Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I couldn't manage to keep this blog going without the help of so many generous St Patrick's girls.  In this case, it is Rose Ash to whom I am indebted.  I received this e-mail and class picture from Rose and she and her cousin Mary Lou have also supplied the names.  Thank you so very much Rose and Mary Lou.  Keep the great material coming!

"Hi Beth Anne

This is my Grade 6 Class of 1967 at St. Patrick's School. My cousin Mary Lou Tucker, my sister Helen Mallard and I were in this class.

Hope this can be added to your St. Patrick's School Blog.

Mary Lou and  I think we're accurate with the names, but not sure. We're hoping we're correct.

Grade 6 class, 1967

Front Row (L to R): Miss Doyle, Dianne Finley, Marie Wyatt, Miranda Jenkins, Glynnis Janes, Donna Kavanagh, Allison Murphy, Helen Mallard, Debbie Parrell
Second Row (L to R): Caroline Frizzle, Jean Harding, Maureen Power, Isabel Hynes, Rosemary Mallard, Betty Walsh, Elsie Johnson, Joan Marie Chipman


Third Row (L to R): Marie Cochran, Marilyn White, Rosalind Pear, Anne Marie Tobin, Cecilia Lampkin, Mary Lou Mallard, Rhonda Bishop, Lorraine Howell

Top Row (Lto R): Sheila Corbett, Joanne Ring,
Doris Walsh, Dianne Peddle, Marilyn Tucker,
Noreen Osmond, Debbie Walsh, Betty Walsh,
Betty Murrin

Thursday, 21 March 2013


I am greatly indebted to the good people at PRESENTATION CONGREGATIONAL ARCHIVES for this beautiful photo. It certainly brought back memories for me as I am certain it will for many of you. In an earlier post, Marie O'Brien Burkhart had a lovely story about Sr Columba's Budgie (click here for link) so it is with the greatest pleasure I add this photo along with the writing which is on the back of it.
Sr Columba was my grade 1 teacher at the Deanery Avenue School but she didn't have a budgie then.  Well, if she did, she never brought it into the classroom or mentioned it.  Later, when the 'new' school opened on Patrick St, Sr Columba taught Grade 4 there and I think, later again, Grade 5.  It was during her years at the 'new' school that Sister acquired her budgie.  Marie, can you remember the bird's name? 
Mother Rose was also a very popular and well loved teacher at St Patrick's.  In the late 1950s, she  taught Grade 7 in the Patrick St School.   Long before the opening of the school on Patrick Street, Mother Rose had taught at St Patrick's so it was a return to the West End for this gentle Nun.  Some of  our grandmothers remembered Mother Rose as a young Novice in a white veil in the early part of the 1900s.   Mother Rose had three nieces who became Presentation Sisters.  Sr Mary Aquin, Sr Mary Isadore and Sr Mary Stephanie were the daughters of Frances Reddy Walsh, the only sister of Mother Rose.  I have a dim recollection of Sr Stephanie teaching at St Patrick's in the early 50s and I think that Sr Aquin was at some point a member of the St Patrick's community.
Again, my thanks to the  kind folks at Presentation Congregational Archives for the use of this valuable photograph.  It is such a pleasure to recall these wonderful teachers and their contribution to St Patrick's Convent School.  God rest their souls. 

Sr M Columba Hannon, Mother M Rose Reddy and
Sr Columba's Budgie (Presentation Congregational Archives)

The writing on the back of the photo
(Presentation Congregational Archives)

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, Lent was a very sombre time, a time of penance and mortification.  Lent was a very serious season then and certainly not a lot of laughs.  However, smack dab in the middle of all this austerity there was one shining, glorious day that released us from seriousness and brought joy to the heart.  What day was that?  Why, St Patrick’s Day, of course!


St Patrick’s Day meant a day off school but it meant a lot more than that.  For that one lovely day we could indulge in candy again or put sugar in our tea.  The men, if they were so inclined, could have a little drop of the hard stuff or a smoke.  Phew, what a day!    We would pin on our St Patrick’s Day ribbons, usually purchased at the little shop on Water Street owned by dear little Miss Jenny Hayes,  and head off to Mass.  Then it was home to breakfast and the Big Six Program on the radio.  If you were lucky, sometime during the day you would have a green ice cream which Brookfield always produced especially for St Patrick’s Day and unavailable any other time.

In St Patrick’s Parish the very highlight of the day was the St Patrick’s Day Concert put on by St Patrick’s Dramatic Troupe!  The venue for the play was Holy Cross Auditorium or St Patrick’s Convent Auditorium and both the afternoon and evening performances were always well attended.  We went to the evening performance with our parents, aunt, and uncle and we always had chocolates to munch on! 

Who remembers those wonderful plays and the great singers, musicians and storytellers who entertained us while the scenery was being changed behind the curtain?  I remember one great act was a man who was a whizz on the spoons.  Who accompanied him on the piano?  Was it Mrs Simms or Mrs Molloy?  I am not sure.  Anyway, the plays were organised and directed by the magnificent Kay Hayes.  George O’Brien was the talented parishioner responsible for painting the scenery.  The play was often, if not always, a comedy, sometimes inadvertently.  Like the time a group stood on stage waiting for a phone to ring.  Someone back stage forgot to ring the bell so eventually one of the actors just said “Ding-a Ling” and with a straight face an actress picked up the phone and said “Hello”.  Well, the audience thoroughly enjoyed this bit of unscripted comedy.  Who were some of the parishioners who annually brightened our St Patrick’s Day?  I remember such people as Blondie Horan, Pat McAllister, George O’Brien, Helen Molloy, Eleanor McAllister, Gerald Costello, Shannon McAllister, Joe Newman, Bill Harris, Mary Downey and Mary Gosse.  I am sure some of you will remember more names and I hope you will remind us of them.  Also, your memories of those eagerly anticipated St Patrick’s Day Concerts that were such an important part of parish life then would be more than welcomed if you would like to share them here.


The days of the ‘play’ are long gone in St Patrick’s Parish but St Patrick’s Day is still celebrated with gusto I believe.  Last St Patrick’s Day saw parishioners and friends invited to a ‘time’ in the Parish Room after Mass.  There was food galore, a drop of wine, singing, dancing, music and laughter.  Ah, the music and singing!  The Parish Priest, the inimitable Fr Wayne Dohey, and a group of very talented parishioners kept everyone singing and dancing and, as the saying goes, “a good time was had by all”.
While the way in which St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in St Patrick’s Parish has changed, the good people of St Patrick’s and their pastor still know how to commemorate our Patron Saint.  Perhaps most importantly of all, the spirit of community and friendship that has always existed in the Parish is still as strong as ever.  Long may it be so!


Monday, 4 March 2013


I am very pleased to post this lovely tribute to St Patrick's School.  It was written by Mary Lou (Mallard) Tucker.  Thanks Mary Lou and I look forward to more of your poems.
St Patrick’s School

Our address was 26 Stephen Street
In a house that had three flats,
Our very close family all lived there then
Beautiful memories flowing back to that.

Being at that address where City Hall is now
St. Patrick’s was our designated school,
With my sisters/cousins Rose, Liz and Helen
We toddled off, respecting mostly every rule.

Rose and I had Anna Croft as our first grade teacher
Nellie Rogers we had in two,
Sister Camilla in grade three taught us our times tables
With great consistency we all learned how to do.

Grade Four we had teacher/singer Doreen Walsh
Grade five was sweet and kind Ms Ball,
Grade six was Ms Doyle, I came second in achievement
Seven and eight, Ms Croft-Meaney was back to all.

Grade nine we had Ms. McDonald
That was the hardest grade I spent,
Math a big problem for me back then
Off to summer school I went.

Four of us were taught singing at an early age
Sisters Catherine and Brendan helped us there,
Our Glee Club went to the Kiwanis Music Festival
Coming first place for many of those years.

Sister Luke was our long standing principal
Eleanor Lawton accompanied all our songs,
Saying Good Bye to the closeness of St. Patrick’s
Made everything in my heart seem wrong.

St. Patrick’s was a special part of my life
Made me the person who has been shown the way,
These teachers taught me love, kindness and respect
With Jesus and Mary I am helped now day by day.

Love You St. Patrick’s …..Mary Lou Mallard Tucker