The year 1955 has been one of special achievement for the Past Pupils' Association, and we trust that the summary in this section will convey some idea of the renewed activity to those who are not able to come to Boscombe for the various events.
The principal interest of the year was the official opening of the School Assembly Hall. In the building of this Hall, Past Pupils have played an important part. Mrs. Lewis-Manning (Marjorie Lloyd) made the original suggestion of raising a Fund for this purpose to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Reverend Mother Kelly. R.I.P. Having received the approbation of Archbishop, then Bishop King, she set to work organising and planning.
During the years which followed, Past Pupils gave their generous assistance by subscriptions and by supporting activities arranged in the School for the Hall Fund. The School Dance, now an annual feature and eagerly anticipated as a reunion at which Past and Present Pupils meet, has raised a considerable sum while giving much pleasure to all.
Reverend Mother and the Community are deeply grateful for all the interest which Past Pupils have shown, an interest all the more admirable, since they are not able to enjoy the amenities which the Hall offers to Present Pupils.
On March 26th, the date of the opening, it was gratifying to see so many former pupils among the audience, and Father Dennis, S.J., in his speech, mentioned the significance of this large number of Past Pupils still so closely identified with their Convent. It was not possible to entertain all who were present, but representative members were among the invited guests.
Some of these were not able to attend, including Mrs. Tucker (D. Hobbs), President of the Association, who was away at the time. Mrs. Lewis-Manning, Miss W. Cartwright, and Miss W. Kelly were on the platform, while Reverend Mother Kelly's other two sisters, Mrs. B. Rochford and Mrs. Bond, both Past Pupils, were also present.
The Hall has been given the place of honour it deserves, but we shall now proceed to a chronological review of the year's activities.
The Reunion, held on January 6th, was attended by a good number of members:
Miss E. Cartwright, Mrs. Lewis-Manning, Mrs Meade, Mrs. Miller (L. and J. Riddle), Mrs. Browning (R. de Sousa), V. Fox-Hawes, Miss W. Kelly, J. Hackett, J. Winterbottom, E. Hughes, M. Brooks (Browning), A. Browning, P. Boezan (Shackleford), S. de Charmoy, P. Vokes (Kennard), B. Fernback, M. Street, J. Bacon, P. Buck, H. Edmond, L. Thornback, S. McFadden, Y. Cobb, M. Fitzpatrick, M. Hughes, C. Gillings, M. Collins, M. Green, G. Lane, F. Duckham, B. Withington, W. Kent, M. Crisp, S. Kelleher, A. Keates, T. Lamb, M. Ash, C. Browning, D. Crick, E. White, J. Griffiths, S. Stocks, M. Hanlon.
In the absence of Mrs. Tucker, our President, who was unable to attend on account of illness, Miss E. Cartwright addressed the meeting. She first of all referred to the loss the Association had sustained in the death of Reverend Mother Kelly, R.I.P. On occasions such as this, all looked forward to seeing her, as she showed herself so gracious in welcoming each one and endeavouring to make all feel perfectly at home.
All members stood to pray for the repose of her Soul. It was suggested that Masses be offered at the request of the Association for Reverend Mother Kelly and that one of these should be said in the Convent Chapel at a time when some at least of the Past Pupils could be present. This Mass was said on May 10th.
While speaking of Reverend Mother Kelly, we are certain that all members will be pleased to know that her Biography, written by Mrs. Tucker, who knew Reverend Mother for so many years, is being published this Christmas,
In order that the date of the Annual
General Meeting might be more easily remembered, a request was made that this be fixed for every. year. Those present found Sunday
most convenient, so the date decided upon
was the second Sunday in January. In 1956,
accordingly, the meeting will be on
Miss Cartwright, by her vigour and encouragement, showed us that activity and
zeal are not confined to the more recent Past
Pupils. Reverend Mother suggested that
Dramatic and Choral Groups be organised.
Sheila McFadden was asked to be responsible
for the former, and it was hoped that Miss
Gobell, if requested, would direct the latter.
The younger members present were eager to
select a Netball team to play against the
Present Pupils. Unfortunately, play was impossible on January 22nd, the date arranged,
on account of bad weather. On the other free
Saturday the Present Pupils were able to
offer, most of the Past Pupils' team had fallen
victims to influenza.
Those members who had helped with the
Household Stall at the previous B.C.D.F.
Fete were thanked and helpers solicited for
the 1956 Fete.
Miss Cartwright thanked Reverend Mother
Howe for inviting the Past Pupils.
When the business meeting had ended, all
the groups enjoyed a long chat with the Nuns
and their contemporaries. A visit to the Crib
was the fitting close to a happy Reunion.
The Reunion on Low Sunday was not so
well attended, as fewer members are at home
after Easter. Those present were pleased to
see Reverend Mother McEvoy, who happened
to be visiting Boscombe.
Groups of Past
Pupils were uniting frequently as the
Dramatic Group continued rehearsals for the
two plays they intended to produce in the
S. McFadden was most
devoted and patient, as it is not an easy matter to find time for practices which are convenient for a group whose occupations are so
varied. On June 8th a large and appreciative
audience was present.
Miss E. Cartwright
expressed the interest of the Association and
their pleasure in seeing the Dramatic Group
functioning so well. The two plays formed an effective contrast, the one tense and mysterious, the other a rollicking comedy.
It was good to see Past Pupils who had had no previous experience of acting taking part and, of course, some of our former Elocution did excellently. Ann Keates was perfect as the Cook, while Molly Kelly and Mary Hanlon as the two fond Mamas gave the audience many a hearty laugh. S. McFadden sustained the difficult part of the strange little maid continually on the stage, important to the plot, and yet with very little chance for movement - a role requiring skilled acting.
At the end of the programme, Miss M. Dyson, on behalf of the Association, congratulated and thanked the actresses and expressed the hope that the Dramatic Group would increase in numbers and activity.
Another play will be produced early in the New Year, and we trust it will be well supported.
Miss Gobell meets the Choral Group on Thursday evenings. At present the members of the Group are: J. Hackett, G. Nichols (Mahy), C. Weatherley, S. Stocks, M. Collins, J. Daykin, G. Guidotti, D. Crick, A. Manning, G. Willett, M. McCarty, M. Donlevy, and three Past Pupils of other Convents who were anxious to take part and whom Miss Gobell was very pleased to include.
From the strains we hear, in the Convent, they intend to join the Present Pupils for Carol Singing in the Chapel on Sunday, December 18th. We believe that, after this, Miss Gobell has something more ambitious in view.
Thanks are due to all who helped to run the stall at the Fete this year. This is an annual event and contributions are always welcomed.
The School Dance is, of course, a splendid opportunity of uniting local members of the Association. Reverend Mother and the Nuns are delighted to renew contacts with Past Pupils on this occasion and indeed at any time during the year. The Dance next year will be on the last Friday in October, as Friday seems to be the most convenient day for most of those who are working.
Leaving the general survey, we come to more intimate and personal news. We are able to publish only direct information received and thank those who send us news.
Congratulations to the brides of the year. May God bless their married life!
B. Withington (Mrs. Green). A. Wyatt (Mrs. Swinburne). M. Orpin (Mrs. A. Dedman). M. Mortier (Madame Van Riet de Paep). J. de Gaye (Mrs. E. Killick). P. Butler (Mrs. Morris).
E. Weatherley (Mrs. Liddle). H. Bond (Mrs. M. Warrington). M. Gray (Mrs. R. Chamberlain). W. Gilchrist (Mrs. M. Gilbert (Mrs. Baker).
We are happy to announce the birth of:
Adrian to Nancy Place (Brewer).
Ann Elizabeth to Betty Simpson (Mason).
Katherine Sarah to Ann White (Adams).
Caroline Louise to Barbara Tanner (Browning).
Vincent Andrew Francis to Mary Brooks (Browning).
Nuala Bridget to Mary Morton (Hennessy).
Helen to Margaret Manning (Brown).
Stephen Barry to Marie Tarrant (Browne).
Elizabeth to Jacqueline Cake (Walker).
Laurence Anthony to Gay Simpson (Durant).
Francoise to Arlette Dradon (Ide).
Nearly all the babies have paid their first visit to the Convent, and how pleased we all were to see them.