly connected and gave us a full account of his life, the dangers to be faced, and the type of training given to the natives.
Amid the other excitements, the Marian Year was not forgotten, and we were shown the film "The Miracle of Fatima" on March 22nd.
At the end of the month, Father Kenneth Allen, of the Catholic Missionary Society, a Past Pupil of Boscombe, visited the school when he came to see Reverend Mother, his former Headmistress.