Share your Boarding Memories

To all ex-student boarders in our community – rally to the call!

In this time of Covid-19 and when we were in a period of isolation, we were struck by the following email sent in from Sonia King (Class of 1972):

“Tonight, as on many nights, we chatted with our daughter who lives in Germany via FaceTime. I thought back 50 years to when I was at boarding school. Long distance phone calls were expensive and usually reserved for emergencies. We wrote to our parents on Sunday nights which arrived on Wednesday; answered on Friday which arrived the following Monday. We had little to no contact with our parents during the three 14-week terms a year away.

I used to love standing at the local railway station when the stock trains passed: boarders groaned with happiness at the smell whereas city kids held their noses! I am so happy with technology so that we can have close contact with our daughter on the other side of the world but it makes me realise, even more keenly, what my parents gave up so that I could be well educated. I am where I am today because of that education and my parents’ sacrifice to be away from their only child.”

Sonia’s reflection got us thinking about our own boarding school days and isolation and we thought it would be wonderful to start a regular ‘Memories of Boarding’ feature in Alumni eNews. Many of you have vivid memories of your boarding school days and we would love to hear about them and see photos as well. 

If you would like to share your Memories of Boarding, please include consent for the Ex-Students’ Association to publish these articles in Alumni eNews when submitting your article and photos.

Some boarding memories that stood out for us are:

  • Loreto Bread, refectory rules, Sister Kevin, birthday trays;
  • Junior School boarding, dormitory rules, washing of hair, laundry;
  • David Jones orders;
  • Feast Days – more food; picnics in the Bush;
  • Chapel, Friday Benediction, nuns’ pews, choir, Loreto manual, Queen of Loreto as school song;
  • Nuns’ bell rings, silence in Mary Ward Chapel and Refectory, allocated seating;
  • Bells regime for waking up, showers chapel, meals etc;
  • Regimen of being a boarder, writing letters (which were read by nuns);
  • Polishing floors, cleaning windows;
  • Brushing your hair each night to Litany of Our Lady;
  • Dances with St Joseph’s College boys;
  • Art, choir, recitals, plays;
  • Sundays out permissions, detentions, merit cards; travelling home for holidays on trains etc.
  • Sport – tennis, swimming carnival on St Patrick’s Day, cricket in the bush, physical culture classes;
  • Four Houses – Blue (Ward), Red (Red) , Gold (Mornane) and Green (Mulhall) – names please as they have now changed!
  • Narrow blue, Broad blue ribbons;

Many of these memories are connected to the ‘older’ boarder ex-students and we invite and encourage our ‘younger’ ex-students to write in (with photos) as it would be great to compare the different eras of boarding at Loreto.

Please send in your ‘Memories of Boarding’ to exstudents@loretonh.nsw.edu.au to be  published in the next edition of Alumni eNews in Autumn 2021.  This email is a dedicated address for the Ex-Students’ Association and articles will be collated by myself and Janneke Chudleigh (nee Pieterse).

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your boarding memories.

 

Ms Patsy Shannon