Another New Year and one of special interest to Catholics throughout the world. The Centenary Year of the Lourdes Apparitions. Well in advance, Reverend Mother planned a Pilgrimage to Lourdes from Besoombe and those who had been saving for the occasion, realised that anticipation would soon give place to realisation.
As a School we shall strive to help to spread the Message of Lourdes during the course of the year.
Form IVa invited the rest of the school to Puppet Shows in the Art Room. Puppets, stage, scenery etc., had been made by the girls and the entertainment was most enjoyable.
February 7th to 10th. Retreat Days. Fr. Scott, S.J., gave us the instructions during these three days and was with us for the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and other devotions. This spiritual help coming at the beginning of Lent provided us with suggestions and guidance for the Holy Season. Do we realise how many opportunities we are offered or value sufficiently the use of our beautiful Convent Chapel?
11th. Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - celebrated with renewed fervour this year. Each Form paid a visit to the Grotto in the grounds and in the evening Nuns and Boarders had a torch-light procession.
Reverend Mother presented a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes to be placed on the stairs in the Senior School and the Boaders were delighted with the pictures of the Apparitions which they received from ? ? ?
14th. Juniors invited us to a play "Bernadette" acted in the junior School. Everyone found the reverent simplicity of the children most impressive and felt how close their representation must have been to the reality.
Quite a different production of the story of Lourdes was shown in the film "The Song of Bernadette."
Sundry activities in the Hall reminded us that Form Va, were rehearsing for a play and on March 12th we were invited to the School's Performance of "Alice Sit by the Fire." The humour of Sir J. M. Barrie's plays always makes a strong appeal and having enjoyed "Quality Street" and "The Admirable Crichton" in previous years, we looked forward to production and found that our expectations were satisfied.
The cast acted enthusiastically and the parts were certainly well chosen.
Alice Grey ... ... .. ... I. Wuytack.
Colonel Grey ... .. ...... S. Matthews
Amy (them daughter) E. Westgarth-Taylor
Gosmo (their son) . . ... ... K. Kitchen
Genevra (Amy's friend) ...P Cobb
The Nurse . ...G. Garwood
The Housemaid ...G. McIlroy
Mr. Stephen Rollo ..A. Hutchins
Richardson (his Landlady's slavey). . . . A. Colbourne
March 14th. On Friday afternoon, the juniors invited Reverend Mother to an entertainment in the junior School during which they wished her "A Happy Feast" in anticipation of March 17th. The wishes of the Senior School were expressed in an address read by Sheila Lee and painted by AnneMary Dixon. In replying to the address, Reverend Mother let us into a secret: she had determined to go forward with plans for the building of a Science Block adjacent to the Senior School and hoped to have the work in progress before the end of the School Year.
March 15th. Public Performance of "Alice Sit by the Fire."
March 17th. St. Patrick's Day, with all its traditional celebrations which evoke fresh enthusiasm each year. In honour of her Feast Reverend Mother invited the whole school to see "Bambi" during the early part of the morning. Even those who had seen the film before were delighted to watch it again. Afterwards the juniors retired for refreshments, while the Seniors prepared for the Irish v. the English Netball match. What time and work had been devoted to the preparations.
Great minds, whether Irish or English, apparently thought alike - for when the School had assembled in the garden, the teams arrived, one in a Rocket which was in imminent danger of disintegration as it emerged from the Games shed; the other in a Sputnik entitled "From the Past into the Present." The passengers of the latter were four Gaelic Kings in all their royal splendour and the players looked particularly smart in the hats designed `a la parisienne' by one of our French Boarders, Laurence Costil.
A very exciting match followed and finally honours went to the English: Perhaps the Irish team's costumes, so attractive to the eye, were not so well adapted to speed of movement and the force of the wind. In the afternoon, the Seniors enjoyed one educational and one detective film. It was a relief to sit quietly after the excitement of the match.
Benediction was given at the end of the afternoon and our thanksgiving for a happy day found expression in the full singing of the Choir. After Benediction, we were invited to refreshments and to Dancing in the Gym until the Boarders' supper time.
31st. Rev. Father Bulbeck, S.J. showed us slides on the Mass with a helpful commentary given by himself. We should like to thank Father Bulbeck for this and the other Lectures with slides which he has so willingly given us.
Easter holidays. On April 18th, however, the Senior Choir and quite a large number of other pupils came to the Convent Chapel for the Clothing Ceremony of Sister Teresa. (Miss T. Nolan) who had formerly been a mistress in the junior School.
The Archbishop was present and spoke very impressively of Religious Life. He refered to the work which Miss Nolan had done in the Legion of Mary, work that was very valuable, but of her own choice. Now under obedience, she would be able to do still greater if less conspicuous work for God, for the greatest merit lies where one's own will is left aside.
The following day, the Boscombe group of Pilgrims to Lourdes set out, taking with them the intentions of the whole Community and School. A full account of the Pilgrimage is given in another part of the Magazine, but we should like to take this opportunity of mentioning the contacts made with the Nuns and pupils of other Convents, those from Stakes with whom we crossed to France, the Soissons party who were our companions in the coach and the groups from Saint Quentin, Antony, Bar-le-Duc and La Louviere whom we met at Lourdes.
Our thanks are due in particular to Reverend Mother Viet who organised eveything so well and who spared no trouble to enable the English girls to see as much as possible of the French countryside and Shrines as well as Lourdes itself. Mere Grimmer and Mere Gibrin looked after our material needs and helped us gout as interpreters on many occasions.
Finally the Boscombe group would like to express our appreciation of all the arrangements made by our own Reverend Mother to ensure the success of the Pilgrimage and to Mother Wallace for her many months' work preceding the Pilgrimage collecting, planning, and coping with our individual diffiiculties and needs.
April 24th - School reopened - just too late for another International match in honour of Saint George.
On the first Saturday of term, we enjoyed a performance of "Nine till Six," a play in Three Acts, kindly given in the School Hall by the Past Pupils of our Southsea Convent.
Feast of the Cross, May 3rd. Some of the Senior Day pupils came to Mass in the Convent Chapel. The Choir sang motets this year instead of the Proper of the Mass. These included "Panis Angelicus, " "0 Crux Ave," and "Aye Maria. "
Later in the day they were asked to sing at the Nuptial Mass following the wedding of Monica Hughes, a former Head Girl. Her bridesmaids were Josephine Doyle and Margaret Collins, both Past Pupils.
10th. Parents and pupils and parishioners of the Bournemouth Churches were invited to a production of "The Message of Lourdes" The play itself culminating in a torch-light procession was appreciated by a large audience and the sympathetic acting of Jacqueline Sonnex as Our Lady and of Sheila Elvins as Bernadette, helped to create the atmosphere of reverence.
18th. An unexpected pleasure in the nature of a Lantern Lecture given in the Hall by Archbishop Markall, S. J. His intimate knowledge of Southern Rhodesia made the account of the Missionary work most interesting and we learned a great deal of general information about the country as well as of the work of the Church there.
Towards the end of May, we could not help observing that the gardeners were working with even more than usual vigour. We soon learned that the grounds were to be used for a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament on Whit Monday, on the occasion of the AltarServers' Rally, being held at Corpus Christi Church. Priests and servers from all parts of the Diocese were present, and an altar was erected in the entrance to the Assembly Hall.
Before the end of May, it was a great pleasure for us all to see dear Reverend Mother General in Boscombe again, We look
forward to her visits and only wish that they
could be more frequent.
Before her departure
we repeated "The Message of Lourdes" as
Reverend Mother General was unable to be
here for the public performance.