Esther Bentata and Mother Bernadet - Mother Ita Flannery
Sister Maria Goretti (Berna) Fahy - Mothers Evangelista and Aidan
Mothers Dolours and Paula - Mothers Dympna and Hildegarde
Mothers Consuelo and Gerard - Mother Oliver Patton
Mothers Stanislaus Laverty and Margaret Kenny - Mother Celeste Hynes
Mothers Gemma Tormey, and Mary Counihan - Mother Eucharia Kickham
Mothers Marion Larkin and Celeste (Aoife) Hynes - Mother Augusta Dempsey
Mother s Colette and Perpetua -Mother Joan Blunden
Sisters Helen McGinty and Majella Smith - Sister Jean-Marie Roche
Mother Joan Blunden and Sister Helen McGinty - Sister Hyacinth Murray
Sister Fintan Downey and Mother Oliver Patton - Mother Presentation Mc Sweeney
Mother Dolours Connolly and Mother Gemma Tormey - Mother Margaret Kenny
Sisters Joan and Olive - Sisters Lucy and Marion Larkin
Religious ceremony in John Macintosh Square ( 1950s - Mansell Collection ) (See LINK)
The Convent Place building was finally vacated by the families who had been housed there when they returned to Gibraltar after the War. It was now leased back to the Colonial Secretary and the official documents were signed on behalf of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary . . . In September 1952 the Grammar School girls moved from Europa to Convent Place, now a Government school, and no longer the home of a Loreto Community. All the nuns, their numbers somewhat reduced since pre-War days, lived in one Community at the Europa Convent.
During the previous summer many of the pupils had come in to help the nuns sort out books, furniture, maps, pictures, statues and all the materials and equipment that had been stored away during the War. There was even a wind-up gramophone complete with “trumpet” amplifier and a fold-over chrome needle-holder. And globes! And the wooden clubs Esther Bentata had probably used in the 1920s when she was doing “Swedish Drill”. There were wall maps with more pink in them than was any longer accurate. The girls were fascinated by newspapers dated 1937 and earlier which had been used to line cupboards. This was often the cue to down tools and read about events that had taken place before they were born – and which therefore might as well have taken place in the Middle Ages!
Main Street ( 1950s )
Loreto High School opened in the September of 1952 in Convent Place. Now the school at Europa at last had all the space it needed, and there was room for the development of a senior school on the premises. The schools had just over a year to prepare for the visit of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip to Gibraltar. . .
Mother Bernadette Warnock left Gibraltar on the 17th July 1953 and was replaced as Superior at the end of August by Mother Ita Flannery. With Mother Ita came Sister Maria Goretti (Berna) Fahy. She headed a new Senior Commercial section which was opened in Europa for girls between the ages of eleven and sixteen. Sister Maria Goretti later returned to Rathfarnham to make her final vows in 1958, but to the delight of many past pupils she returned to Gibraltar later as Superior in 1965. Until 1955 the teachers at Loreto High in Convent Place were:
Mother Evangelista as Head Teacher
Mother Aidan who taught French
Mother Dolours – Science
Mother Paula – English
Mother Dympna – Latin
Mother Hildegarde – Spanish
Mother Consuelo – Mathematics and Games
Mother Gerard – Art
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Gibraltar (1954 )
The Form Teachers taught Religion, and many of the nuns taught several subjects. When Mother Gerard left she was replaced as Art teacher by Mother Presentation McSweeney who came in September 1954. That year Mother Oliver Patton succeeded Mother Evangelista as Head of Loreto High in Convent Place. . .
Over the next few years came Mothers Stanislaus Laverty, Margaret Kenny, Celeste Hynes, Gemma Tormey, Mary Counihan, Eucharia Kickham and Marion Larkin. Mother Celeste (Aoife) Hynes arrived to teach Maths and English. She had a good sense of humour and was well liked by the children. Referring to the way she flicked her veil back as she launched into the lesson one of her pupils would mutter under her breath: “Que estilo tiene esa mujer!”
There were many changes in the Europa school during that period. Amongst those who were there in the 1950s and 60s were:
Mother Ita Flannery as Superior
Mother Augusta Dempsey as Head Teacher
Mother Joan Blunden
Sister Helen McGinty
Sister Maria Goretti
Sister Majella Smith
Sister Jean-Marie Roche.
Mother Jane Frances McLaughlin replaced Mother Augusta. Mother Leonard Whelehan and Sister Barbara Falls came a little later; then Sisters Lawrence Devlin and Loreto McKean, and Mother Brigid Agnes. Looking after the domestic arrangements at the Convent in Europa were Sisters Fintan, Hiltrude and Hyacinth. When Mothers Ita, Paula, Dolours, Maria Goretti and Sister Fintan came back from their summer holiday in Ireland in 1955 they were accompanied by Mother Perpetua (Mary) Mallon who was to teach the 11+ Class at Europa.
She was also in charge of the music and worked with Mother Paula McCorry when the school produced concerts and musical dramas. . . Under Mother Paula’s direction the Gibraltar nuns used to put on for the Spanish Sisters a cut down version of whatever plays the Junior school had performed during the year! . . .
In Gibraltar in 1962 Mother Hildegarde Galbally, having spent most of her life here, died in her sleep. The page at which her Bible lay open read:
Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over little things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord
Brand new Humphries Flats ( 1950's )
. . . Four years later Mother Colette Hooper died on August 21st 1966 aged 90. Three years later two members of the Europa Community died within a month of each other. They were Sister Hyacinth Murray (November 12th 1969) and Sister Fintan Downey (Christmas Day). Both these Sisters were very kindly people. They never, of course, undermined the authority of the teaching sisters, but children sent out of class for misdemeanours often had the feeling that the Sisters looked on the miscreants with an affection which, at that moment, might have been inappropriate from the teacher.
At Loreto High the staff consisted of: Mother Oliver Patton the Head Teacher, Mother Celeste (Aoife) Hynes, Deputy Head, and Mother Presentation Mc Sweeney, Mother Stanislaus Laverty, Mother Dolours Connolly, Mother Gemma Tormey and Mother Margaret Kenny who had arrived in September 1954. There were also a handful of lay members of staff, most of them Gibraltarian Past Pupils of Loreto, and a few who were the wives of servicemen and other officials stationed on the Rock. In 1968, during Mother Maria Goretti’s term of office, Sisters Joan, Olive and Lucy came to teach at Europa and Sister Marion Larkin came to teach Science at Loreto High.
Mother Stanislaus Class
BACK TO HOME PAGE
BACK TO HOME PAGE