At the May 2012 reunion for past pupils, over 300 ‘old girls’ and staff enjoyed getting together, reminiscing and revisiting their old school on the lovely sunny afternoon. Past Headteacher Sister Mary Gabriel attended (*pictured with the children of the 60s). Many other FCJ sisters attended either as past pupils or as past teachers.
Alumnae from the 1930s to 2009 travelled from as far as Hong Kong, Germany and all corners of Britain. Generations of the same family attended : Jane Hazeldine left Bellerive last year and came with her mother, a past pupil and her sister who is a current pupil. Eunice Acock, a pupil who started at the school in 1942, came with her two granddaughters, Anna and Elizabeth Mather, both recent past pupils. The oldest past pupil to attend was Winefride Chibber (*pictured centre in 30s and 40s photo) who started at the school in 1930. She recalled memories of a nun who walked through corridors and rooms carrying a shovel full of hot burning coals over, which she poured disinfectant so that the areas were germ free!
The more senior past pupils shared fascinating memories: Memories were shared of boarders being evacuated to Chester during World War Two; of Mr Faulkes, the Park policeman who kept an eye on girls walking home to lunch; of the smell of polish throughout the school; of listening to the radio in the Hall when King George died in 1952. They also remember having to wear hats and gloves when outside and not being allowed to eat in the street. Pat Reynolds recalls hiding a melting ice-cream in her pocket!
Bellerive pupils guided the visitors to visit past haunts, fascinated by the stories told and the college received many compliments about the guides and what good ambassadors they were. The new Marie Madeleine Hall was used to display archive materials and a delicious afternoon tea was later served.
Overall, a fantastic event: look out for the next reunion in 2015!