Sunday, 27 March 2011


I know, I know!  This isn't strictly St Patrick's Convent School!  But it is HOLY CROSS.  Remember Holy Cross?  Who among us didn't have their eye on some "cute Holy Cross boy"?  Were you one of the girls who spent Sunday afternoons sitting on our school wall watching the Holy Cross Cadets practise in their school yard?  Did you, with a vigorous nodding of the head and an innocent face solemnly assure your teacher, "Yes Sister, it's my brother" as you dashed off to Buckmasters Field to watch the Holy Cross Cadets strut their stuff at the Annual Army Cadet Inspection?  Did you ever lose your voice cheering on our Holy Cross Crusaders at a Basketball, Soccer or Hockey Game?  Enough said!

Holy Cross Sports Day, 1959
(Click on the photo to enlarge it)
This picture was taken on 6th June 1959 at the first Holy Cross Sports Day held at the recently acquired Brother Egan Field on Leslie St.    Most of you will recognise Msgr D O'Keeffe, Msgr R McD Murphy, Fr Leo Shea, Archbishop P J Skinner and Br L Angel.  Msgr Murphy  was our long serving Parish Priest and the well loved Fr Shea was also serving at St Patrick's at that time.  Brother Angel was Principal of Holy Cross.  (It's a shame that our handsome P P was snapped adjusting his glasses.)

I hope this picture brings back some happy memories for you.  It did for me!

Friday, 25 March 2011


This great photo was sent to me by Shelly McAllister who rifled her 1979 Year Book for pictures for me.  Thank you very much Shelly.  It is greatly appreciated! 

There must be lots of you out there with Year Books, pictures, etc, so please don't be shy.  Why not e-mail them to me at 

Mrs Meaney's Grade 7 Class, 1979
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)
Front Row: A M Howlett, S McAllister, D Johnson, B Conway, S Billard, D Allison, B Hearn, G Brewer, Mrs A Meaney

Row 2: A Godsell, M Brennan, C Crotty, T Brewer, K Carey, K Collins, S Evans, G Mallard

Row 3: L Gallagher, K Cullen, P Harding, M Carville, A M Hurley, R Pretty, K Coady, M Hayes

Row 4:  B Osmond, S Hayes, S Dalton, J Browne, E Donnelly, D Dalton, L Lyver, F Mathioudaki

Thursday, 24 March 2011


“Ah! Must –Designer Infinite! –
Ah! Must Thou char the wood
ere Thou canst limn with it?"
(The Hound of Heaven,
by Francis Thompson)

After their arrival in St John’s in 1833, the Presentation Sisters immediately and wholeheartedly began their work among the poor Irish Catholics of the port.

The “Designer Infinite” did indeed “char the wood” for, despite the solicitous care of Bishop Fleming, the Sisters’ early years in St John’s were beset with difficulties. Nevertheless, their efforts on behalf of the people were blessed and the girls of the town flocked to their school.

The four founding Sisters, Sr Bernard Kirwan, Sr Magdalen O’Shaughnessy, Sr Xaverius Lynch and Sr Xavier Maloney, were joined in 1843 by two Postulants from Ireland. That year, on the Feast of the Assumption, Bishop Fleming received Catherine Phelan (Sr M Ignatius Aloysius) and Amelia Shanley (Sr M Antonio Magdalen) into the Presentation Congregation in St John’s. In his excellent book, “Fire Upon the Earth”, Brother J B Darcy tells us that a lay Sister was also received that day but, unfortunately, he does not give her name.

It was becoming increasingly difficult for just six Sisters to cope with the more than 1,000 pupils who daily came to the school. Accordingly, the good Bishop once again appealed to the Galway Presentation Convent for more Sisters. In 1846, having received the consent of Bishop O’Donnell of Galway, Sr M Josephine French and Sr M DeSales Lovelock accompanied Bishop Fleming to their new home in St John’s. True to the spirit of Nano Nagle, and in the full knowledge of the tragic fire that had just reduced St John’s to a pile of blackened rubble, these selfless and courageous ladies generously volunteered to forsake their home, family and friends.

Gradually the Presentation Community grew as the Sisters were joined by recruits from Ireland and Newfoundland and the Sisters began to establish new Convents in the Colony. Their first new House was opened in Harbour Grace in July 1851. By 1855 there were five Presentation Convents in Newfoundland.
The Old St Patrick's Convent
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)
On 10th January 1856, four Presentation Sisters came from the Community at Cathedral Square to establish a Convent at Riverhead, in the West End of St John’s. Sr M Clare Waldron was appointed Superior. The next day, Fr Kieran Walsh celebrated Mass in the Convent Chapel. This house was cold and damp so in March 1880 the Foundation Stone was laid for a new building to better serve the needs of the Sisters and their charges. On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1882, Bishop Thomas Joseph Power solemnly blessed the new St Patrick’s Convent and celebrated the first Mass in its Chapel.

In the beginning, the Sisters taught both boys and girls in their school. However, St Patrick’s eventually became an all girls’ school. The enrolment increased steadily and, 65 years after the Sisters opened their first school, a new school was opened. In 1921 a new St Patrick’s Convent School, erected as a Memorial to the men of the Parish who died in WWI, opened on Deanery Avenue.

By the 1950s, it was realized that the current buildings were unable to adequately meet increasing educational needs. On 2nd October 1953, His Grace Most Reverend Patrick James Skinner blessed the cornerstone of the new St Patrick’s School on Patrick St. On 4th January 1954 Archbishop Skinner celebrated Mass on the main corridor of the new school and blessed the building.

Sadly, St Patrick’s Convent School is no more. In 1999 St Patrick’s closed its doors for the last time. The building is now a private school. Fortunately, the Presentation Sisters remain a presence in St Patrick’s Parish and the oft renovated and improved Convent which was opened in 1882 is still their home.


Monday, 21 March 2011



 This lovely little gem comes from Marie O’Brien. I think this story is priceless and I am sure that those of you who shared a classroom with Sr Columba’s Budgie will love it too. Marie wrote:

“I lived on George St. and I was in Sr. Columba's Class. I don't have any pictures but I do have a lot of memories of the Sisters, including a budgie bird that Sr. Columba had in her class room and I used to have to buy the feed for it. I can't remember the Principal's name at the time and I am sure it will come to me, but Sr Columba would hide the receipts plus the feed whenever she came into the room. So funny! I always made sure I had receipts for anything I bought her.


I also remember buying her black stockings from the Arcade. Those were the days! I was probably the poorest kid in the class and I never could figure out why she trusted me. lol.

I also have to add that Sr. Columba wanted me to take her name for my Confirmation and I did. My Mom just about had a fit and of course she wouldn't change it because she didn't want to offend her, but I am thinking she was also scared of the nuns back then, just like we were. This is the first time I have ever told anyone my Confirmation name. I wonder if anyone else reading this has the same name.


Marie Burkhart (O’Brien)”

Marie later remembered that the Principal was Mother DeSales.

Marie, I too was given my Confirmation name by Sr Columba. However, I was a lot luckier than you were! Sr Columba gave me the name of Marie. That is a nice name so my Mom and I were both quite happy with that. I don’t know of anyone else with the name of Columba but they used to say that if you were Confirmed in Mother John’s class, she made everyone take either Mary or John! I don’t know if that is true or not but, knowing Mother John, it certainly has the ring of truth to it!

Thanks for getting in touch with these wonderful little anecdotes Marie. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Anyone with photographs, stories, etc, to contribute can e-mail me at

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Doreen Walsh e-mailed this to me.  It is a great photo of Sr Columba's Grade Five Class.  I think a lot of people will love this one.  Thank you Doreen, this is great.    I hope I will soon receive similiar e-mails from more of you ladies out there.  In the meantime, enjoy this picture and please leave your comments in the comments section and tick a rating too if you like. 

"Hi Beth Anne,

Here is the photo I was telling you about with the list of names below:

Sr Columba's Grade 5 Class, 1956/57
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)
Row 1: Elaine Morris, Bridie Vavasour, ??, Geraldine Hearn, Ann Whelan, Alana Graham, Rita Hickey

Row 2: Elizabeth Healey, Mary Lambert, Dianne Richards, Bernadette Grouchy, Lorraine Reese, Sheila Glynn, Marie O'Brien, Patsy Noseworthy, Valerie McGrath, Alice Hennessey, Margie Morrissey,Bernadette Hearn, Maureen Sullivan

Row 3: Bernadette Yetman, Doreen Walsh, Brenda Tracey, Maureen Walsh, Marlene Morris, Bernice Noftall, Bernice Rose, Carol Sceviour, Patsy Walsh, Doreen Hynes, Linda Callahan, Dolores Connolly

Row 4: Frances Mealey, Peggy Butler, Norma Williams, Patsy King, Mary Johnson, Jeannie Albert, Carol Anne Carew, Sheila Carew, Joan Hynes, Eileen Maher, Sister Columba

Row 5: Yvonne Street, Dorothy Levine, Joan Picco, Mary Clark, Sandra Boggan, Barbara Walsh

Hope you enjoy this little stroll down memory lane. This would have been taken during the 1956-57 school year. Please feel free to add this to your blog. I'm sure there would be a few people out there who would like to see this.

Look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers for now.


Doreen did a great job remembering all but one name.  Can anyone supply the missing name?   

Friday, 18 March 2011


Thanks to Betty Simms, I am able to post some more pictures of the great reunion of August 2010.  (Again, I make a plea to anyone who has any old school pictures, or even any not so old school pictures, to e-mail them to me at and I will post them on the blog.  Any stories or reminiscences of St Patrick's would also be appreciated!) 

This handsome young man is Valerie McGrath's son.  I think his name is Peter McDonald.  If I am wrong about his name, I apologise and I hope that someone will be kind enough to correct me so that I can put it right.  I have been told by many that he did an excellent job of piping the "girls" into Church.  Well done Peter and well done Valerie on having such a fine son!
Here we have the "Craigmillar Girls",  Elaine Collins, Jenny Finlay, Betty Simms, Marina Grace and Jackie English.    It seems like only yesterday you were all standing at the bus stop!
Patsy Whiffen, Barbara Sharpe, Bernadette Grouchy and Alice Prim take time out for a photo.  You all still look great but then, why wouldn't you?  It has only been fifty years!
Madeline Adams also provided some great entertainment.
Joan Evans, Elizabeth Healy, Florence Furey and Sr Marie Furey P B V M also pause for a photo.  The beautiful reunion cake (which you can see by scrolling down the page a little) was made by Florence's husband, Tom Greene.  
Fr John Hanton, Bridie Colbert, Rosann Martin, Eileen Maher and Gillian Martin enjoy a chat after dinner.  It is really good to see Fr Hanton again.  He hasn't changed an awful lot since that Holy Angels party back in 1958.  (You can see that picture too by scrolling down the page a bit.)

Thursday, 17 March 2011



Tuesday, 15 March 2011


O K Girls, here is the one you have all been waiting for!  It is Sr Immaculata's Grade Six Class, 1958.  This picture is pretty special because this is the one that made it into a Mission Magazine!  I can't remember which magazine it was but perhaps someone can help me out with that.  Why was our picture in a Mission Magazine?  Well, because we sent a GREAT DEAL of money to the missions that year.  I think we used to call it "Buying babies".  Thank God none of them ever arrived!  

Sr Immaculata was a great one for fund raising.  Remember how someone in each row was appointed collector and every day that poor girl had to collect money for the missions from the girls in her row?  Then on Friday, whichever row Sister had extorted the most money from - oops, sorry, slip of the tongue!  I meant to say, whichever row had donated the most money that week, had a homework free weekend.  Oh Joy! 

Here's a puzzle.  Can anyone tell me why, whenever I watch "A Christmas Carol" and poor old Jacob Marley's ghost appears fettered with all those chains and money boxes, I think of Grade Six?

Sr Immaculata's Grade 6 Class, 1957/58
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)
Front Row)  Anne Frizell, Florence Evans, Diane Richards, Geraldine Hearn, Doreen Walsh, Eleanor Simms, Alana Graham, Sheila Bulger, Mary Glynn
2) Carol Brothers, Diane Walsh, Irene Pope, Patsy Whiffen, Bernadette Mansfield, Margaret Power, Elizabeth Meaney, Judy Comerford, Alice Hennessey, Bernadette Hearn, Patsy Stafford, Joan Croke

3) Mary Kennedy, Carol Sceviour, Patsy Walsh, Eileen Maher, Anne Whelan, Beth Anne McAllister, Sheila Glynn, Brenda Tracey, Peggy Butler, Bridie Colbert, Margaret Morrisey
4) Loretta Maher, Lucy Power, Betty Simms, Alice Prim, Linda Callahan, Jackie English, Rosalie Brewer, Elizabeth Flynn, Diane Hawley, Patsy Arsenault, Betty Gallivan 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


I hope I won't find myself in hot water over this post.  The photographs are from the Souvenir  Booklet from the 1987 Reunion and I hope that nobody objects to their use here.  If there is a copyright problem, please let me know and I will remove them immediately.  I hope that won't be necessary because the photos will surely bring back some memories.

Monday, 7 March 2011


In August 2010, a group of St Patrick's girls held a reunion. It was fifty years since they left St Patrick's so there was a lot of laughter and a few tears as old friends and classmates got together. I have been sent some pictures of this happy occasion so I will post some of them for all to enjoy.

By the way, if you are planning a reunion, get together or other function involving St Patrick's, if you let me know the details, I will happily post them here.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos from the 2010 reunion.  (CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE THEM.)

This is the reunion cake.  Mary Kennedy has informed me that this beautiful cake was made by Tom Greene.  Tom is the obviously talented husband of Florence Furey.  You got a winner there Florence!  Thanks for the information Mary. 

Two popular teachers, Miss Fagan and Miss Howard, cut the reunion cake.

Doreen Walsh  provided some excellent entertainment with her singing and guitar playing.  My first memory of Doreen entertaining us goes back to  Miss Murphy's Kindergarten Class.  Doreen entertained us then with her singing but she wasn't playing guitar.  She played the Spoons and we thought she was amazing - which, of course, she was!

Entertainment was also provided by Mary Kennedy and her Line Dancing Friends.  Even after fifty years, St Patrick's Girls can still cut it!

Thanks to Betty Simms for these photos.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


A Party for the "Holy Angels", about 1958
(click on the picture to enlarge it)
The quality of this picture leaves a lot to be desired but I hope you are able to make out some of the people on it and that it brings back some happy memories for you.  I think you all will remember "The Holy Angels" and "The Children of Mary". 

If my memory serves me correctly, this was a party for the Holy Angels.  It was held after school in the auditorium and we had a great time.  A young Fr John Hanton and an equally young Fr Phil Lewis graced us with their presence and to our delight, Fr Lewis entertained us on the piano with all the songs from the "Hit Parade".  I remember we were amazed because we didn't think priests knew good songs!   

I don't know what year this picture was taken and I don't know all the names.  Some of those in the picture are: Anne Whelan, Carol Sceviour, Patsy Stafford, Bridie Colbert, Carol Brothers, Patsy Walsh, Lucy Power, Eileen Maher, Alice Prim, Fr Hanton, Fr Lewis, Sheila Glynn, Betty Simms, Mary Glynn, Brenda Tracey, Elizabeth Flynn. 

I hope someone can enlighten us with some more names and any other details of this event.  You can either leave the information in the comments box at the end of this post or e-mail me at the address in the section "contributors".   If you have any photos or stories that you would like to share, it would be greatly appreciated.