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From Our School Diary - 1956, Page One

JANUARY

We wonder whether many of our readers sympathise with Goldsmiths Mr. Hardcastle in his zealous `I love everything that's old' or whether each New Year brings with it a thrill and sense of adventure. Settling down to study after the excitements of the Christmas holidays is always a difficult process but we soon fall back into the daily routine.

Early in the Easter term, we have received each year a letter from Reverend Mother General, in answer to our Christmas wishes. This year, we were very happy to know that Reverend Mother General was recovering from her illness and that Reverend Mother was able to take personal wishes from Boscombe when she went over to France at the end of the month.

FEBRUARY

On the First Friday, the Holy Childhood Service was held in Corpus Christi Church and after the instruction on the importance of the work of the Propagation of the Faith, Father Baron received the offerings of the School children. Josephine Simmonds was chosen to give our offering. Collecting for the Holy Childhood has a special appeal for all, but the younger children in particular show intense interest in the progress of their Babies on the Holy Childhood Charts.

This is a Leap Year, and the days indeed seemed to be leaping away, for term had scarcely begun when there was question of Half Term holiday. We returned on Shrove Tuesday, and the next three days were chosen for the Annual Retreat for the Seniors.

The Retreat was given this year by Father George Barrett, S. J. The talks were stimulating and gave us all an incentive to spend Lent in the true spirit. We are grateful to Father Barrett for the time he devoted to us in general and privately and for the lively and interesting discussions he arranged in the evenings for the Boarders.

On February 24th, by kind invitation, the School attended the Dress Rehearsal of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", which was performed by St. Peter's in the Convent Assembly Hall.

MARCH

March 2nd, anniversarv of the election of our present Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, and also his eightieth birthday, was kept with special solemnity, this year. A Novena of Prayers was offered for the intentions of His Holiness and on the actual day we were kept in close touch with celebrations in Rome as we watched a series of Film Strips entitled "Pius XII and the Vatican".

The interesting reading which accompanied these pictures not only proved an encouragement to our devotion to the Holy See, but also proved most instructive from the aesthetic point of view as the treasures of the Vatican Museum and Libraries were discussed in a most interesting way. A special Benediction for the school children was arranged in Corpus Christi Church and we joined fervently in the singing of "God Bless Our Pope" before leaving the Church.

During the following week came two items of musical interest. A group of Seniors attended one of the "Concerts for Schools" at the Winter Gardens and on Saturday a party of Boarders accompanied by Mother Potter and Miss Gobell went to the Pavilion to see "Iolanthe". We wonder whether there is a. possibility of our producing this Opera, as there was such general enthusiasm?and we always look back with pleasure to last year's Gilbert and Sullivan Production.

March 17th is the high-light of the Easter Term. Not in the heart of Ireland could there be more excitement as St. Patrick's Day approaches On the Eve, Anne Spicer, our Head Girl, read a Feast Day address to Reverend Mother, who keeps her Feast on this day. The address was in the form of a scroll, tastefullv written and decorated by Marion Pool.

The Juniors' Programme gave great pleasure. The Preparatory Form, arranged as a shamrock, sang very sweetly and clearly and the other Forms in turn sang or played the Percussion Band.

Reverend Mother invited the whole School to refreshments and a Film Show which catered for all tastes. The Seniors took great interest in "Great Expectations" - but breathe it not - their pleasure seemed equal to that of the juniors when "Muffin" and "Rose Red and Snow White" were presented.

Preparations for the "Annual International" were greater than ever. In all kinds of secret places, artists could be seen stretched on the floor busily painting huge sheets of paper and trails of silver paint often indicated their whereabouts.

However, the Teams kept their own counsel and only when the whole school had assembled for the Match, did we appreciate the result of the previous days' work.

To martial strains the English side advanced, Elizabeth Kitchen making a dashing Saint George, supported by an enormous Dragon, which bravely crawled the whole distance from the Games Shed to the Court, followed by the players.

The latter wore white shorts and blouses, blue sashes and red, white and blue caps. Soon in equal splendour came the Irish - encouraged by a live Saint Patrick with a colossal snake. Having covered the distance to the centre of the court on all fours - or all sixteens to be precise! the serpent chose a comfortable position from which to watch the Game and Saint Patrick sat calmly beside it.

The Irish Team were also dressed in white with shamrock decoration. Enthusiasm on the part of supporters ran highand they were as tired as the teams when the Final whistle blew, giving the English a victory, 16 goals to the Irish 12.

What a variety of experience this Feast provides! After all the fun and excitement, we reassembled to enjoy dancing and games until it was time for Benediction. This year the special Motet sung was "Et Exaltamt". Those who remarked on the beauty of "O Salutaris", which had not been heard before, were pleased to learn that the music was composed by Ines Lucantoni. God's blessing brought to an end another Happy Feast and we only wish that Reverend Mother or Saint Patrick could arrange for more than one Feast day a year.

Please, do not think that life is all fun! It just happens that St. Joseph's Feast follows close upon St. Patrick's - and as St Joseph is patron of the junior School, a little surprise is expected in his honour! This year, on March 19th, we saw the Film "Prelude to Fame", and we enjoyed even more than the story itself the beautiful selections from Beethoven's music, which run throughout the Film.

On March 21st, just before the end of term, Mrs. Jackman took the Cookery class of Form III to visit Weston's Bakery. All found the visit most interesting and instructive. Form V. A. were busy preparing for the Doctrine examination which comes at the end of the Easter term. On the Wednesday of Holy Week the Boarders went home. It seemed so very short a time since they returned, but we may anticipate a long Summer Term which we all prefer to a long Easter Term.

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