Page 1

St Michael’s Friends Newsletter No. 1, May 2014


Contents • • • • • • • • • •

Introduction from Vanessa and Julian Request for ‘Where are you now’ information St. Michael’s Friends News – by Year of Leaving Memories of St. Michael’s From the Archives…. Memories from the Chaplain Ex-Staff News St. Michael’s Friends Events St. Michael’s Friends Future Events St. Michael’s School Today – Current News

Page 3 Page 4 Pages 5 to 21 Pages 22 to 28 Page 29 - 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 to 37 Page 38 Page 39


Vanessa Gearson Chairperson

Picture?

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have been working with some great ‘Old Girls’ to get our alumni association back up on its feet. Their enthusiasm, creativity and ambition to broaden our membership, provide news, organise events and keep you updated with news has been inspirational. My thanks go to them all – Francesca Humphrey, Mandie Lavin, Marie Mangan, Rachel Beard and, of course the fantastic support we have received from the School from Julian Ward and Michele Cox. If you would like to join us, then we would love to hear from you.

We will all have our own views on what St. Michael’s did for us personally. So many of you have written expressing just how important this experience was and how you feel you benefitted from it. Generations of the same family have sent their girls to St. Michael’s, all of whom have been given an outstanding education. However, it is not the education in itself that makes St. Michael’s unique as an outstanding school, but its Catholic ethos and the spiritual and emotionally nurturing environment in which it is delivered. It is a bond we all share directly or as friends or family members. St. Michael’s is going from strength to strength and we want to support its development in which ever way possible. We know you will too. Indeed, we had a fantastic response to our call for Friends to participate in the Careers Fair and for work experience places – thank you. Please do send in photos you have – we would love to see them. There is much more to come – and we look to you to keep us fresh and vibrant. Keep us informed of what you are doing; join us on Facebook or Linkedin; find old friends; ask us to organise or advertise an event you are interested in. You name it and we’ll do it! Finally, please forward this e-newsletter on to your friends and family and get them to email us with their email address and we will send them their own copy.


Julian Ward Headmaster


Where are you now? We emailed the letter below to all the St. Michael’s Friends – and the next few pages show some of the responses – enjoy reading!

Dear St. Michael’s Friend, What’s been happening to you since you left St Michael’s? Where are you now? Now that we have collated everyone’s details, we would like to hear more about you! In particular, we would love to hear about where you are and what you are doing. We would be very grateful if you would take a minute to fill in the form below and return it to us either by email or post. We would love to know about you: - your professional and family life; what you enjoy; if you are involved with a charity, group or club; about any activity that is important to you; your achievements; your travels and your children. If you are a student, let us know what you are reading and where, and tell us what you hope to do in the future. In short, we want to hear it all. We are planning to put your news together with everyone else’s so you can catch up with old friends and keep up with what each other is doing. Do you have any particular friends you would like to catch up with? Or any special memories about your friends or time at the School you would like to share? Do you have any photos you could send in? Any anecdotes about your teachers that you recall…? Whatever you have to say, please tell us! We are, of course, happy to help you find some of your old friends but please be assured that your private contact details will NOT be disclosed on-line or to any individual without your express permission. So please take a moment to complete and return this form. We are really looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks very much and we will be in touch again very soon, Vanessa Gearson (née Beard, 1985)

Name: ______________________________________ Year of leaving: _______________

Maiden Name: ___________________________

Email: _______________________________________________

Where are you and what are you doing now?

Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? ________________________________________

Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share?


1940 Leavers Name: Sylvia Magrini

Maiden Name: Bell

Where are you, and what are you doing now? I always enjoy reading your messages and you will be glad to hear from a really OLD GIRL. I was at St. Michael's from 1940 to 1945, exactly the war years and we spent some time of the day hiding under the desks when aeroplanes went by. However thank God nothing ever happened. Some of the school was evacuated to somewhere in Devon I believe. It was the days of headmistress Sister Patricia. She remained in Finchley. I suppose all my old teachers are in heaven by now as I am 84 but fortunately still in good health. My maiden name is Sylvia Bell and I married an Italian (Antonio Magrini) in 1964 and have lived in Rome ever since. I worked in FAO and was lucky to get in as they were looking for English mother tongue secretaries. I have one daughter and two grandchildren, a boy and a girl. We are bringing the 3 year old boy to England at the end of the month to a kindgergarten to teach him some English. He will be there for five weeks. However, we don't have the house in Finchley any longer, we exchanged it for one in Maidstone which is nearer Dover and the boat that brings us from France. (My husband doesn't like aeroplanes so we come by car.) I am still in touch with three of my school friends, Rosaleen Kearney, now Stevens and Joan Johnson now Allen. My other great friend from Our Lady of Lourdes days and then the Convent, Anne Wurr, has unfortunately now died but I keep in touch with her sister Kathy Wurr and we shall all be having lunch sometime in March. Thank you for your emails which keep me in touch with the past.

1944 Leavers Name: Francis John Roper Where are you, and what are you doing now? I am in Guernsey, Channel Islands. I am an 80 year old father of two daughters, living in St Peter Port with my wife June whom I married at St Albans Church, Nether Street in 1959.


1958 Leavers Name: Maureen Holliday Maiden Name: Gunstone Where are you and what are you doing now? I now live near Alicante in Spain, with my husband and we retired here in 2008. We have 2 sons who live in the UK and we see each other as much as possible. We enjoy a varied and busy social life as members of an English speaking and bilingual group, wine group and U3A locally. We have travelled in Spain but still have much more travelling in this beautiful country, left to do! Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Lizzie Wurr, Ann Butters, Julia Francis, Nita Flesher, Deidre O'Sullivan and other pupils in Mrs Burgess' class of 1958

1959 Leavers Name: Valerie England

Maiden name: Lamb

Where are you and what are you doing now? At age 70, I have my own student business placing overseas students into host families. I worked in South Africa for 4 years, did a BA degree in Art at age 55, remarried, have 4 married children and 7 grandchildren.

1960 Leavers


Name: Jane Audrey Henry

Maiden Name: Borwick

Where are you and what are you doing now? I married my first boyfriend who I met in 1959...while I was at Saint Michael’s {we married in 1963}! So we have been together for 55 years !!! We have three children....our youngest Son went to University and obtained two first degrees and then his Masters... and now works for Prince Charles. We also have six grandchildren...one of whom is in his third Year at Cambridge...reading English Literature.{ their ages are from 27 years to 10years } I’m now retired – The first half of my life was spent working as an accountant –Then after my third child, I changed my career and went into Education...working with Children in Primary and Secondary Schools with Statements of Special Needs, who had emotional and behavioural problems...Ending my career as the Manager of a Behaviour and Student and Support Unit in a Secondary School...I was also the School Counsellor. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Francis Dawson Veronica Lovatt, Christine Fanning...or any of the girls in the Alpha Group at Saint Michael’s from 1955 to 1960/61

1961 Leavers Name: Sheila Smale

Maiden Name: Flamson

Where are you & what have you been doing? My husband & I live in Enfield. After working in the human resources field for British Telecom for 28 years in central London I took an early retirement package from BT and found a local job in education, organising work experience for school students. While working there I obtained a degree in work based studies. I have now been retired for nearly 11 years and enjoying every minute of it. My husband & I love to travel and have been on several cruises to all sorts of exotic places. We both enjoy photography and doing American Square Dancing so spend several weekends a year on these hobbies as well as attending club nights. I also enjoy doing family history research. We both attend history classes. So as you can see we keep pretty busy!.


Name: Mary Baker

Maiden Name: Ferrigno

Where are you and what are you doing now? I grew up in Oakwood in Southgate. I live now in Brentwood in Essex. From school, I went to the BBC. After that I flew for British Airways as a stewardess in that which is now regarded as the Golden Age of Aviation (1960s/1970s). I married, had two daughters and am now widowed. I spend most of my time having lunches with other old SMOGs (please, please revert to that label. We've never felt "friendly" towards St. Michael's School but we old SMOGs do love each other), staying in very close touch with about half a dozen of them and on occasions many, many more. Next year, we shall have known each other for 60 years. When we were all 65, six of us were chucked out of two restaurants for making too much noise, i.e., laughing! We were even more amused by the fact that the managers ejecting us were one third our age. We have our own reunions. This academic year sees us all reaching the age of 70 so we are celebrating by giving each other lunches and dinners in our homes. We've had holidays together too, the last being with a SMOG in Toronto in September. We laugh a lot, mainly at the expense of our old teachers, I'm afraid!! Our school days were not happy days. The entire ethos of the school appeared to be to crush any spirit the girls might have which was the complete opposite of the atmosphere in my primary school (Vita et Pax). I therefore found St. Michael's a real culture shock and very "English" after the cosmopolitan VeP in the 1950s. Sister Clare Dominic didn't like Vita et Pax girls!!!!!!! However Sister Mary Philomena engendered a love of choral music in me and I was a member of the London Symphony Chorus for nigh on 20 years. Apart from being widowed, I consider myself to have had a charmed life, my BA and choral friends making a major contribution to that but my SMOG friends being particularly special. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? We've been trying to find Elinor Lancaster for years. We believe she went to Spain but we are not sure if she is still there. Anna Sydenham and Denise Welham who both left our class in about 1956 or1957. We think they both went to boarding school. The Rickard twins, Linda and Elaine who both left in 1960 after GCEs.


1962 Name: Dianne Harmer

Maiden Name: Pottinger

Thank you for this opportunity - and I'd just like to say how delighted I was to be able to participate in the Centenary Celebrations, meeting up with many old friends and staff on that occasion. I was privileged to be in school during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, so the Centenary was extra special. Where are you, and what are you doing? I'm currently a Support Astronomer and Instrument Scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Having graduated from London University with a BSc in Experimental Physics in 1965, I taught Physics and Physical Chemistry at Roedean School, Brighton for 3 years before joining the Royal Greenwich Observatory as a research assistant and subsequently earning an MSc in Astronomy from the University of Sussex through part-time studies. My research in Astronomy and my work in telescope and instrument development has not exactly been a lucrative career, but has been richly rewarding in the places I have worked and the communities in which I have lived in various parts of the world. My husband, Charles, is an Optical Physicist, and has designed and built many of the systems which I have commissioned and supported for astronomical research. When the Royal Greenwich Observatory was closing down, I moved into a Civilian Military Appointment for about 5 years before returning to astronomy in Tucson - where both my husband and I had been Visiting Scientists many years earlier. Having seen service in the UK, parts of the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and La Palma (Canary Islands), we have been settled in Tucson for about 22 years. Though well past what woud be considered a normal retirement age in the UK, I'm fortunate to be able to continue with my researches and in supporting visiting astronomers and graduate students at our telescopes here in the excellent observing climate of the desert southwest (USA). Closure of our facilities here is being predicted, so maybe change is on the horizon. But there are many volunteer organizations in and around Tucson in need of support and I'm looking forward to the opportunities to be of service to the community, as well as to indulge in some recreational activities exploring this fascinating environment.

1964 Name: Elizabeth Webb Maiden Name: Whittle Where are you and what are you doing now? I am retired and living in west Wales since 1993. When I married Peter in 1972 we moved to Southend on Sea and raised two children, David and Sallie for the next twenty years. During this time I was a housewife as my husband worked long hours. I became involved in parent, teacher associations and other activities. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? I have never lost touch with my school friends after all these years.


1965 Name: Maria Rosa Burdeos Maiden Name: Burdeos Where are you, and what are you doing now? I live in Spain (Huesca Zaragoza). I occasionally go to London. I am married, have 2 sons aged 26 and 28 years old. I studied medicine and Ophtalmology. My husband is an Urologist and we both work in the hospital of our home town. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Elizabeth Geraerts is the only schoolfriend I still keep in touch with. School friends I remember: Chloe Royde-Smith, Laura O´Shaughnessy,Claire Ronalds, Eva Kwyavtoska, Karen Carter, Moira?Usher

1968 Name: Margaret Crowley Maiden Name: Williams Where are you, and what are you doing now? Living in Teddington, Greater London and teaching full-time in a girls’ prep school. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Anyone from my year (1961-1968) Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? It was a VERY long time ago!!

Name: Jude Dowling Where are you and what are you doing now? I live in Ontario, Canada, emigrating here in November 1981 after marrying a Canadian whom I met at the University of Leeds. At the time we were both conducting research in the field of Biomedical Materials. In Canada I continued research in the field of the structures of materials, using transmission electron microscopy, at the University of Waterloo and later at the University of Toronto. I am retired now and at last have time to indulge my interests in historical research and oil painting. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Yes: Christina Flach, Vivian Nahai, Helen Thomas. Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? None that are particularly outstanding though I have fond memories of several teachers.


1969 Name: Anne Aubrey Where are you and what are you doing now? I left St Michael's to take up a place at Queen's University Belfast. It was a long way to go, but I fancied the adventure of somewhere very different, and the philosophy course looked interesting. My schoolfriend Rozanne Hough came too. She chose to study psychology. The 'Troubles' hadn't started when we applied. But they were well underway by the time we arrived, and got progressively worse over the next twenty years. The civil rights movement had started at Queen's with student marches and demonstrations. Student unrest was going on everywhere at this time, so we didn't foresee how it would develop here. The dormant IRA re-emerged after serious sectarian clashes, and the burning of catholic house in the Falls Road. The rest is history as they say. we had some frightening and upsetting experiences over the years; and Rozanne came back to London, eventually getting a job as head of HR at John Lewis in Brent Cross. I did a Masters in Social Work after my first degree, and worked for the probation service for 25 years. I married a fellow student, Kevin Finnegan, who now works as a Crown Court judge in Newry and Armagh. We live in Belfast, and have 6 sons aged from 24 to 36. Our eldest, James, is a teacher in Enfield. He is married with a beautiful little daughter, Hester, who will be 2 in May. I nurture a hope that she might go to St Michael's one day, and have as good a time as I did there. Our other sons live in Belfast, Kevin junior and Philip are married too. Kevin has a lovely little boy called Odhran (Oran), who will be 1 at the end of May. I currently earn a crust by running 2 self-catering holiday/business lets. I also plan to put some of my experiences into a novel in the near future, now I have more time for myself. Watch this space! Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? I have kept in touch with a few old friends, but it would be nice to hear from Helen Forde and Geraldine O'Sullivan.

1971 Name: Barbara Smith

Maiden Name: Adamson

Where are you and what are you doing now? Living in Twickenham with my husband Rick. Retired nurse. My sons are now grown up and I have 2 grandchildren. Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Nothing in particular - just very happy school memories at St Michael's.


1972 Name: Maria Bell

Maiden Name: Lenihan

Where are you and what are you doing now? Have lived in Barnet for the last 25 years – have been at working full-time at Barnet College for 20 years, current post Curriculum Manager Computing. Married with 2 children – Christopher works as a Music Teacher at St. Catherine’s Primary School in Barnet and Stephanie recently graduated and works at Tesco’s Head Office on a fast-track graduate programme. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Anyone who remembers me.

Name: Sue Payne Maiden Name: Marchant Where are you and what are you doing now? Still living in West Norfolk, with hubby Chris. Working for the local District Council in Community Safety. I am also a Special Inspector with Norfolk Constabulary, just about to perform my last Royal duty at Sandringham before transferring to the Staff Office. I am retiring from frontline policing, but I would recommend being a Special to anyone. I now am a bit too old and our elderly parents need more time and help from us. I hope everyone is happy and healthy. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? I am in touch with Marian Finnemore (Costello) and would love to hear from others in my class/year esp Maria, Annie, Deidre, Rita.

Name: Jackie Reid

Maiden name: Jackie Marks

Where are you and what are you doing now? I am retired now and live in Reading. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Amazingly, I have kept in touch with a few friends I had at St Michaels. Alas, one of our number has passed away. Monica Dalgliesh (nee Trent) died of cancer a number of years ago.


Name: Helga Evans-Saktreger

Maiden name: Evans

Where are you and what are you doing now?: After I married in 1983 I settled in Reading and have been there for the past 30 years. It has alot of plus points, being close to London and to some beautiful countryside. I have been a teacher of languages, predominantly German, in Berkshire and Oxfordshire and have had a variety of teaching positions in schools, adult education and in companies. I also belong to the Catholic Church in Earley, Reading and am on the Welcome Ministry team. Our 2 daughters have grown up. Melissa (26) is a social worker near Enfield. Lucy (23) lives in Sydney and we are looking forward to visiting her and seeing Australia for the first time. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? If there are any ex St. Michael’s girls in Berkshire or Oxfordshire or anywhere else, who wish to contact me.

1978 Name: Emma Howard Where are you and what are you doing now? I have had a long career in accountancy mainly as a tax partner at BDO LLP. Ended up on their global leadership team. Left in 2012 and took a break and now doing some voluntary work as well as working as a head hunter in tax. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Teresa Darby

1979 Name: Philippa Lee Where are you and what are you doing now? Working at The Tablet (Catholic international weekly review). Still live in North London.

Name: Randini Wanduragala Where are you, and what are you doing now? Based in North Finchley. Running my own business consultancy Shared Profits since 2004 after several years: working as a lawyer in the UK and overseas working in the International Development & Humanitarian emergencies sector I’m also a trustee of a small charity – Children Unite – that works with children in domestic service. I’ve been lucky to have lived and worked overseas – Spain and Singapore. My work takes me to many exotic places in Africa, Asia and South America for short trips – where I usually get to sit in a basement and work very hard! Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Would be great to catch up with anyone from my form living in or near North Finchley – or even further afield!


Name: Maria Elena Poulet Maiden Name: Martin-Dominguez Where are you and what are you doing now? I have been living in the South of France for the last 26years where we run with my husband, french, a restaurant. My daughters all now live in London - Blandine is a research doctor at the Royal Free, Eugenie is a teacher in a french nursery school and Camille is in her last year at Roehampton University. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Miss Blandino

1980 Name: Deborah Carr

Maiden Name: Mannion

Where are you and what are you doing now? I moved to Ireland with my family when I was 14. I married at 17 and had 3 children. I was a Store Manager for Boots the Chemist in Carrick On Shannon in Leitrim for years however I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia and depression for over 10 years and have not worked for the past 3 years. I am now living in Ballinasloe County Galway with my husband of 31 years and our 3 dogs. I hope one day to return to work but right now that's impossible. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Davina Merola, Susan Channon, Elaine McNicholas

1981 Name: Francesca Humphrey

Maiden name: Fanning

Where are you and what are you doing now? Currently working part-time as a Learning Support Assistant in a primary school, I was previously a journalist with IPC Media where I was Deputy Editor of the in-house magazine and Press Officer for a group of magazines. I lived in Paris for five years, during which time my eldest daughter Florianne was born. She has just left St Michael's and is on a gap year while her sister Clementine is in Year 10 at the school.


Name: Michele Cox Maiden name: Cook Where are you and what are you doing now? I currently work at St. Michael’s!! I’m Secretary to St. Michael’s Friends, Administrative Officer and Learning Mentor. When I started working at St. Michael’s 9 years ago I found myself working for my old teachers!! – Miss Morrissey, Mr Keith Ward, Monsieur Vieri, Mrs Wallace and Miss Poston - although they have all retired now. When I left school in 1981 I did a degree in Business and worked in Marketing/Advertising at British Gas for 10 years. I married the boss! – Peter – and our 2 daughters, Georgina (now19) and Grace(15) meant a change of career for me. I qualified as a tutor for children with learning difficulties and did a PGCE in Primary teaching aged 40. A chance meeting in Waitrose with Miss Morrissey brought me back to St. Michael’s – I didn’t realise the place would have such a big impact on my life – twice!!

1982 Name: Vicky Dearing

Maiden Name: Flach

Where are you and what are you doing now? I am living in New Barnet, working at Cancer Research Uk London Research Institute Holborn, as a Scientific Officer in a technical support laboratory, I have two married daughters and one grand-daughter living in London. I lead the Sunday morning choir at St. Mary Magdalen's Whetstone and am membership secretary of the National Network of Pastoral Musicians which aims to encourage and support church musicians.

1983 Name: Maria Chapman

Maiden Name: Prati

Where are you and what are you doing now? Working as a teaching assistant/cover supervisor at a Catholic Boys Secondary school in Hornchurch Essex. Married with two boys both at university.

1984 Name: Rachel Weiss Where are you, and what are you doing now? I live in Perth (Scotland), with husband, dog and 2 out of our 3 kids. Eldest one has just left us for Glasgow Uni. My husband's retired on ground of ill health, after having his life saved by a liver donation (please join the Organ Donor Register on www.organdonation.nhs.uk), so I'm the breadwinner, and have run my own company the past 16 years. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Shirley Langham


1985 Name: Vanessa Gearson

Maiden name: Beard

Where are you, and what are you doing now? My life has been full, to say the least. Having spent a number of years at Kings College London as an undergraduate and subsequently working to gain my Ph.D, I decided to change my career entirely and enter the political world at Westminster. I worked for a number of MPs, including both David Davis MP and Theresa May MP, who were Chairmen of the Conservative Party. Head of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Director of the Conservative Party followed thereafter. I stood for Parliament in Cheltenham in 2005 a wonderful experience - but, sadly, I didn’t win. I had two daughters, only to be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer two weeks after the birth of my second daughter. My life took a very different course at that point and I have had a number of different treatments over the last seven years. I am currently in remission but have chosen to have a small dose of chemo weekly prophylacticly. Cancer is part of my life but in no way dominates my life. If anything, it has been a life affirming experience rather than a soul destroying one. I have been working in local government for over six years as a Cabinet Adviser as well as supporting the outstanding charity Breast Cancer Care voluntarily as a consultant. Life is good. I remain very good friends with Giselle Delyfer (nee Dominguez) and was very saddened by the news of a former class friend, Stephanie Van Kleef, who passed away last year after a long illness. However, it was lovely to catch up with Helen Flynn who was at the funeral. I also saw Nadia Myerscough on London TV not that long ago of whom I have fond memories standing and jumping on the table in the old Music Room with Miss Salter. I have very fond memories of St. Michael’s and it is a pleasure to see it grow from strength to strength. It is a real pleasure to be working with some fantastic ‘old girls’ in getting our alumni association back on its feet. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Anyone who would like to get in touch with me!


1988 Name: Daniela Pasqualetti Maiden Name: Gambarini Where are you and what are you doing now? I am an Executive Assistant to an MD at Barclays Investment Bank in Canary Wharf, where I currently work in a 3-day week jobshare which works very well in terms of work/life balance for now. After I left school, family circumstances meant it wasn’t ideal for me to go to university so instead I went to the West London Institute of Higher Education where I did a one-year bilingual secretarial course with Italian. After leaving, I found work immediately as a secretary in an Italian merchant bank. It took me a couple of years to find my feet in the City, especially being so young at the time. However as the years passed I gained experience and became PA to the Global Head of Internal Communications at Thomson Reuters where I was for 10 years. I cherished this role especially, as it gave me the opportunity to work with such interesting people at all levels within the organisation, as well as develop new skills within the role. In my last year at Thomson Reuters, I discovered two close colleagues who I had been working with for over a year also happened to be ex-St. Michael’s girls. That was a lovely moment!

On a personal level, I have been happily married to Claudio for almost 15 years. He is an exBishop Douglass pupil and he went onto study Advertising. He is now an Art Director, currently working at Publicis UK. We have two daughters who both go to St. Theresa’s School in Finchley where they are very happy. Unfortunately my eldest daughter did not score high enough in the St. Michael’s entrance exam this year. As much as it would have been nice for her to go to St Michael’s, this was not meant to be. We are confident however that she will do well wherever she goes. Our younger daughter has inherited her father’s artistic talent. She is incredibly gifted and we hope this will flourish as she grows. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? It would be nice to touch base again with Catherine and Juliet Caulfield (they were twins and my closest friends during the first three years at St. Michael’s. I remember their father was Head of Bishop Douglass School at the time). It would also be interesting to hear from Tina Quigley. I believe she went onto a very rewarding career with the Royal Air Force.


1989 Name: Nadia Banton

Maiden Name: Nadia Haidar

Where are you, and what are you doing now? Working as an administrator for some residential care homes for the elderly. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Joyce Abai, Karen Tipples

Name: Rachel Beard Where are you, and what are you doing now? After leaving St Michael’s, I did a degree in Hispanic Studies and then spent the next 8 years in the hotel/travel industry. Since then I have been working for a large pharmaceutical company as a senior business analyst. The change of industry has been very rewarding and enlightening. Outside of work, I am a busy auntie, enjoy pilates, travelling, photography and singing in an amateur choir!

1992 Name: Tracey O’Shea

Maiden Name: Tracey Glackin

Where are you, and what are you doing now? I live in Crouch End, married with a young son. I am a trader at an investment bank in Canary Wharf and have been here for 17years.

Name: Niamh Harty

Maiden Name: Niamh Harty

Where are you and what are you doing now? Living in London, working as a PA during the day and starting up my own travel company in evenings/weekends Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Yes, Lisa Deeney


1993 Name: Asuncion Saldana Maiden Name: Asuncion Saldana Where are you and what are you doing now? I am a chartered accountant, working currently for an investment bank. I have been in the banking industry for over 10 years, having left practise. Over the years I have led large Global Finance teams (35+) implementing major change and restructures to Finance, managing large budgets, the impact on the exiting people, process and technology whilst understanding and delivering internal reporting and external reporting to regulators. I enjoy what I do and work full time. I got married in Spain in 2005, and now have a 6 year old son, Peter, who attends a local catholic primary school. I am very lucky to have met a wonderful husband and to have an adorable son (I bet all mothers say that!) I am expecting a second child in May 2014, and we are all very excited about a new addition to the family. I met my husband in 2001 and we moved to Edinburgh (from London) in 2004. Most recently (in 2013) I moved to Manchester to be closer to friends and family. I still meet up with several St Michael’s friends, though not as often as I would like due to the geographical challenges of living in different locations. The next big event will be my 40th birthday (this year in Nov) with my twin sister Renata, which many of my St Michael’s friends have said they will attend. I remember my time at school fondly, it was a great ‘institution’. I still have my old school blouse with all my friend’s signatures from the last day!

1997 Name: Katie Symons

Maiden Name: Davidson

Where are you and what are you doing now? Living in Cambridge with my husband Digby, and two children Hector (born 2010) and Christina (born 2012), working as a structural engineer


2009 Name: Katy Chisenga Where are you and what are you doing now? I graduated with a first class degree in French and Hispanic Studies from King's College London last July, which included a year abroad at Sciences Po Paris and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and went straight onto a Ministry of Justice/Department for Education graduate scheme with Cafcass, The Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service. In my current role I work in the Governance and Policy teams, focusing on information assurance, safeguarding andserious case reviews. When applying for UCAS in year 13 I was torn between studying languages and medicine, but decided to study languages first with the hope of going back to medical school later. I am very proud to say that I have managed to do this and have been accepted to study graduate entry medicine from September 2014 at Wolfson College,Cambridge. I see from your website that another student leaving St. Michael's this year will also be studying medicine at Cambridge on the standard course. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Any doctors or medical students!

2010 Name: Natalia Jurga Where are you and what are you doing now? In my final year at Bristol University studying maths. Due to begin a PhD in maths at Warwick University in September.

2011 Name: Danielle Hoctor Where are you, and what are you doing now? I'm currently in my third and final year at the University of York, studying an undergraduate Music degree. I've applied to for a post graduate programme of study: a Primary PGCE, and am hoping to either attend the Institute of Education or Cambridge University for next year, and then from then hoping to become a primary school teacher in London. Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? I have stayed in quite close contact with students either in my year or who attend the same university as me.


2013 Name: Laura-May Nardella Where are you, and what are you doing now? I’m currently studying law at Emmanuel College Cambridge (first year) and I am glad to say that I’m really enjoying it. The atmosphere in my small college is very much like St Michaels so I do find myself drawing a lot of comparisons. I have been involved in the London Youth Involvement Project for the charity Mentor for 3 years and I’ve continued that despite being at university. It’s a charity that aims to influence policy on drug and alcohol education and it’s a fantastic thing to be involved with. At university I don’t have much time to take full advantage of all the societies there are because my degree has a very heavy workload but I am starting women’s rugby soon and I am also part of the Cambridge Mental Wealth committee. I’ve kept up my interest in music by performing at open-mic nights and opening events at other colleges. After I finish my law degree I’m going to take a year out and relax a bit but I will be continuing on to do my LPC so that I can become a solicitor. At the moment I’m pretty interested in commercial law so I will most probably start at a city firm to get training and experience and then decide what I want to do from then on. But I may change my mind about all this, who knows! Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? Still in touch with most people thankfully!

Name: Florianne Humphrey Where are you, and what are you doing now? I’m currently on my gap year before reading English Literature at Durham university. My gap year experiences have included internships at The Daily Telegraph and Marie Claire magazine, editing my novel at the request of a literary agent, tutoring in English and French and spending three months in France studying on a French course. Once I get back from France I’ll be finishing off the year with a further internship at Absolute Radio. It’s been an amazing year so far and it has definitely prepared me for the unknown of university!

Is there anyone you would like to get in touch with? It’s only been a few months since I left, so I’m still as close to my friends as before! Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Mainly from the five years up to sixth form with the amazing M class! Too many stories to write here!


Memories of St. Michael’s 1959 Leavers Name: Valerie England Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Memories of washing own desks every July in the courtyard, the ceiling coming down in the old building, not getting my embroidery homework done and Sister M Patrick hitting me over the head – happy days! And wearing 3 can-can petticoats under my uniform -and Sister Clare Dominic telling my parents I was ‘too worldly’!!

1960 Leavers Name: Jane Audrey Henry Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Moving from the old Convent after two years...into the new Grammar School... and I have to say my time at Saint Michael’s was the happiest time of my life and gave me a strong foundation for the rest of my life... Thank you to all the Staff who were there to help and guide my friends and myself....and may all the present Students find their time at Saint Michael as fulfilling as I did... !!

1960 Leavers Name: Beryl Joan Waters Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? We were taken on a great trip to Italy by the nuns (I think 1959) with too many memories to share.


1961 Leavers Name: Sheila Smale Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I have very happy memories of my time at St Michaels, I made some good lifelong friendships especially Diana Evans & Judy Cobbold. The nuns were very kind to me when I lost my mother at age 13. I am grateful for the good education that the school gave me and the love of subjects such as history that I gained there.

1964 Name: Elizabeth Webb

Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? The memories I have of my school days are very happy and we were the first to start in the new school. I remember a Rep visiting the school, he left through the wrong door and walked straight into the pond at the rear of the hall. I remember enjoying the choir and singing Handel's Messiah which was 1965 wonderful. Sister Mary Philomena was an inspiration and I will never forget Name: Maria Rosa Burdeos her. Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Teachers I remember: Miss Cox, Miss Bandino, Miss Cory Wright, Mrs,Parkes, Sister F de Sales, Sister John Vienny, Sister.......Latin teacher, and our french teacher whose name I don´t remember, she was very sweet. She drove me home the day I twisted my ankle.( 50 years ago)


1969 Name: Anne Aubrey Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I have fond memories of the Swinging Sixties at St Michael's. I was there from 1962 to 1969, which covered most of that decade. It was a time of considerable upheaval for the Order. At least 3 of our teachers who were nuns, became laicised, as did the school chaplain. Vatican 2 caused a lot of heart searching, and changes in direction for many priests and religious.Sr Mary Godric(Maire Morris) arrived during this time, and was a great favourite with everyone. She was open and honest, and we felt we could burden her with all our teenage angst - and there was plenty of that! I called in with her and Sr.Mary Paul at Southam a couple of years ago when driving in the area with my husband and 3 of my sons. It was lovely catching up with them both. I also remember being part of a 'pop' group with ex-pupil Jo Collins, one of the founders of the Chicken Shed, and a couple of others. She was great as the drummer. I was a useless guitarist. She was also a fantastic singer. I remember her on a school trip to Greece in 1966, performing impromptu in the amphitheatre at Delphi, to test the amazing acoustics of the space. I have recently caught up with another old school friend, Catherine McGoohan, who now lives in LA, and has followed her father into the acting profession. The wonders of the internet mean we can keep in regular contact by email. Neither of us have ventured onto Facebook. If anyone has any news of Moira Ross, I would be interested in getting in touch. She was part of the group too. There are so many memories of my time at St Michael's that I could recount. But to avoid becoming a boring old woman I will stop here. I was lucky to have been there when I was, and have always appreciated the fact that we were a uniquely privileged generation in so many ways. I am very much aware that we need to help our children's generation as much as we can, as times are much harder for them than they were for us. Thanks for the opportunity to indulge my nostalgia.

1972 Sue Payne Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I can remember some wonderful theatre trips to see plays based on books we were reading in English Lit especially The Tempest, and Taming of The Shrew at the Young Vic with Jim Dale in the lead role.


Name: Jackie Reid Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I don't know if anyone remembers but St Michaels featured in a quiz show called 'Top of the Form'. We only appeared in one show once as we were beaten by a boys school in Bristol, I think. I was only a first former at the time but I remember thinking it was quite exciting that my school was appearing on national television!

1979 Name: Philippa Lee Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? The kindness of Sister Anne. Mr Ward (English) who instilled in me a love of literature.

Name: Maria Elena Poulet Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? My memories of the years at St Michael's are some of the best I have - can't understand why kids don't want to go to school. My niece Millie Dominguez Spencer will be sitting an entrance exam with you next week. It would be such a delight for her to succeed in obtaining a place, as my sisters Pamela and Giselle would agree, what more could we ask than that she have the same opportunity we had, which no doubt, was the foundation to us becoming the fulfilled women we are now. I will be praying for her success and hope one day Millie will also become a SMOG. Dux Michael! (I still remember)


1980 Name: Deborah Carr Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I remember a walnut tree near the art hut. And an old fountain with metal painted swans. The fish pond where my friend Louise would tickle the fish. I remember Sr Imelda who had a room up some really narrow stairs where she sold religious arts and crafts. Latin and Classical Studies with Miss Cory Wright. English with Mr O Callaghan and his grey and orange check jacket. Mr Murray-Watson desperately trying to cram music theory into my reluctant head. Mlle Bernais who became Madame Penney desperately trying to cram French grammar into my reluctant head. Maths and my reluctant head. A lunch time disco where I heard the Sex Pistols for the first time.

1982 Name: Vicky Dearing

1984

Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Happy memories of the top floor chemistry lessons with Miss Lynch.

Name: Rachel Weiss Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I remember Mr Beasley making my friends and I sing and dance the Birdy Song in front of the whole class, as a punishment for something or other. Also enjoying being in school productions of Stabat Mater, Hansel and Gretel, Grease.


1985 Name: Vanessa Gearson Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? The unique Miss Cory-Wright who would bring us iced buns to help get us through parsing Ovid’s Metamorphoses at double A-level Latin on Friday afternoons and the fact that she called me at home the day the results were published to tell me that she was having a sherry to toast the miracle that was the B grade I had achieved! Anyone remember "Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior” (Catullus)? The exceptional Keith Ward whose dry wit and skill generated a great love of poetry and literature for me. The exam question of whether John Donne’s poetry could be interpreted as secular remains stamped firmly on my mind. Mrs Jago at A-level whose disciplined teaching gave us all the tools we needed - and Lorca’s poetry – “La luna vino a la fragua con su polisón de nardos, la niña la mira mira, la niña la esta mirando…”I recall today. Miss Gianicelli ("like Petrocelli") latterly Mrs Bobolecki, who painted her toenails red during a History lesson? Mrs Howarth - who thought the invention of the electric guitar came from the devil himself. The formidable Mary Daly who so wisely prickled my pride when I was in the 4th Year by telling me that perhaps I wasn’t as clever as she thought I was...it gave me the proverbial kick up the backside I really needed.

1988 Name: Daniela Pasqualetti

Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I found my first months to be very difficult when I started at St. Michael’s as I didn’t know anyone. However, the one thing I do remember was feeling a sense of belonging which I put down to the Catholic ethos. My primary school was non-Catholic and whilst I was not unhappy at primary school, clearly there was something missing which I never realised before. I did enjoy my school years at St. Michael’s. My favourite teacher had to be Monsieur Vieri. In fact, I don’t know anyone who disliked him! I also remember Frau Bull with fond memories. She was very strict - it must be said - but what a teacher! She was so thorough that I actually came out with German during my “A” level Italian oral exam. There are other memories which I think best not to share, but they make me smile when they come to mind. I came to the St. Michael’s Centenary Celebration which was very moving. It was great to catch up with ex-school friends. In fact a group of us (approx. 20) went for a pizza afterwards. The one interesting fact I noticed was that only two of us were still employed – myself on a part time basis, and one other who worked in Marketing. All the others had families and I believe had to find a compromise. All in all, I am so proud to say I went to St. Michael’s and am grateful for all the time I was there.


2011 Name: Danielle Hoctor Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? Dux Michael! and rHytHm - classic Miss Satchwell!

2013 Name: Laura-May Nardella Are there any memories/anecdotes you would like to share? I have so many good memories from St Michaels. I think some of the best were: teaching Kenyan children some Scottish ceilidh dances with Mr Hunter-Gordon Science lessons with Miss Magee, particularly on practical days where our experiments never seemed to go to plan. We did an experiment with morning fresh liquid to show how tectonic plates move and of course, the plates didn’t move so Miss Magee just pushed them with her fingers and tried to convince us all the experiment was working. All the teacher performances at the end of the year but mainly ones that involved Mr Moloney doing Irish dancing or Miss Majid break dancing.


From the Archives… We were delighted to be given access to the School Archive, which contains some fantastic material regarding St. Michael’s much of which has been donated by former pupils. In this e-newsletter we have the first excerpts of two remarkable records – News of the Silver Jubilee of St. Michael’s in The Catholic Herald (1933) that reads like a religious adventure story with a thrilling end; and, a personal recollection from Mary Archer (1936) that contains some fascinating details… The Catholic Record – September 1933, p.15 “Grammar School News - Silver Jubilee of St. Michael’s Convent (1908-1933) Quis ut Deus – Who is like to God? So run the Latin and English renderings of the Hebrew name Michael. The Church celebrates the Feast of the Prince of the Heavenly Host, who bears this holy name, on the 26th September, on Michaelmas Day…. Hence it was that on his Feast twenty five years ago a small band of five sisters belonging to the Congregation of the Poor Child Jesus came to Finchley the first Catholic school in the district in order that it might become a power station for the maintenance and spread of the Faith. Faced with difficulties of every kind these intrepid sisters persevered on their undertaking and in the course of years under the patronage of St. Michael they have shown how God has exalted the humble and and shewn strength in the might of his arms. The Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus was founded in 1844 at Aixla Chapelle by Mother Claire Fey. The venerable founder planned to put into the field further forces on the side of Catholic Education, “Let us love the children” she said, “because Jesus loves them and let us love Jesus in every child.” She lived until the year 1894 and saw the gradual development of her work from the Mother House at Simpelveld in Holland. The first English foundation was made at Southam near Rugby, in 1876, and this Convent is now the English Provincial House and Noviciate, whence a number of Sisters have already been sent to three newly established houses in the United States, where they carry on large and flourishing schools similar to those in Germany and Holland. At the present day the Congregation counts over 50 houses in which 2,000 Sisters are occupied in the education of some 18,000 children. Since 1908, when the Finchley foundation was made, the following Superiors have, in the gentle Christ-like spirit of their founders, directed the work of the House and School:


1908 1919 1923 1926

Mother Aldegundis Mother Etheldreda (now Mother Provincial) Mother Philippina Mother Heriburga

The property in Finchley acquired by the Sisters was known as “the Grange”, situated at the north end of Nether Street near Tally Ho: and thus a very central and convenient position for a school, covering some five acres of ground. For the first few months it was not possible to open to the school as the Sisters had to get “settled in” and to explore the ground. Every possible assistance was rendered to them by Fr. M. St. J. Sellon who in 1903 had been appointed as the first Rector of the North Finchley Mission. At the time of the nuns arrival he was about to lay the foundation stone of the new church. Realising that no church can do effective work without the aid of Catholic schools, he welcomed the opportunity of arranging for the nuns to come and open a Secondary school for girls, for whom there was another nearer than St. Joseph’s Convent, Hendon, which also had only recently opened. The conversion of the Grange into a “nunnery and the advent of the Sisters caused no little stir in the ultra-Protestant suburban village of that time. It is how related how tradesmen’s boys would nervously ring at the door to leave their goods and then scuttle away as fast as possible in fear and panic lest a bony arm covered with a black mantle should stretch out to grasp and drag them in to be immured within the cellars below where they would be subjected to inquisition and torture….”

The above text is written verbatim to the original text. Read about what happened to the boys in our next edition….. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Were you taught by the nuns at St Michael’s? We are working on a history of the nuns who taught or were part of the Convent at St. Michael’s. Since the foundation of the School, the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus have played a vital part in its development and in the education of generations of women. If you were taught by or knew any of the nuns we would love to know who they were, what they did, about their personalities and any anecdotes you may have. We would love you to share your memories with us and, by doing so, help us find out more about these extraordinary women. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A Personal Recollection by Mary Archer (nee Deeming) In 1986 Mary happened to meet Rosemary Tolson (Geography Teacher) at a Christmas party in Oxford. They spoke about Mary’s time at St. Michael’s and Mrs Tolson suggested she write


down her memories and send it to current pupils at the School, which Mary did in the hope that it would “raise a laugh or two”… She paints a detailed picture of life at St. Michael’s for the pupils in 1933 and signs herself “a very old girl”. “My sister Dorothy was 7 and I was 9 when we moved to North Finchley from the Midlands, and we started at St. Michael’s Convent in the Michaelmas term of 1933. We didn’t know much about convents, and had hardly seen a nun, but we settled very happily in the building with those high mullioned windows, marble pillars, tiled corridors and that splendid staircase (out of bounds to us that led to the Chapel. Oh yes, we were quite awestruck with the place which to us had an air of sanctity about it, and was so different from the school we had recently attended. On special days in the religious calendar the Catholic girls had a service first, and we Anglicans started later. Usually the day starts with the whole school assembled in the gym hall which was also used for concerts as it had a stage at the far end. When the bell went we got into form order down the length of the hall and the Sister Superior, Sister Mary Patricia came in and ascended the stage. She gave out the notices, then putting her hands together and would say for “Time for recollection girls” and we said prayers. We then filed out to the classroom, the little ones of Form 1 first and so on passing the duty nun at the door and bowing our heads. One morning Sister Mary Bede (who taught art) was on duty, and she called me back. I thought “Oh dear, what have I done?” but she said “Mary, next time, please give me a smile”. The discipline was strict – by any standards at the time – and especially by todays. But it was achieved by example and love and quite a considerable degree of fun now and again. A rule that was sometimes difficult to obey was that we were never under any circumstances to run in the corridors. Good manners were top priority and a lack of vanity not far behind. I well remember one girl who came with artificially induced curls in her somewhat straight hair having them brushed out with a stiff brush in Sister Patricia’s study! One girl was actually expelled for “larking around” on a street corner waving her hat about and talking to a boy”! Games were not my forte I’m afraid. Somehow my racquet always had a hole in it, and in netball mine was too large or the net too high. One day in the gym I managed to fall from the top wall bar and badly sprained my ankle which was in plaster for the rest of the term. Miss O’Gorman, whom we all had a “crush” on, was so sympathetic and for some time used me and another girl…to sit on either side of the horse to steady the thing while we looked on with envy as the agile girls bounced on the springboard and literally flew over in quick succession. There two houses and the school colours were blue and gold. The blues were St. Thomas Aquinas and the golds (for the life of me I can’t remember. However, later when the school


opened its doors to the successful candidates of the “eleven plus exam” – the Scholarship as it was then called – two more houses were added, the reds (St. Theresa) and the greens (St. Agnes). I had started in the golds house, but in the re-organisation I was put in the greens. And as far as sports are concerned I have been green ever since… The above text is written verbatim to the original text. You can read more of Mary’s recollections in the next e-newsletter.

Did you know…? Did you know that “Dux Michael” was not always the School anthem? We have a small excerpt of the school song sung in the 1930’s which is set out below. Did you sing this song? If you did, we would love to hear from you. ????????????? And just for good measure, the lyrics to “Dux Michael”.

O heros invicibilis, Dux Michael, Adesto nostris praelis, ora pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis, Dux Michael. Tu noster dux militiiae, Dux Michael, Defensor es eccleasiae, ora pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis, Dux Michael. Per te o heros belliger, Dux Michael, Prostratus jacet Lucifer, ora pro nobis, Pugna pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis, Dux Michael. Ab omni malo libera, Dux Michael, Ad coeli duc nos praemia, Dux Michael, Pugna pro nobis. Pugna pro nobis, Dux Michael


Memories from the Chaplain – Father John I think my connection with St Mick’s dates from the suggestion of a Filipino friend of mine in Louvain. He was studying systematic theology and I was studying applied theology. (Did you realise theology had applications?) Applied theology lectures in Louvain are given in Flemish and my friend suggested we go together to listen to a lecture in anthropology. That was my first lecture being given in English and through it I met Mary Daly who was following English lectures whilst she was on sabbatical for one semester. A couple of years later, she came visiting and over lunch asked me when I was finishing and then what. I told her I was just about to finish and had been appointed to lecture at the Missionary Institute in Mill Hill. ‘Come and be chaplain in St Michael’s’ she said – for she had been head there for a year. So I did, and have been such since 1982 At the end of the first year, I said to her ‘there’s no job description and no contract. What would you have done had you found I was useless?’ She told me ‘I’d have made sure you had nothing to do’. So I was lecturing seminarians at the Institute and coming to St Michael’s as chaplain and later, I was also teaching philosophy of religion in 6th form. Somewhere around 1995 or so I told our Superior General that I couldn’t keep teaching both seminarians and girls. He said ‘well, choose’ so after all of 23 seconds thought I chose St. Mick’s – seminarians expect to be told answers, (boring!) - St Michael’s students ask questions (exhilarating). I have often wondered exactly what is the role of a chaplain in school. I suspect folk think sacramentally and indeed, if you are also a priest that is part if the role. And it is fulfilling in St Michael’s. I said I was in Louvain studying applied theology – the theology of mission. I had been three years in the Philippines and spent much of the time wondering how a Lancashire Catholic, brought up in the pre-Vatican 2 Church, should proclaim the Gospel in the 20th century Philippines. The problem is sometimes called one of ‘contextualisation’ – I prefer ‘incarnational theology’. How do you proclaim the Gospel in such a way that you remain faithful to the Tradition and at the same time make sense to your listeners? (I have a doctoral thesis on this topic so don’t encourage me). And that is how I have seen my role in St. Michael’s, trying to make sense of the Gospel, and it is this which lies behind our Lenten services of recollection of the Passion, and behind the form in which we try to present the Friday Masses. And sometimes I wonder do we go rather too far in one direction rather than the other. But my endeavours to solve this issue led Miss Cox to hold that my sermons were all unintelligible to her.

I was away in Chicago for one year, 1990-91, following a course on spiritual counseling (I enjoyed it so much I went back the following summer for some lectures on Jung). When I came back there was another priest who had been holding the fort and the diocesan


monsignor responsible for school chaplaincy suggested I move to Finchley Catholic, but Miss Daly wasn’t having it, so for a while, there were two of us. I recall going on an art trip to the New Forest for several days and it must have included a Sunday since we celebrated Mass on one of the tables in the Forest. It was an enjoyable trip. On another occasion we went to Ramsgate for a long week-end ‘retreat’ in connection with the Abbey there. Further divagations have included teaching 6th form Chemistry one term when we were unexpectedly short of a Chemistry teacher. Mr Cooper was somewhat startled when I offered to help, but I’d spent the first years of my priestly life reading Natural Sciences, and then teaching Science in a Junior Seminary we ran near Liverpool. I acquired an oar at university which hung in my room at St Mick’s though not many people looked up to see it and my nephew nicked it. I remember people’s faces, but mostly I remember the names of folk who have studied philosophy with me. We had diocesan inspectors in once and the 6th form blinded him with a learned discussion on the apophatic nature of God. He went away looking dazed and I think there were seven or eight of that class who went on to Oxbridge (why not Camford?). When I first arrived, Mike McAvoy was head of RE – he was presented on stage at the end of one Christmas term as having a family of ginger headed children like organ pipes. After him there was Sr Yvonne who donated the figure of the Risen Christ that hangs in chapel, and Mrs Whitehead who has had me over giving tutorials where she now teaches. There were several years when we had a joint day on philosophy with 6th forms from St Dominic’s, Finchley Catholic, Bishop Douglass and St James. They were held at London Colney and seemed fruitful. I at least always enjoyed them. As indeed I have enjoyed the privilege of working with St Michael’s – I have been amazed at how generously accepting you have all been and how helpful folk have been. I think you are, and have all been, lovely!


Ex-Staff News


St.Michael’s Friends Events A Dinner in Honour of Miss Ursula Morrissey - The Carlton Club in St. James', London - October 2012

Reception at the Palace of Westminster - Jubilee Rooms, The House of Commons - November 2012


St. Michael’s past pupils were key to a hugely successful Careers Event held on 17th April 2013

St Michael’s Friends enjoyed a Coffee together on 21st March 2014 at Café Rouge in North Finchley


The Grand Debate – Old girls versus new girls – and boys! 6th May 2014

Mandie Lavin and Vanessa Gearson

The 6th form team – William Wilson, Hannah ElHawary and Benedict Stephens-Simonazzi

Eve Cully, Yr 9, Rosa Chalfen and Isabella Gauci Green, Yr 8

The ? - ? And Laura Alyousif, Yr 8


St. Michael’s Friends Future Events • The next Coffee Morning is Friday 13th June at 9.30am in Café Rouge, North Finchley


St. Michael’s School Today News and Events

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