Sunday, 5 February 2017


This photo was posted on the blog some time ago but I am happy to re-post it because we now have the names of the boys and the Christian Brother with them.  Recently, I was delighted to receive a wonderful email from Ray Simms.  Ray is the handsome little boy on the far right of the back row, and he has identified most of the other boys for us.
Holy Cross Boys, Confirmation, 1942

 Front Row, L-R:  J O'Brien, unknown, P Murphy, J Cleary, B Evans, J Barron, R Morrissey, J Baird, C Baird, J Walsh, P Roynayne
Row 2, L-R B English, J St George, J Greene, C Penney, B Whittle, A Fitzgerald, D Molloy, B Kielly, L Hickey, C McKay
Row 3, L-R:  C Ennis, P Miller, R Kavanagh, D Baird, T Brewer, J McAllister, R Whelan, B Parrell, C Carew, Brother Drayton
Row 4, L-R:  J Hickey, E Parsley, B Fanning, J Whelan, R McGrath, F Kavanagh, F Gough, R Simms 
Ray, I can't thank you enough for your help with this.  It is really great to hear from you and we hope you will keep in touch.  Thank you so very much.

Friday, 3 February 2017


I have recieved a photo from Joan Reynolds Fogarty and I am so happy to hear that she and her group of school friends are continuing their tradition of meeting up several times a year.  This photo was taken at their Christmas get together which was held at Rumplestilkins.    
The friends  pictured are, left to right;

Betty Fitzgerald Pye, Catherine Corbett Stanley, Mary Fitzgerald, Eleanor Sears Vatcher, Brenda Casey Grouchy, Mary Bulger Corcoran, Joan Reynolds Fogarty, Joan Ryan Cobb, Patricia Connolly Leonard, Kathleen Dobbin Benson, Rosemary Ashley Healy.
Thanks Joan for letting us share your Christmas gathering.  Thank you also for all the help you have give to this blog over the years.  It is very much appreciated.  I would also like to commend you and your group on the loyalty you show to one another.  You ladies really show us what friendship is all about.   

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


We have an important fact for today, 10th January. This is a special day for us because it marks the beginning of St Patrick’s Convent Schools.
Early days, St Patrick's Convent, (Presentation Archives)
The Convent Annals say “On the tenth day of January eighteen hundred and fifty six, Sister Mary Clare Waldron, Sister Mary Ignatius Quinlan, Sister Mary Rose Mullally and Sister Mary Regis Halpin (Novice), religious of the Presentation Order, came from the Motherhouse to establish another house of the Order at Riverhead in this town, under the authority of the Most Reverend Dr Mullock, Bishop of St John’s”.  Sr  Mary Clare was appointed Superior. 
The first School, 1856

Thus it was that St Patrick’s Convent came into being and generations benefited from the ministrations of the daughters of Nano Nagle.  

For  160 years, "Riverhead" was blessed with the presence of the Presentation Sisters.     Regrettably, the Sisters left in 2016 but their influence remains.  We are sad they are gone but so grateful they came.

Monday, 2 January 2017


We start 2017 off by featuring a class photo of Sr Brendan's Grade 9 Class. The photo is taken from Paula's 1979 Yearbook and, I am happy to say, we have everyone's name!
Sr Mary Brendan and her Grade 9 Class
Row 1 (l-r): J Reddigan, C Mercer, M O'Brien, S Pearce, A Reddigan, S Wade, S Sommerton, G Lamkin, Sr M Brendan
Row 2:  P Drover, R Angel, L O'Leary, D Carew, P Tucker, C Flynn, K Murphy,
Row 3:  K Steele, V Dalton, R Hennessey, L Maher, D O'Toole, C Fitzpatrick, P Dalton, S Francis

Are you in this picture ?  If it brings back some memories for you, perhaps you would like to share them.  You can do just that by emailing me at

Once again, Paula, thanks for the loan of your Yearbook.  It is a treasure.

Saturday, 31 December 2016


After their arrival in St John’s, the pioneer Sisters lived at the Bishop’s residence where a section had been set aside for them. A month later they moved to ‘The Rising Sun’, a former tavern which the Bishop had renovated for their use.  This accommodation proved to be most unsuitable so Bishop Fleming rented the former residence of Archdeacon Wix.  It promised to be a happy New Year for the Sisters as, on New Year’s Eve, 31st December 1833, the Sisters moved into this larger, more comfortable property situated near King’s Road. The Sisters remained there for about nine years and the area became known as Nunnery Hill, a name it bears to this day.

Next time you are in the Prescott St, Gower St area of downtown, spare a thought for the valiant Irish ladies whose presence gave rise to the name of Nunnery Hill.


Saturday, 24 December 2016


On Christmas Eve, 1775, in a cottage in Cove Lane, Cork, Nano Nagle founded the Sisters of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Later, the name was changed to the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM).
Venerable Nano Nagle,
Foundress of the Presentation Sisters
We wish all Presentation Sisters, pupils and former pupils, a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2017. (Special Christmas greetings to former St Patrick's teachers and pupils.) 

Monday, 19 December 2016


This is a nice little Christmas video. It will probably set us straight on some Christmas "facts". Enjoy the video and a very Happy Christmas to everyone.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


It's Hockey Season again (it seems to get longer every year!) so we dipped into the 1961 Holy Cross Yearbook to see what we could find.  We came up with this wonderful photo of the Crusaders Hockey Team,  High School Champs for that year! How many of you can remember those thrilling games? I am delighted that we have all the names of the players and the coach. Where are they now?  

Holy Cross Crusaders, High School Hockey Champs 1961
Row 1:  Ed Colford, Peter Densmore, Gerry Holden, Pat Densmore, Pat Hearn, John Murphy

Row 2:  Brother H B French (coach), Jim Finlay, Roger Maunder, John McCormack, Jim Casey, Nick Antle, Larry Dillon

Row 3:  Robert Wells, Cyril Kane, Jim Squires, Ron Baird, Ed Kennedy, Paul Labonte

Sunday, 27 November 2016

You Don't Know Jack...about Advent


Monday, 21 November 2016


Venerable Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Sisters
November 21st, is PRESENTATION DAY.

On this Presentation Day 2016, we remember another, long ago Presentation Day, and pay a humble tribute to a very special Presentation Sister, SISTER MARY ROSE MULALLY.  Why is Sr Rose special?

Sr Mary Rose Mulally was the first Newfoundlander to become a Presentation Sister!  Born in Bonavista in 1824 to Edward and Eliza Mulally, she was baptised Catherine. Catherine entered the Presentation Convent, St John’s, on Presentation Day, 21st November, 1851.  (Sr M Francis Mulally, a founding member of the Harbour Main Convent, was her sister.) 

On 24th September 1853 Sr Rose Mulally, under the leadership of Mother Bernard Kirwan, was part of the group of five Sisters who founded Our Lady of Mount Carmel Convent in Admiral’s Cove, Fermeuse. 

Three years later, Sr Rose was again a member of a founding group.  On 10th January 1856, she joined Sr M Clare Waldron, Sr M Ignatius Quinlan and Sr M Regis Halpin in establishing the new community at St Patrick’s, Riverhead. 

At some point, Sr Rose returned to the Fermeuse Community, which relocated to Renews in 1876.  Sr Mary Rose Mulally died at Renews on 3rd March 1903.  She is buried in the Presentation Cemetery, Renews.

The grave of the first Newfoundland born Presentation Sister

Earlier this year, on a cold and windy day, my sister, my husband, and I climbed the hill to the Presentation Cemetery in Renews to find the grave of Sr Rose. Though cold and windblown, we felt privileged to be able to stand at her grave and honour this Newfoundland girl who played such an integral part in the founding of St Patrick’s Convent.  Surely, as the first Newfoundland born Presentation Sister, Sr Mary Rose Mulally holds an important place in the history of the Presentation Sisters as well as in the history of Newfoundland.

Two very cold St Patrick's 'girls' pay their respects at the grave
of one of the founding Sisters of St Patrick's Convent 


Friday, 11 November 2016



Today, Remembrance Day 2016, we remember two priests with a connection to St Patrick’s Parish who served as chaplains in WWI and WWII.

Earlier this week, on 8th November, Padre Thomas Nangle was recognised as a person of significance across Canada when a commemorative plaque was unveiled at Canadian Forces Station, Pleasantville.

Thomas Nangle was born in St John’s in 1889.  In 1913, after studies in Ireland, he was ordained a priest by Archbishop M F Howley at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in St John’s.  Father Nangle served St Patrick’s Parish from 1914 to 1916.  He enlisted in the Newfoundland Regiment and was its respected and well loved chaplain.  After the war, Padre Nangle supervised the exhumation of known graves and was responsible for the erection of the five Caribou Memorials across Europe.  Four are in France and one is in Belgium.  

He was also the driving force behind the building of the War Memorial in St John’s. 

Regarding Memorials, Padre Nangle was quoted as saying that they were “monuments to our glorious dead and to our just as glorious survivors.  They are monuments to the mothers that bore such brave sons and the land that bred them”. Padre Thomas Nangle rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In the 1920s he left the priesthood and settled in Rhodesia where he married and had four children.  He died there in January 1972.

I knew nothing of Fr Francis James Jackman until recently when Eleanor Dalton sent me a photo taken at St Patrick’s Convent more than 70 years ago.  Among a group of Presentation Nuns was a smiling priest in military uniform.  Eleanor didn’t know who the priest was so she sought the help of Frank Galgay. 
Frank was able to tell Eleanor that the priest in question was Fr Francis James Jackman.  Fr Jackman was born in 1903.  During WWII, in 1941, he moved his residence to St Patrick’s. Around that time, Fr Jackman enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy.  He served as a Naval Chaplain for the duration of the war.  On 31st December 1945 Fr Jackman was demobilised with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 

After the war Fr Jackman returned to Newfoundland where he again took up duties as a parish priest.  From 1948 until 1977 he was parish priest of St Edwards Parish, Kelligrews.  He retired in 1977 and died four years later, in 1981.  The Knights of Columbus Fr Francis Jackman Council 9303 was formed in 1986 and is named in his honour.

Saturday, 5 November 2016


On 3rd November the media was full of the news that the Presentation Sisters have donated St Patrick's Convent to the City of St John's for use as affordable housing for senior citizens. Sister Betty Rae Lee pointed out that through their various ministries they learned that elderly people are experiencing great difficulty finding comfortable, affordable places to live. Sadly, the Presentation Sisters, a caring presence in the West End for 160 years, have gone from our Parish, but through their magnanimous  gift, their generous spirit will live on.  The City of St John's, particularly the  people of the West End, owe much to the generations of Presentation Sisters who have graced our corner of the world.  May God's richest blessings be theirs.
Our thanks go to Katrina who has kindly sent us a copy of a recent Sunday Bulletin from  St Patrick's Parish.  


Thursday, 27 October 2016


Those of you who know the Mallard girls will also know what a talented family they are musically.  It seems they have other talents as well. Marylou Mallard Tucker  is also a gifted poet.  We have posted several of Lulu's poems previously and we are proud to post this special poem written by her on the occasion of St Patrick's Convent and the leaving of the Presentation Sisters.  The Sisters' leave taking ends 160 years of their presence at St Patrick's but the memories they have left us with and the loyalty which they have inspired in us will be here for many, many years to come. Here is Marylou's loving tribute.       

St. Patrick’s Convent  
A beautiful Mass was held in the Presentation Sisters honour
With Archbishop Currie, Father Beresford and Father Wayne,
To celebrate one hundred and sixty years
“Love” was Sister Nano Nagle and her Sisters’ claim to fame.

I was asked by my sister Rosemary
To attend a very special Mass,
It was in honour of the closing of the Convent Home
As our memories kept flowing back to the past.

Prayer beads were received when doing messages for the nuns
As we brought back packages to their sacred place,
Piano at this convent was taught to us by Sister Stephanie
We always carried a happy smile upon our face.

A celebration was held at the parish room
Food and drink was so meticulously prepared,
Seeing fellow students from so many years ago
The gathering showed how much everybody cared.

The highlight for me was seeing Sister Brendan
Sitting there to my surprise,
I went over to her and held her hand
With heartfelt tears that glistened in my eyes.

She remembered me when I told her who I was
As it has been over 45 years,
“The Mallards, Oh yes, I think of you often,
Beautiful singers", the words I did hear.

Sister Catherine had introduced us to Sister Brendan.
Rosemary, Helen, Elizabeth and I,
We sang in harmony, “Come Home Newfoundlander”
They smiled, nodded their heads and sighed.

As I stood there, still holding her precious hands
My heart was lit on fire,
Memories flowing back to when we were little kids
Singing in her fabulous and outstanding well know choir.

Love you always, and think of you fondly when we sing!!!!

Mary Lou (Mallard) Tucker and the Mallard family

This is a lovely tribute to the Sisters who served us so well and particularly to Sr Brendan. Thank you so very much Marylou.

Friday, 21 October 2016


We lost the last of our three schools in 1999. Now we are losing our convent and we have to say goodbye to our good Presentation Sisters.  St Patrick’s Convent and the Presentation Sisters have been an outstanding presence in St Patrick’s Parish for 160 years and it is certainly a great loss for the West End. 

However, we have not lost the wonderful bonds of friendship that developed during our school days at St Patrick’s Convent Schools!  That those friendships are still held dear is evidenced by all the lovely ‘get-together’ pictures we receive.  Brenda Pearcey Cardwell has sent us just such a photo with news of her group of St Patrick’s friends.

Brenda said they started at St Patrick’s, Miss Murphy’s Grade 1 Class, in 1962.  They try to get together throughout the year.  In September they did a painting class at Clay Cafe.  (What a great idea.)  Here they are, friends and sisters – St Patrick’s girls all!
The ladies in the photo are L-R;
Karen Dawe, Audrey Dawe (seated), Lorraine O’Rielley, Debbie Crane, Debbie Doherty, Sharon Pearcey (behind Debbie D), Betty Walsh (back right), Brenda Pearcey (back far left)

Thank you so very much for sharing with us Brenda.  It is really nice to hear from you and your friends and we hope you will keep us up to date on your future meetings.    

Monday, 10 October 2016


We have another wonderful photograph from Eleanor Dalton's family album!  It was taken sometime between the years 1941-1945 and it really is  a valuable piece of St Patrick's Convent History.  We are very grateful to Eleanor for sharing it with us.

We can name some of the Sisters and we are hoping that you will be able to help us with those we don't know. If you can help, please contact us at 

From the back L-R: Sr Patrick, Sr Josephine, ?, Sr Sebastian (maybe), Sr Columba, Sr Celine (maybe), Sr Imelda, Sr Agnes, Mother John, ?, Mother DeSales, Sr Camilla, Fr Jackman, ?, Sr Agatha (maybe)
Who do you know in this historic photo?

Eleanor said the picture was taken at the back entrance of the convent. Since she had no idea who the military priest was, she sent the photo to Frank Galgay who was able to identify the priest.  Eleanor has also sent us a copy of Frank's email, which he has given us permission to post here.
Frank's interesting & informative email
Once again, a very big 'Thank You' to Eleanor for all the help she gives to our School Blog. The pictures are an important part of the history of St Patrick's Convent and Schools and we are proud and pleased to be able to post them on the blog.  Thanks also to Frank Galgay for identifying the priest in this photo and for allowing us to post his reply to Eleanor's email. The interesting information about Fr Jackman is another valuable piece of St Patrick's history. Thank you both very much.