Golden girls remember

2016-11-22 06:00
 The Good Hope Seminary Girls’ High School’s class of 1956 celebrated its 60th reunion last week. PHOTO: nicole Mccain

The Good Hope Seminary Girls’ High School’s class of 1956 celebrated its 60th reunion last week. PHOTO: nicole Mccain

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It may be 60 years since they matriculated, but many of the former pupils of the Good Hope Seminary Girls’ High School will tell you they’re still girls at heart.

Around two dozen matrics of the school’s 1956 class met on Thursday for a reunion. With many having not seen each other since the last reunion 10 years ago, it was a time spent reminiscing.

Class headgirl Carine Roberts says the women all keep “pleasant memories” from their school days.

“We had school pranks but there was never any kind of nastiness or bullying,” she says.

“We used to have the most magnificent gym teacher. We were all terrified of her.

“But she loved choral work and each year she arranged a choir show. Each class had to choose singers and a pianist and then we all performed in a production. The whole school participated. That was wonderful.”

The women had several extracurricular activities, such as sports and eisteddfods, but they all looked especially forward to the school dances, says former pupil Denise Benning.

“In those days, the Standard 9s (Grade 11s) hosted the dance for the matrics. We used to get all dressed up,” she recalls.

“Those were the days of big skirts and beautiful dresses,” Roberts adds.

“We used to have to form a parade in front of the headmistress and she would tell you if you needed to have longer sleeves or if your dress was ‘too sexy’ – then you needed a new one all together.”

But the strict social rules of the time didn’t stop the girls from getting up to mischief.

“Those of us who boarded used to hang out of the library window on a Saturday to watch the Hammies [Hamilton’s Rugby Club] boys play rugby. Oh my word, the hormones!” recalls Shelagh Cleghorn.

The Sacs marching band, which used to practise near the school, was also a firm favourite of the swooning girls.

Current school principal Desirè Christian says learners at the school today, although facing many challenges, are still “girls, just like [the former pupils]”.

She urges other former pupils to also visit the school and build a relationship with the pupils.

“The girls of today are just as important as you were when you were in school in 1956,” she told the former pupils at their reunion.

“It’s important for our girls to know they can be whatever they want to be.”

The school turned 143 this year.

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