Former St Patrick's pupils look back

Mary Toogood (left), Elizabeth Baggott, Shirley Hackett, Eileen Ross and Margaret Fletcher ...
Mary Toogood (left), Elizabeth Baggott, Shirley Hackett, Eileen Ross and Margaret Fletcher (seated) re-create the picture from the first jubilee in 1969. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
The favourite teacher, the gathering at lunch-time and pranks such as sneaking away to smoke cigarettes were among the memories recalled by former St Patrick's pupils during the school's 75th jubilee celebrations over the weekend.

The event was special for a group of women, who were the first pupils from the school.

Elizabeth Baggott, Mary Toogood, Margaret Fletcher, Shirley Hackett and Eileen Ross were pupils when the school opened, on March 12, 1944.

Mrs Fletcher, the first child to be enrolled at the institution, said it was extraordinary meeting her friends from the past.

"It's been lovely to catch up with everyone in such a special place for us.''

Mrs Ross agreed.

"It is fun to be back. Some of us look older, some still look great. That is life.''

The women said everything had changed since they attended the school.

"It was easier and safer. We did not need to lock our doors and we walked to school alone,'' Mrs Hackett said.

Even the food at the lunch was different, Mrs Toogood said.

"We used to wrap our lunch in newspaper and they gave us milk and apples for free.''

Living in different cities, the women said the reunion was an emotional experience for them and they re-created a picture taken at the 25th jubilee, in 1969.

"Some of the ladies that were in the picture are not here anymore. The last time we have been together was 25 years ago, in the last reunion, in 1994,'' Mrs Baggot said.

About 150 people attended the celebrations which included photo sessions with past pupils, a dinner at the Ascot Park Hotel and a Mass at St Patrick's Church.


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