1956 has proved a year of increased activity for the Association, from the Reunion, held on the first Sunday in January to the Dramatic Performance which is to cake place early in the Easter Term.
It was decided two years ago that the Sunday following New Year's day and also Low Sunday should be fixed dates for Reunions.
May we then ask all Past Pupils to keep these dates in mind, and assure you that a hearty welcome awaits each and all. We hope to see a larger gathering than ever at the Convent on January 6th at 3 p.m.
Mrs. Tucker (D. Hobbs) presided at the Reunion, in January 1956 and a vote of thanks to her was proposed by Eileen Hughes (Vice-President). On behalf of the Association, Eileen thanked Mrs. Tucker far the time she had devoted to the writing of the life of Reverend Mother Kelly, and assured her that her work was greatly appreciated and had given real pleasure to all who had read it, treasuring up their personal memories of one whom all had loved.
Past Pupils who were able to accept Reverend Mother's invitation included -
Eva Cartwright, Mrs. Lewis Manning (M. Lloyd), Mrs. Miller (J. Riddle), Mrs. Meade (L. Riddle), W. Kelly, Watson (K. Burke), Mrs. Browning (R. de Souza), Mrs. Tory (S. Thompson), M. Dyson and Mrs. Worthington (J. Andrews), who, was delighted to hear of the meeting while on holiday from Canada, Mrs. Walsh (J. Hughes), S. Gray, Mrs. Nichols (G. Maher), D. Klyne, D. McKinney, Mrs. Fox (G. Lane), M. Green, S. de Charmoy, J. Hackett, J. Downey, A. Wheatcroft, Mrs. Brooks (M. Browning),
Also - Y. Cobb, S. McFadden, J. Dayyin, L. Thornback, A. Crawford, S. Manning, A. Manning, A. Browning, C. Browning, G. Simpson (G. Durant), M. MacCarty, M. Danlevy, C. White, E. Collins, M. Collins, P. Vokes (Kennard), M. Hannigan' M. McCormick, M. Ward, A. Carpenter, S. Minis, A. Boys, M. Asling, E. Poplewell, B. Kent, J. Cocmbes, S. Elliott, B. Kell, W. Kent, N. Ventham, H. Edmond.
A review of the previous year resulted in
(1) A request that Miss Gobell might be asked to direct the Choral Group in the hope that a performance would be given later in the year. The Carols sung by the Group in the Chapel had been so successful that it was felt that more members would be willing to take part.
(2) That S. McFadden be congratulated on the achievements of the Dramatic Group and all hoped that she would find time to continue directing the Group during 1956. Sheila was very willing to do this and suggested that the Group should be affiliated to the Dramas League, so that several copies of plays might be obtained more easily and readings facilitated.
(3) Younger members in particular were eager to farm a Past Pupils Netball Team to meet the Present Pupils. Linda Thornback volunteered to be responsible for these arrangements.
(4) The question of a visit to the Convent at Stakes, was raised by Miss Eva Cartwright who recalled Reverend Mother McEvoy's kind invitation. It was agreed that definite plans should be made at the Easter meeting on April 8th.
(5) An invitation was extended to all Past Pupils to send in contributions to the School Magazine. Some have already been good enough to do so and we feel that this is one of the best ways of keeping Past and Present Pupils united in work for their school. News of other former pupils would also be appreciated, as not all may be in direct contact with the Convent.
(6) A reminder was given that Reverend Mother collects garments for the Child Welfare work of the Diocese and would be pleased to receive any babies' garments for this goad cause.
(7) The B.C.D.F. Fete seemed far ahead but members were reminded that the Association is responsible for the Household Stall and asked to send in goods and to volunteer as helpers.
A very happy Reunion closed with a visit to the Crib. After singing Auld Lang Syne, members departed, hoping to see each other, as well as Reverend Mother and the Nuns, in the Easter holidays.
The Reunion on Low Sunday was less well attended; perhaps the reason was that special notices were not sent as the date had been fixed. Memory, however, plays us, all tricks! The chief business discussed was the pro- posed visit to Stakes. Miss E. Cartwright agreed to make enquiries about the hiring of a coach, and E. Hughes volunteered to send cut notices and collect names of those intending to, join the party. The Past Pupils made a special request that some of the Boscombe Community might accompany them.
The visit took place on June 10th, and a happy group of Past Pupils left St. James' Square at 11 a.m. After an enjoyable drive, following country roads and avoiding the towns as far as possible, we arrived at Stakes and were joined by Reverend Mother Howe, Mother Welstead, Mother Briggs and Miss Cartwright who, had come by car.
Reverend Mother McEvoy was there to welcome her former pupils, and although a drizzling rain prevented the picnic we had anticipated, the picnic lunch indoors was enjoyed to the full. The Stakes' Community, among whom were several of the Nuns whom we had known at Boscombe, made us feel at home.
It was good to feel that Mother Soehle, Mother Boulton, Mother Jones, Mother Woulfe, and Mother Vanheems had not forgotten us.
During the afternoon, the weather cleared sufficiently to enable us to see the beautiful and extensive grounds and to climb up to the top of the tower to enjoy the view. Benediction in the Convent Chapel was followed by the singing of the Boscombe special hymn 'Heart of Jesus Bless this Place'.
We were then invited to tea, during which Reverend Mother McEvoy and the nuns entertained us. Reverend Mother expressed the pleasure which the visit had given her. Eileen Hughes, thanking Reverend Mother said what we all felt. "I am afraid I am going to be very impolite and ask `Please when may we come again?' "
A very happy party returned by coach the younger members keeping us lively with their laughter and song. At Southampton, we dropped Noreen Ventham and Ann Carpenter who, had been given permission to be absent from the Training College for the day in order to join us. Wendy Farmer had seen them to the coach but was too busy in the midst of `Finals' to accompany us.
The Dramatic Group presented two One-Act Plays on Saturday, May 5th. A large audience consisting of friends and present pupils assembled. Reverend Mother McEvoy came aver from Stakes and was present with Reverend Mother. Congratulations to all the Actresses and to Sheila McFadden the Producer.
Those who know the difficulties of managing rehearsals even among schoolgirls realise what time and trouble must have been needed to make the production possible. The plays were a completely different type from those of the last performance but equally enjoyable.
The Silver Key
Mrs. Clayton ............. ....... J. Dobson
Christobel Elliott ............. .......C. Browning
Stella ............. ....... D. Brownrigg
Felicity ............. ....... A. Hall
Maid ............. ....... J. Ellard
Scene - A sitting-room in the Clayton House.
Girdle Round The Earth
Mary Grant ............... A. Keates
Sheila ................... L. Thornback
Valerie .................. A. Crawford
Scene - The lounge of Mary Grant's house on the edge of the airfield.
Throughout the Easter and Summer terms, Miss Gobell had continued meeting the Choral Group once a week. Although the Community admired the singing as they passed by, I think none of us expected so excellent a production as we enjoyed when the Choral Group was asked to contribute part of the programme for a Musical Evening in July. The piece selected was `The Emperor and the Nightingale" - A Musical Fantasy by Antonia Ridge. Some of Form VI joined the Past Pupils and the excellence and finish of the production was a tribute to Miss Gobell's unsparing work and to the response of the Choir.
Gillian Willett as principal Soloist has a voice admirably suiting the Nightingale's part and her singing was a real pleasure to hear. Congratulations to Miss Gobell and the Choral Group composed of
G. Willett, J. Hackett, M. Collins, A. Cahill, D. Crick, A. Manning, S. Stocks, M. Hanlon, V. Isgar, C. Browning, P. Rollin, A. Spicer, M. Hooper, H. Symmons, and J. Luxton.
Thanks are extended to the Past Pupils who helped at the stall at the B.C.D.F. Fete. We quite understand that many are enrolled as helpers with their parishes - but the support of those who are not otherwise engaged is always welcome as the stall was intended to be run by the Past rather than the Present Pupils.
A happy event during the summer holidays provided another occasion for a meeting. Sister Catherine Morton was to make her First Vows at our Convent at Stakes on August 22nd, and on, the same day Ita Hancock was to receive the Habit. As these were both Past Pupils of Boscombe, it was suggested that some of the Past Pupils might like to join some of the Nuns in forming the Choir. Reverend Mother thoughtfully arranged to hire a coach so that all might travel together to Stakes.
The party included our Chaplain, Father Weaver, Reverend Mother, Mother Wallace, Mother Keyes, Mother Gillard, Mother Loftus, Miss Gobell, Mrs. Browning and Christine, Ines Lucantoni, Sally and Ann Manning, Deirdre Crick, Mary MacCarty, Mary Brearley (who was staying with Moira McFadden at the time). Mother Pannell, who had gone in advance to prepare the music, joined us at Stake and also C. Elgar, B. Kent and S. Fisher.
We were happy to meet Reverend Mother General, Mother d'Alancon, Reverend Mother McEvoy and other Nuns whom we had known. Ethnea, Ita's sister, also managed to come for the Ceremony. There was only one sad thought on such a great day - the tragic death of Sister Morton's brother Michael a few weeks previously. R.I. P. His wife (Mary Hennessy) came to the Ceremony with Maire, Teresa-Mary and Nonie, and there is no need to say that all present gave them a special share in their prayers.
The ceremony was performed by His Grace, Archbishop King, and Reverend Father Baron, S.J., preached an inspiring Sermon on Religious Life.
The Boscombe contingent was invited to lunch and tea by Reverend Mother McEvoy and we spent a very happy day, seeing Reverend Mother General and the Nuns we knew and exchanging all the news among ourselves.
After Benediction, the time for departure came all too quickly and we drove home with very happy memories of the impressive ceremony.
This term the Dramatic Group resumed activities and hope to stage a production before Christmas. As the brunt of the work for previous performances had fallen on Sheila McFadden, Christine Browning and Mary Hanlon volunteered to make arrangements this time while Sheila continues to help and direct.
The special rendezvous for Past Pupils is the Annual School Dance, and a large number of members were present. Perhaps few knew A. Cave, who was one of the judges far Fancy Dress. We were very pleased indeed that she was able to come back to one of the Boscombe activities during her holiday from America where she teaches at Manhattanville College.
At the dance and during the following week, Linda Thornback managed to get together a Netball team to play against the Present Pupils. E. Hughes, S. McFadden, J. Bacon, L. Thornback, A. Crawford, C. Weatherley and C. Clement were sporty enough to volunteer and considering they had no previous practice together, played a very good game. On this occasion we learned that E. Hughes has been given a Commission in the W.R.N.S. and we offer her our congratulations.
We close this survey of the year with a general invitation to all Past Pupils to attend the Reunion at the Convent on Sunday, January 6th, at 3 p.m. R.S.V.P. to, Reverend Mother by January 3rd.
News of individual members is of interest to all and as we like to share in one another's joys and sorrows, it is helpful if members send in any announcements which may be included in the Magazine.