St Maur’s Reunion Tea
When we first set about planning the reunion tea for the St Maur’s alumnae we anticipated getting about 20 ladies back to School for the afternoon. Never in our wildest dreams did we think the response would be so well received. On Wednesday 9th May we welcomed 66 alumnae and former St Maur’s staff to St George’s Junior School.
Mr Antony Hudson, Junior School Headmaster opened up his School to the Old Girls so that they could enjoy an afternoon reflecting back on their time as students but at the same time taking in all the sights and sounds of a modern, happy and thriving, co-ed day school.
The St Maur’s alumnae thoroughly enjoyed the tours of the Junior School. As much as they enjoyed seeing all the new developments such as the Ark they marvelled at the sites so familiar – the playing grounds, where endless hours of lacrosse were enjoyed and the upper rooms where the nun’s quarters were located. These rooms were strictly out of bounds so it was a real treat for the group making their way up the stairs knowing they would not be getting into trouble. The modern day Performing Arts Studio was remembered for the girls’ ballet lessons and former St Maur’s ballet teacher Mrs Adrianne Gatland, who was a member of staff between 1962–1988, was present at the reunion. Simone Ellis (1970) remembered Halloween parties, with scary tricks and games including gooey spaghetti taking place each year in the hall. St Maur’s is very much a part of today’s school and is honoured with a beautiful stained glass window featuring their crest in the Chapel which can be found above the Chapel doors.
St Maur’s memorabilia including photographs, magazines, and a variety of literature was on display and it was a delight when we were able to witness the old girls discovering their names or faces amongst the archives. Sadly we don’t have many St Maur’s archives and would like to increase the photos and magazines we currently have. If you have anything you would like to share or donate, please do get in touch.
Prior to the reunion we asked the alumnae to provide us with their biographies which were included in a Who’s Who booklet. This gave each guest a little snapshot into their classmate’s lives since they left St Maur’s. It was incredibly interesting for us too, to read some of their wonderful stories, and we are delighted to share some of these with you:
Sandra Boler, 1959 recounts that she was on the first ship to leave Australia bound for England at the end of the war. She arrived at St Maur’s aged five, with two other girls – Deirdre Curran and Nuala Gleeson and they have all remained friends to this day!
Caroline Hart, 1972 tells us how she started St Maur’s in the Kindergarten in the St Anne’s building with Mrs Devlin, moving over the road to St Catherine’s and eventually leaving to do her A Levels at St George’s. She was extremely happy at St Maur’s and has clear memories of many girls, members of staff, blue Harris Tweed, straw boaters and white gloves.
Janine Hildyard, 1976 says her time at St Maur’s was an incredibly happy time. She remembers her white gloves and boater, not walking on Reverend Mother’s garden, school dinners, once a wasp landed in her apricot crumble (which was her favourite) and she refused to eat it! She also remembers fondly hiding under the gym during sacred singing, and going to confession when she wasn’t meant to (as she was not a Catholic).
Emma Orriss, 1991 recounts how her friendships were the very best point, but she remembers some teachers with huge affection – Mrs Athurshuch (Geography), Miss Fare (Drama) and Mrs Esekiel (English).
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the most enjoyable afternoon. Looking forward, we would love to meet with many more St Maur’s girls and we will set about organising an evening reunion in the summer of 2019.
Maureen Dodds (former St Maur's Headmistress), Betty Sanders and Lindsey Courtney
Ann Baty-Scott (1965) and Penny Heath (1977)
Caroline Wood (1988) and Michelle Cottle (1990)
Jill Cook (1976), Janine Hildyard (1976) and Debbie Read (1976)
Lavinia Baily (1955), Jacky Krauth (1957) and Maureen Gleeson (1957)