|18 May 2023|
|Old Girls' Association Newsletter|
Welcome to the second edition of the OGA Newsletter for 2023. So far this year we have celebrated our Old Girl community with the Past Student Awards, and we have had representation at the Professional Women’s Network Breakfast and the schools Anzac Day Service.
It is always great to reconnect with Old Girls and to hear their stories. I was honoured to spend some time again this year with Helen Meredith (’53), a previous recipient of the Distinguished Past Student Award at the recent Past Student Awards Dinner. Helen makes the effort each year to attend these awards to celebrate and reconnect. After the dinner Helen sent me an email to share another story that weaves the rich history of St Margaret’s. It is always great to listen to and read stories from Old Girls when they attend school. I have shared Helen’s story below.
“My sister Mary Wrench was there (during WWII)- I think she started in 1943. And Patricia Adams too, about the same time. They were close friends - our families came from Childers. My father who was in the army had moved us south onto our uncle’s property in NSW for the duration of the war and we were studying through the Qld Correspondence School. I remember that Mary sat her Scholarship exam alone, I think in the local church hall! I recall there was much to do, getting her uniform etc organised before she headed north to St Margaret’s. I found a letter she had written to Dad during the war, relating the expulsion of two of the boarders who had waited until lights out in the dorm before creeping out to meet two American soldiers and enjoy a night on the town. Someone dobbed them in and they were immediately expelled and sent home. Drama! Clearly it was a very challenging time to be running a boarding school, with the threat of a Japanese invasion, bombs falling on Northern Australia, food rationing, staffing issues and thousands of troops moving through Brisbane, the command centre for the Pacific War. Massive disruption. Covid reminds us that every generation has its challenges - ours was a polio epidemic.”
- Helen Meredith
Thank you, Helen, for sharing another story that reminds us of all those who have attended our school.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the OGA News and look for ways that you can connect and share the stories you know that fill the history pages of St Margaret’s.
Per Volar Sunata
Nicole Devlin (’90)
President, St Margaret’s Old Girls’ Association
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