ISSUE 25 | SUMMER 2016 - NON NOBIS
THE NEWSLETTER OF THE ST CATHERINE’S ASSOCIATION
(1947 - 2015) HEADMASTER 1982-1994 sadly missed by the St Catherine’s Community
www. stcathe rine s .info
DIARY DATES 2016 JUNE Wed 29 Thur 30
19.00-21.30 LIII Production of “The Witches” by Roald Dahl
JULY Sat 2
Speech Day and Open Day
SEPTEMBER Sun 25 14.00-17.00 Foundation Day OCTOBER Wed 5 19.30-22.00 St Catherine’s Presents… The Band of H.M. Welsh Guards Tues 11
CHANGING OF THE GUARD! THANK YOU AND FAREWELL to Ursula Goldsmith and Hayley Foster who have been excellent in their roles as Association Prefects over the past year. It has been a pleasure to work with them. A warm welcome to Katie Vega, Isabelle Rust and Octavia McGleughlin who have taken over.
www.facebook.com/groups/stcatsalumnae/ If you have not already done so please join, spread the word and encourage your fellow classmates to join as well.
18.00-20.00 Launch of The London Networking Event (see article below)
As the group is private, initial approval will be requested for joining and posting.
NOVEMBER Wed 9 17.30 Cantores sing Evensong at Winchester Cathedral Fri 27
19.30-22.00 St Catherine’s Day Gala Concert (Parents only or listen via live stream on the website)
DECEMBER Mon 19 18.30-20.00 Association Carols by Candlelight For the calendar of muscial events visit www.stcatherines.info/Calendar-of-Events. You are welcome to any concert marked Open to All. To book tickets for St Catherine’s Presents, either visit the School website www.stcatherines.info/st-catherines-presents or contact the Foundation Office on 01483 899692 or email@example.com
PROSPECTIVE PARENTS’ EVENTS 2016 Senior School Friday 16th September Wednesday 5th October Tuesday 8th November Prep School Wednesday 14th September Thursday 6th October Friday 4th November Senior School Registrar - Judy Corben 01483 899 609 firstname.lastname@example.org Prep School Registrar - Sally Manhire 01483 899 665 email@example.com
IN MEMORY OF JOHN PALMER JOHN PALMER WAS THE FIRST AND ONLY Headmaster at St Catherine’s. A strong supporter of the School since his retirement, he is greatly missed. In his memory, we will be unveiling a plaque in Chapel on Foundation Day, Sunday 25th September 2016. Further details can be found within.
IN JANUARY WE LAUNCHED OUR ST CATHERINE’S ALUMNAE GROUP. Only alumnae can join and the aim of this group is to reconnect with friends, share information and invite you to events. We have been delighted with the response and currently have 550 members.
Dawn Pilkington, Association Director & her prefects
Join our ‘private’ group, open to all members of the Association. We have over 420 members, and share articles and comment on professional working life, leadership and career development. Visit the School website and click on the LinkedIn logo on the Home page.
THE ASSOCIATION IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE the impending launch of The London Network. Current parent, Tracy Meller, Partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has kindly offered to host this event at their famous base in the Leadenhall Building – colloquially known as the ‘Cheesegrater’. We are committed to helping St Catherine’s alumnae in their career development and every year we support many of them by making connections to other alumnae and parents working across a plethora of professions. As we have a high density of alumnae and parents working in London, we will be launching The London Network on the 11th October at 6.30pm on the 9th Floor of the Leadenhall Building. What will The London Network do? It will provide a forum for alumnae and the parent community to come together. It will be chaired by Rosemary Squire, co-founder of The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) and a current St Catherine’s parent. Alumnae will be able to seek advice and make connections to develop their careers, drawing on the professional experience of current parents
or each other. For parents, there will be the opportunity to offer guidance to the St Catherine’s community, the chance to spot new talent and, of course, to meet each other in a professional context. We aim to have two events a year and anticipate focusing on career areas in addition to picking topics for discussion such as ‘building a personal brand’ and ‘navigating the glass ceiling’. After the launch, we will send a short survey to everyone in the London area so that The London Network is designed with your input in mind and will, we hope, be genuinely valuable to you. If you are a parent or alumna working professionally in London then The London Network is for you. Do join us at its Launch. Numbers are limited and, due to security precautions, photo ID is required. Email us now at: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place. Come and meet fellow alumnae and parents, see amazing views of London and share your suggestions for future events. We will also be seeking additional venues in central London locations. So, if you work in an unusual space and could host such an event, do please let us know.
www. s t c a t h e r i n e s .i n fo
SIXTH FORM LECTURES
BEST KNOWN FOR HER FREQUENT contributions to Thought for the Day for BBC Radio 4, Professor Mona Siddiqui came to talk to the 6th Form and Association members in March 2016 on ‘Veils, Values and Voices: Religion in Public Life.’ As Chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh University, with a particular interest in Islamic law and Christian-Muslim relations, she explored faith, culture and citizenship and tackled some probing questions about the place of Islam in western society. Rev Dr Benji McNair Scott commented: ‘she helpfully defied stereotypes and encouraged us to think intelligently about the place of faith in society.’ Mona Siddiqui
SHAMI CHAKRABARTI ON 24TH APRIL 2016, lawyer, humanitarian and civil rights activist, Shami Chakrabarti, came to give a lecture to Sixth Form pupils from our own and various other local schools. Beforehand, several of us were lucky enough to have tea with her where we gained a particular insight into her interests and her involvement in the independent human and civil rights organisation, Liberty. She then delivered a thought-provoking, engaging and accessible lecture that focused on our human rights and the potential threat that the Government’s increasing internet surveillance could have on our privacy. We particularly admired that she was strong in her views and answered all questions directly and concisely. We all really enjoyed the talk and think it’s the best we have heard so far. We should like to thank Mrs Wyllie and The Association Office for organising such a stimulating lecture.
ISABEL HARDMAN ASSISTANT EDITOR OF THE SPECTATOR magazine and alumna of St Catherine’s, Isabel Hardman (2004), returned to speak about ‘2015: the year of topsy-turvy politics’. Providing insights from the campaign battle buses and the lobby, she reviewed leading figures and their various campaigns. A regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and political columnist for The Times and The Sunday Times, Isabel frequently appears on The Andrew Marr Show, the Today programme and Newsnight. We were very proud when, a few weeks after her visit, she became the youngest ever winner of Political Journalist of the Year 2015, awarded by the Political Studies Association. Isabel writes: I am so grateful for the education St Catherine’s gave me - and the extracurricular activities, such as drama and debating, that enabled me to do as much broadcast work as I do. Shami Chakrabarti
JULIETTE TOWHIDI TESTAMENT OF YOUTH: a special private screening and audience with screenwriter Juliette Towhidi (1981). The screening of Testament of Youth on 4th May, shortly after the Association Tour of the Battlefields the previous weekend, was a poignant reminder of the trip for many in the audience. This wonderful, dramatic and harrowing book is an autobiography of Vera Brittain’s experience as a nurse during the First World War. Brought to the screen by former alumna, Juliette Towhidi (1981), it describes the impact of war on Vera’s pioneering struggle to pursue an education at Oxford University and an independent life at a time when women’s education was seen as unnecessary. Her fiancé, Roland Leighton, an aspiring poet, was tragically killed at the front before they could be married. In the film, amongst his possessions sent back from the war, Vera found a copy of a poem about love, war and death entitled ‘Violets of Plug Street Wood’, written in April 1915. The U4s, whose tour of the battlefields took place the following weekend, visited Ploegsteert Wood or ‘Plug Street’, as it was known by the British and also successfully located Roland’s grave. Over 100 people (girls, parents and other Association members) watched the engrossing film and were able to take part in an enlightening Q & A with Juliette afterwards about the making of the film and the film industry.
www. stcathe rine s .info
KATHERINE SOPER (2009)
WHILE I WAS AT ST CAT’S I HAD ALWAYS LOVED THEATRE but academically I had been more drawn to languages and literary study. When I got to Cambridge, however, the breadth of the theatre scene meant that I encountered new theatrical writing for the first time – and in my first few attempts to write dialogue of my own, it suddenly clicked that this was what I wanted to do. After writing two unperformed plays at Cambridge, I knew that what I really wanted was to build up my playwriting confidence in an environment where I was free to experiment and workshop privately – and so I started an MA at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As well as getting to grips with how to write for TV, radio, and film, my final project was to write a full-length theatre work. I had worked in a packaging warehouse in Alton for three summer holidays; I was fascinated by what a simultaneously surreal and mundane environment it was and filed it away in my mind as the potential setting for a play. When I started reading more about the conditions of warehouses owned by companies such as Amazon and Sports Direct, I knew that I had found my subject. Max Stafford-Clark once said that plays work best when they are part autobiography and part journalism and I could see in this setting how to combine the two. Over the summer of 2014 I wrote Wish List. It follows two siblings, Tamsin and Dean. Dean is mentally ill with various symptoms that suggest OCD, BDD (bodily dysmorphic disorder) and ADHD. He is frequently housebound and clearly unable to work, but his Employment and Support Allowance has
been cut. Tamsin, until now his sole carer, goes to work at a warehouse to support him while they try to reverse the DWP’s decision. The play aims to look at our attitude to work, to the unemployed, and to those involved in low-skilled labour. Despite the Government referring so frequently to a supposed ‘entitlement culture’, the play suggests that an obsessively target-driven culture erodes trust and respect between large systems and individuals. After getting feedback from Central, I redrafted the play and started sending it out to competitions. The Bruntwood Prize was, to my mind, the most unlikely possibility I was pursuing; it happens every two years and attracts an average of 2000 entries every time, all of which are submitted anonymously. I entered Wish List anyway in June 2015, only to hear first that it had been longlisted as one of the top 100 entries, and then that it had been shortlisted as one of the top ten! This meant that I was invited to attend the awards ceremony in November at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, which was exciting enough since it’s a theatre I love (and one I used to walk past every day on my way to work). After watching actors from the Exchange’s rep perform extracts from the ten shortlisted works, the judges appeared to announce the winners. After the four Judges’ Awards were given, none of which were to my play, I turned to my dad and said “oh well – never mind!” Then Nicholas Hytner began speaking about the winning play…and as his description began to sound more and more familiar, I realised my life was about to change. I was so overwhelmed that, when Prince Edward presented me with the prize, I completely forgot to curtsey or bow and just stood there in shock!
Since then I have gone into development with the play, workshopping it with professional actors and the literary department at the Exchange. It’s going to debut in the Exchange’s Studio theatre in the autumn and hopefully transfer to a London theatre early in 2017. The prize money has meant that I have been able to scale back my day job for now and focus on writing, which is an enormous privilege. As well as working on new plays, I have also had more time to volunteer; I have been working with the charity IntoUniversity as a mentor since 2013, and I now help to deliver playwriting sessions to Year Nine students at their London centres.
EMILY REVESS (2010) I graduated from St Catherine’s six years ago with an offer to study Politics at my top choice university with a firm belief that I could achieve anything I wanted in my life. After I left school I became increasingly aware that few girls and young women believed the same thing, and even fewer had access to the opportunities that would help to make that belief a reality. This realisation led me to volunteer with several organisations to empower and educate girls and women in the United Kingdom and across the world. On International Women’s Day 2016 I was proud to be listed as one of the top 15 young campaigners working towards gender equality worldwide by the Huffington Post. I am recognised as a UK Young Leader by the US Embassy and have represented the UK three times as an Ambassador to the One Young World Summit, the pre-eminent global forum for young leaders. As part of my work on various projects, I have spoken at international conferences and on national television about issues affecting women and young people. I believe that female mentors and role models are incredibly important to raising girls’ aspirations in life and there is a desperate lack of visible female role models in politics, amongst many other sectors. Women currently make up only one third of the House of Commons. There are more men who currently sit in the House of Commons (459), then there have ever been women MPs (450) since women were able to stand for election. I believe that more women MPs lead to better policies and a more representative parliament leads to better politics. As the Campaigns Coordinator for 50:50 Parliament, I volunteer for the cross-party campaign dedicated to improve the gender balance in Westminster. We have contributed to the debate in national media and to date have 50,000 signatures on our petition to parliament. We bring girls and young women
www. s t c a t h e r i n e s .i n fo
ST CATHERINE’S CELEBRATES ITS FOUNDATION DAY THE FIRST ENTRY, IN APRIL 1883, in the St Catherine’s leather-bound historical Records Book mentions discussions of ‘The Foundation of a Middle Class School for Girls’. A later entry reports that on 25th September 1885 ‘St Catherine’s was opened with 11 boarders and 6 day scholars.’
into the House of Commons for events with MPs from all parties, including a recent debate with sixth formers and the Minister for Women and Equalities on International Women’s Day. I also volunteer with the Conservative Party on events and engagement of young women under the age of 30. Given that political events often involve a black tie dinner, an expensive price tag and an ‘old boys’ club’ atmosphere, our team works to run open events and networking opportunities for girls and young women, to inspire and educate the next generation of female leaders. We have even run a couple of pub nights in Westminster, where we pop open a couple of bottles of wine with an MP in a light hearted, friendly environment where all you need to gain access is an appetite for wine and an enthusiasm for politics. I became increasingly involved in charities and political organisations dedicated to empowering and educating women during my undergraduate degree at UCL, including becoming Campaign Director of the Red Light Campaign, a charity working to support female survivors of human trafficking and raise awareness of modern slavery. Despite my father’s doubt in my ability to multitask (a woman’s greatest asset), I graduated with a 2:1 Hons and Centenary Colours for Exemplary Service to UCL for my fundraising events, including an annual charity fashion show attended by several St Catherine’s girls (and mums!). During my MSc Politics & Communications at LSE, I was asked to speak at a conference about engaging young people in social issues in the 2015 general election. After my speech, a gentleman from the audience approached me about a job working for a consultancy that has a global agency team that partners with non-profits, foundations and corporations to drive engagement on pressing social issues. I decided to stop worrying my parents about my future life of dependency on pocket money and began my career by being
personally trained and mentored by the CEO, working in the Social Impact team. I now work full-time for Weber Shandwick doing strategy and communications for international development and social impact campaigns including UNICEF, The Gates Foundation and the GSK/Save the Children partnership. I have worked in both London and Geneva, and I am currently working in Johannesburg, South Africa. I contribute to several projects ranging from managing a partnership to build a new paediatric clinic in Africa’s third largest public hospital in the township of Soweto, to promoting digital financial inclusion in Nigeria to help the poorest improve their lives and build sustainable futures. Thanks to a very supportive company, I continue to do my voluntary work on women’s empowerment and equality alongside my job. St Catherine’s instilled in me the belief that there is nothing a woman cannot achieve, a sentiment that has influenced my personal and professional life ever since.
We are delighted to announce that this year we will be recognising the School’s birthday by celebrating Foundation Day on Sunday 25th September 2016 from 2-5pm and we hope that you will come and celebrate with us. This year we have re-worked our Association Day format to have something different to encourage younger alumnae, current and former parents and friends in the local area to join those who have loyally supported Association Day in the past.
Our celebrations will start with a Chapel Service, including a tribute to John Palmer, former Headmaster (1982-1994) who sadly died last December, and the dedication of a plaque in his memory in the Chapel. Many of you will remember him fondly and we hope that this will be an opportunity for you to mark his passing and recognise his considerable contribution to the School. Caroline James (2005), Foreign News Editor with Sky News, has kindly agreed to give the keynote speech in the afternoon programme. She has been covering the American Presidential Elections this year and will have many behind-the-scenes stories to share. There will be opportunities to tour the School and view an archive display, showing the history of the people behind our current School Houses. A traditional cream tea will be served in the Upper Atrium of the Anniversary Halls when you will have plenty of time to catch up with friends and former colleagues. To book your place – there will be no charge – please email email@example.com including your name and connection to St Catherine’s (eg. former or current parent, friend of the school etc.) or, in the case of alumnae, your maiden name (if relevant) and year of leaving St Catherine’s. If you have any queries about the event, please call 01483 899692. We very much look forward to welcoming you.
www. stcathe rine s .info
2016 ASSOCIATION TRIP TO THE SOMME
2016 IS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME and to mark this significant anniversary the St Catherine’s Association organised a special Battlefields Trip. At 7.30am on 1st July 1916, Haig famously sent his volunteer army over the top with the order to capture the enemy front line. The day ended in disaster with over 20,000 men killed or wounded in the first hour, and over 60,000 dead or dying by dusk. The British Army suffered more casualties than on any other day in its history. This year, on the last weekend in April, 40 members of the Association headed for France for two days with an overnight stay in the beautiful town of Arras. The party included many alumnae, current and former parents and staff.
We were delighted to have the tour led by Andy Thompson, ex Headmaster and battlefields specialist, who was an amazing guide and really brought all of the events to life with interesting stories and anecdotes. It was fascinating to see the trenches, the layout of the battlefields and then hear the diary entries and poems written by those who fell there. Many key sites were visited over the course of the weekend including the Lochnagar Crater, the Ulster Memorial, the Newfoundland Park Memorial and Mansell Copse. It was unbelievably moving at the Thiepval Memorial which is dedicated to those men whose bodies were never found and have no grave. A staggering 73,000 names are on this monument, and that is just for those from the Somme. The weekend was thought provoking, informative, enjoyable and will live in everyone’s memory for a long time.
FAREWELL CHOIR FOR GEOFF FIELD THE END OF THE SPRING TERM sees one of the highlights of the School House Events Calendar – the House Singing Competition - and we invited the recent leavers, who often return to watch this event, to an Alumnae Drinks Reception on Wednesday 23rd March from 6-7pm in the Centenary Building Foyer. This year, as part of our farewell to Geoff Field who has been our Director of Music for ten years, we also put together a scratch choir. The Alumnae Choir had a short rehearsal of only 30 minutes in the Lecture Theatre before performing at the beginning of the evening in the Sports Hall and then at the end in the Auditorium. Their rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” was superb with many parents assuming they had been practising for weeks. It was a real tribute to Geoff and his work with the school choirs, how polished the choir sounded after such a short rehearsal. He was very proud of his girls! At 7pm we all moved on to the Sports Hall and everyone cheered on their House. Merriman won.
www. s t c a t h e r i n e s .i n fo
END OF TERM LECTURES
ASSOCIATION CHOIR CONCERT MUSIC FROM THE BRITISH ISLES by Hubert Parry, Charles Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams was the theme of this year’s concert sung by the Association Choir, Senior Choir and Middle Chamber Choir at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford on Saturday 5th March 2016. Interestingly, Vaughan Williams was a pupil of both Parry and Stanford during his time at the Royal College of Music and a selection of their pieces formed the first half of the concert. Former Director of Music, Geoff Field, who has conducted the Association Choir in half of the concerts since the Choir was first formed in 2004, conducted the first two works before passing the baton to the current Director, Matthew Greenfield. Both ‘I was glad’ and ‘Blest pair of sirens’ by Parry have featured at coronations and recent royal weddings, and the Choir sang them both with gusto. We were honoured that Ian and Kate Russell, descendants of Hubert Parry, could attend the Concert to hear the performance. The three anthems by Stanford: ‘For lo, I raise up’, ‘How beauteous are their feet’ and ‘Ye choirs of New Jerusalem’ delighted the audience, many of whom were parents supporting their daughters in the School Choirs. Organ Scholar, Imogen Morgan(L6), played with great aplomb that belied her years and she was given a much deserved ovation. As well as accompanying all the choral items, Camerata, the School’s senior string orchestra, played the familiar Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg, a suite of five movements based on eighteenth century dance forms. Silja Loya rehearsed and conducted the orchestra, confidently led by Joanna Phillips (L6). To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the choir then sang the five songs that make up Vaughan Williams’ ‘In Windsor Forest’ based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ building to an uplifting conclusion that was much appreciated by the audience. The retiring collection, in aid of the School’s own Chapel Fund to refurbish the Chapel organ and restore the stained glass in the Chapel windows, raised just over £1,000 towards a target of £150,000, which is close to being met. Association Prefects, Ursula Goldsmith and Hayley Foster, explained the need for support and the powerful role that the Chapel plays at the very heart and soul of St Catherine’s.
KATIE BANKS FOR OUR AUTUMN END OF TERM LECTURE we were fortunate to have a talk by Katie Banks (2000), and daughter of former Stoner Housemistress, Mrs Marilyn Banks. Katie works as a celebrity columnist for the UK’s top-selling showbiz magazine Closer. She completed a BA in Journalism, after studying English & History of Art at St Andrew’s. She emphasised to all of us the importance of work experience and persistence in achieving your aspirations – if you want it enough, you will get it! Her speech was poised and eloquent and revealed her various experiences with celebrities, which included going on holiday undercover with Katie Price and being the last journalist to speak to Joan Rivers before her death. This was followed by considered questions from girls in all year groups on the issue of freedom of the press versus personal privacy in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry. There were also questions from potential young journalists seeking advice on how to secure a job in the media.
PORTIA WHIFFIN THE MARCH END OF TERM LECTURE was given by former pupil Portia Whiffin (2007) currently working at Thames Valley Police as an Intelligence Research Officer, having previously worked at Surrey Police. Portia has a degree in Criminology from Durham University and a Masters in Policing and Intelligence from Macquarie University, Sydney. In her role Portia receives intelligence from the public and assesses its reliability, which can then be used by police officers in the field. She showed us a video from an episode of Crime Stoppers that featured police officers locating a stolen car and apprehending the suspect. From intelligence the officers could infer the identity of the criminal and their probable whereabouts. This highlighted to us the importance of intelligence in policing. Portia has a particular interest in National Security and assisted with the security at the London 2012 Olympics. She was awarded an Olympic Commemorative Medallion from David Cameron for her work. However, her main focus is child sexual exploitation. She spoke to us about staying safe online and the importance of how you portray yourself on social media. Portia was highly engaging and everyone thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her career.
www. stcathe rine s .info
WHICH TEACHERS DO YOU REMEMBER?
THE CHAPEL FUND
TAKE A MOMENT. Who were your favourite teachers at St Catherine’s? What were their names? What subjects did they teach? Do you remember their enthusiasm for their subjects or their pastoral roles? Was there something they once said that has stayed with you? Did they believe in you or take the time to explain an idea to you? Do you sometimes think of them when you dive into a book or listen to music?
A BIG THANK-YOU to all who have supported The Chapel Fund. We are very close to our target.
We also found a charming ‘lost’ flyleaf page from a girl’s hymnbook, which says “To Tritte, with love from Olive. 24th October 1910”
“What makes this organ special is that it has had nothing done to it except basic cleaning and so this is the first restoration that it has received since 1899. This is not maintenance – this is milestone work.” (Andrew Cooper)
The original roof has been stripped back and de-nailed. The timbers were found to be in good condition, with just a little wood rot, which has been cut out and treated with preservative. The membranes and batons were fitted with underlay with a lime mortar mix - to the same recipe used when the Chapel was originally roofed! Clay roof tiles are being reinstated and the work is now complete.
A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops. Henry Brooks Adams
There is a constancy to our historic buildings which, decade upon decade, are enhanced with new facilities to meet the School’s educational ambitions for the girls. The values imbued by a St Catherine’s education are enduring but each of our alumnae remembers ‘her’ teachers, just as former staff recall ‘their’ girls. We firmly believe in the long-lasting influence of teachers. We know that a love of learning begins at a young age and that our education affects our future. If you had a favourite teacher and would (after what might be a fair few years!) like to tell them about the impact that they had on you, your values and your interests, do let us know at association@ stcatherines.info. We would be delighted to share these insights with your ‘young-at-heart’ teachers.
In January of this year the restorers, Andrew Cooper & Sons, arrived at School and began the delicate work of taking the organ apart. Once the pipes had been removed we were interested to be able to see the old wooden hand pump. Until about 1930 the organ would have required someone to pump the bellows by hand. A hanging plumb bob aside a FULL/EMPTY measure would have shown if more or less pumping was required! This would have been the job of one of the pupils. Next to the gauge we found hand engraved and pencilled-in names of many alumnae. We imagine they must have been on ‘hand pump’ duty and wrote their name as they waited. If any alumnae remember this tradition, do let us know – the most recent graffiti was dated 1936 and we would love to know more!
We are proud of St Catherine’s and want to be able to offer excellent teaching and incredible facilities to girls whose families do not have the financial means to support their daughters here. We have had Bursary students for many years – and were one of the first schools to embrace the Assisted Places Scheme which alas is no more - but would now like to offer more girls the opportunity of a St Catherine’s education. If you recognise that your education has had a positive impact on your life and would like to consider supporting a Bursary student, please do look at the enclosed leaflet, which tells the stories of girls whose lives have been shaped by their St Catherine’s education. Their words convey how your support of the Bursary Fund can be truly life-changing to a student. If you would like to hear more do contact Pippa Carte, Development Director at St Catherine’s on 01483 899754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE WINDOWS Which window was your favourite when at School? Which one did you gaze at during House Communion services or Chapel? Durrant & Co are undertaking the repairs to our special stained glass windows designed by Charles Eamer Kempe. They have already worked on the exterior of the wheel window at the front of Chapel, which represents the values from Isaiah XI. Many of you have chosen to sponsor these values, such as Knowledge, Faithfulness and Wisdom, in support of The Chapel Fund. Thank you. Over ten of the stained glass windows require repair work to be restored to their former glory. This is a slow and technical process that begins now and will continue into early 2017.
“It’s been so interesting today to come across the names engraved next to the hand pump – a glimpse at the history of the organ” (Andrew Cooper)
To learn more about the organ restoration and the roof repairs, which are now nearly complete, do look at the blog on our website – under Development and Chapel Restoration Update.
All donors to the Chapel Fund have been invited to the ‘Top of the Stops’ Celebration on 25th September 2016 at 5pm. The organ will have been restored to its former glory and we will be delighted to demonstrate its new potential at this celebratory event, which will also include poetry and drama. You will also be able to join us for Foundation Day in the afternoon.
www. s t c a t h e r i n e s .i n fo
FAMILY FUN DAY The St Catherine’s Association was blessed with the hottest day of the year so far on 7th May for the launch of its new family-friendly reunion. Aimed particularly at alumnae who want to come back and visit St Catherine’s with their young families, this event invited them to join us at the May Fair, an annual highlight at St Catherine’s Prep School and run by the PTA. Alumnae and their families were welcomed at the Association gazebo and we were delighted to see so many of you. It was a really fun event with lots of stalls and activities to entertain all ages, a barbecue, boutique stalls, tea and cakes, a coconut shy, teddy bear raffles and a magic show.
WHAT WAS BOARDING LIKE FOR YOU?
Do bring your family next year for more fun!
THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE ALUMNAE who have sent in their memories of boarding. We would love some more! It is clear that from the very first eleven boarders who arrived at School in 1885 to those here in the 1950’s and 1960’s and for those here today, boarding is a unique experience. We thought we would share a few memories with you here from across the generations. “Two baths a week in five inches of water.” - Jean Haywood, 1948 “Fried bread and marmalade on Sundays - a combination never bettered!” - Alison Ney (neé Begg) 1954 to 1967 “Great big dorms; warmth and laughter.” - Anne Brook (neé Whitting), 1959 – 1966 “Only changing knickers twice a week - this really stressed me at the time (whites changed twice, navy blues once a week).” - Susan Selwyn Khan (neé Selwyn) 1957 - 1964 “I remember Mrs Lowe promising to swim with us in the open air (unheated) pool if it ever got to 90 degrees in the shade and the wonderful day she made good on her promise, floral swimming cap and all.” - Rosalind Philps (neé Hutton), 1975 - 1984 “You feel as if you have one big family.” - J Yu, 2012 - 2018 Your stories are an incredible record of boarding life at St Catherine’s. Keep them coming. We have collected them on the Association section of the website and they cover everything from ablutions to the food to weekend escapades. You can add your ‘Memories’ using our online form – or you can email: email@example.com Thank you! St Anne’s Dormitory - 1920s
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT Our Carols by Candlelight Service for recent leavers was held on 17th December. In a slightly different format we served mulled wine and mince pies first in The Centenary Building from 6.30pm which enabled everyone to catch up before walking across to the chapel at 7.30pm, forming a candlelit procession as we entered. Rev’d Dr McNair Scott led a beautiful service which included eight carols voted for by the girls and three readings. This event is going from strength to strength. The service was created with recent leavers particularly in mind – either home from university or on their gap years. It gives them the opportunity to meet up with their school friends and sing their favourite carols. However all members of the Association are also very welcome. Do please come along and join us on Monday 19th December 2016.
www. stcathe rine s .info
CURRENT AND PAST PARENTS, alumnae and a number of prospective parents and their daughters contributed to a lively and very convivial St Catherine’s Hong Kong reunion in January. The event was hosted by Gill David, Marketing Co-ordinator and Head of History, and Kate Hawtin, Head of Spanish, who was en route from Australia back to the UK, having accompanied our two St Catherine’s exchange pupils to our sister school St Catherine’s, Melbourne, ‘down under’. Katy David (2011), currently studying Mandarin at Tsinghua University, Beijing, as part of her MML, also flew into Hong Kong as the third member of the St Catherine’s ‘home team’. Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre made a fabulous venue affording stunning views over the bustling harbour to Kowloon. We were so fortunate to have the invaluable advice and assistance of a current parent, Mrs Andrea
Leung (Charmaine, 2015 and Denise Chan, 2018) who sourced the location and made sure everything ran like clockwork. We are also indebted to Mrs Susanna Mok (Florence Ho, 2011) who arranged the photography and Alison Chan (2012) who offered tremendous support in the lead up to the reunion as well as throughout the day and who delivered the welcome speech. Association members enjoyed a short video that Mrs David had put together for parents, which included greetings from the Headmistress, Mrs Phillips, and the Head of Boarding, Mrs Lorinda Munro-Faure, and a number of images that gave a further glimpse into the busy lives of the girls from Music to Drama, Sport and, of course, academic excellence, against a soundtrack of St Catherine’s choirs. There were definitely a few tears!
St Catherine’s is amongst the Hong Kong community. Current parents were keen to find out more about the curriculum, especially seeking further information about the choices their daughters make for GCSE and A Level. There were also useful discussions about the differences in teaching and learning styles between Hong Kong and the UK. A shared desire expressed by all parents was how strongly they wanted their daughters to seize opportunities and to make the most of all that St Catherine’s has to offer. With the possible disappearance of the AS examinations in the next few years, many Hong Kong parents are interested in moving their daughters into the UK education system at the start of GCSEs rather than waiting until the Sixth Form, which is advantageous for university applications. Senior School Registrar, Judy Corben, came in for particular praise. One parent said ‘Everything St Cats does is just perfect! Initial contact is very important and Judy is seen as most helpful and kind.’ It was very gratifying to see a number of alumnae there, including Susan Selwyn Khan (1964). Alumnae were keen to stay in touch and some offered work experience and careers’ advice. If anyone is interested in taking an active role in Hong Kong Association events do get in touch.
During the course of the afternoon it became very obvious how highly regarded and valued
LOOKING BACK – THE 1940’S WARTIME YEARS RECREATED IN JANUARY THIS YEAR, MRS ROSEMARY GUNTHER, a retired prep school headmistress, (neé Woodley 1946) returned to School to share her wartime experience of St Catherine’s with the Prep School girls in LIII, aged ten and eleven. The LIII girls learned about life during World War II, including sheltering in the School cellar during a mock air raid; taking a walk to Bramley and Wonersh Station (now disused) to wait to be evacuated; trying out traditional party games during a VE Day party and creating a piece of art to represent the London skyline during the Blitz. World War II games during their PE lesson included hop scotch, skipping rope, hoops and drills. Mrs Gunther told the girls that ‘onesies’ were nothing new. She and her St Catherine’s friends had ‘siren suits’ issued to them under Winston Churchill’s command and they had to pull them on over their pyjamas when there was an air raid and head to the games fields to take cover. The shelter was at the back of the Sanatorium – now the School’s music department. She also reminded the
www. s t c a t h e r i n e s .i n fo
AT THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY Mrs Phillips was in New York attending The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Global Forum on Girls’ Education. As part of the event all schools attending – over 600 worldwide - were offered the opportunity to invite their alumnae to a cocktail reception in the Broadway Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis. Mrs Phillips was delighted to host Julia Thostrup (1992) and Amy Du Pon (1981). They were among the first to arrive and last to leave! The talk and reminiscing flowed ceaselessly as did offers of careers advice to current students. A great evening was had by all.
WITH BURGUNDY AND GOLD BALLOONS marking the meeting place, St Catherine’s alumnae met at The Quay Bar, Circular Quay, Sydney, for a happy evening of chat and reminiscing. Conversations were warm and interesting as stories of, ‘Why did you come to Australia?’ and; ‘Do you remember?’ together with, ‘What are you doing now?’ and ‘Have you heard from x recently?’ were happily exchanged and shared. We enjoyed a ‘welcome film’ from Mrs Phillips. Seeing glimpses of her study provoked memories of visits to ‘that room’ in past years! Today, it was noted by one, it looked quite different: very warm and welcoming. Appreciation was also expressed to the Foundation Office team of Dawn Pilkington, Fiona Haywood and Pippa Carte, for their unstinting and amazing support through emails and especially the new Facebook links. Many had already enjoyed using this to connect with friends, to hear news of others and of Association activities. The feeling was unanimous that it would be good to meet again and probably at the same venue. Many thanks to Kat McMaster (1996) for finding the perfect meeting point for a great evening. Sydney
WELCOMED WARMLY by the wonderful video message from Mrs Phillips, a small group of Association members gathered on a damp Melbourne evening in the elegant surroundings of the Drawing Room of our partner school, St Catherine’s, Toorak, courtesy of Mrs Michelle Carroll, Principal. For the first time Toorak representatives from several years of our exchange programme, which is in its 10th year, were invited. They thoroughly enjoyed the short film about life at St Catherine’s, Bramley, and laughed as they recognised familiar faces. The laughter continued as they recalled their various experiences while visiting England in their respective years. Despite the miserable weather, it was a very happy gathering with lots of vivacious chatter. For those who were unable to attend, watch out for future dates.
ST CATHERINE’S WAS IN DUBAI in late February for the UK Boarding Schools Exhibition and invited all Association members and interested prospective parents in the region to a reception. This special evening was hosted by Mrs Phillips and Head of Boarding, Mrs Munro-Faure. Thanks go to current parents enthusiastically extolling the virtues of boarding life at St Cat’s to a number of families who had been invited during the Exhibition. Mrs Phillips and Mrs Munro-Faure were delighted to have the opportunity to talk to parents about their daughters in the beautiful setting of the Grosvenor House Hotel .
girls of rationing and how the teachers kept their rations carefully protected in their own butter dishes! Mrs Malins, LIII’s Form Teacher, said: “It was such a privilege to have Mrs Gunther speaking to the girls; her memories of life at St Catherine’s as a pupil helped the girls understand the challenges of wartime. Her ability to talk to the girls about where she ate, slept and played on the School site really brought what the girls see as ‘history’ to life.” We should like to say a big thank you to Mrs Gunther and to her daughter who also came to School. Thank you also to those who have already shared their memories or offered their time to help enrich the girls’ learning. We always welcome alumnae to School and we would love to hear from more 1940’s alumnae. Do please send your memories of your time at St Catherine’s to firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR DONATIONS AND GIFT AID WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL for your support of St Catherine’s and your donations are worth even more as a tax-payer thanks to Gift Aid. The Government has changed the Gift Aid regulations recently and we want to make you aware that if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all of your donations in that tax year, it is your responsibility to pay any difference. If you have already signed a Gift Aid Declaration, to increase the value of your support to the School, please rest assured that it is still valid. CONGRATULATIONS to Cheryl Cran (former parent) and Polly Appleton (current parent) who completed the London West Tough Mudder. 11 miles over 20 obstacles including mud, freezing water, more mud and electric shocks!!!!!! Any takers for a future St Cats team?
ONE SCHOOL – FOUR SISTERS IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SCHOOL MAGAZINE we shall be featuring the stories of multi sibling families over the decades. One such family are the Morgan sisters who attended St Catherine’s during the 1980’s and 1990’s. They travelled and settled all over the world with Kate in Witley, Claire in West Horsley, Sophie in Australia and Polly in LA. We would love to hear from other multi sibling families and those where different generations have been at St Catherine’s.
OUT & ABOUT FAREWELL TO RUI & LIDIA FERREIRA AFTER 40 YEARS of loyal service, as Head of Maintenance and Head of Housekeeping to the School, Rui & Lidia retired and have moved back to Madeira to spend more time with their family. We had a wonderful farewell tea party for them in October and wish them well in the next phase of their lives.
AS PART OF MY ROLE as Association Director I have the great pleasure of visiting our alumnae. In January I went to visit Eileen Symonds (1931) and in May I was able to bring two school friends together, Dr Ann Hunter (1943) and Dr Paula Atkins (1944). If you would like a visit, do get in touch.
WELCOME BACK We were delighted to welcome back sisters Jill Buist (1957) and Carol Smithyes (1960) in December 2015. “Our visit brought back many happy memories and it was a lovely surprise to see Rosemary Christophers (neé Munn) (School Volunteer Archivist) again and look through all the fascinating Archive records. What a great collection! “ BEING IN CONTROL OF YOUR DATA AND OUR FUNDRAISING PROMISE WE TAKE YOUR PERSONAL PRIVACY VERY SERIOUSLY. Our records are for use by the Association and for fundraising purposes. Communications might include publications, surveys, appeals and event marketing and may be sent by post, telephone or email. Rest assured we will never release your details to any third parties for use for marketing purposes. The School has a responsibility to clean our data which is done with a third party under a strict data agreement solely for this purpose.
We want you to be in control. If at any time you would prefer not to be contacted please do inform us at: email@example.com or call us on 01483 899692. Thank you.
We are committed to high standards of fundraising, being open and honest, clear about our activities, respectful of you and accountable for the support you give us. We adhere to the Institute of Fundraising Codes of Best Practice and are a member of the Fundraising Standards Board allowing you to give with confidence. We recognise that as a School with a large community we have a responsibility to be aware of vulnerable adults in our Association and Development activities. You can find our Fundraising Promise and more about how we manage our responsibilities towards vulnerable adults on the Development section of the website.
Non Nobis Domine! Not unto us, O Lord, The praise or glory be... The opening of the school hymn Rudyard Kipling