Friendships, faith and fun recalled at reunion

By Wendy Shaw

Friendships were renewed, school days recalled and memories revived as more than 125 people attended the 150th year and final reunion lunch of Sacred Heart Old Collegians’ Association.

Former students and teachers from throughout Tasmania and interstate gathered at the Riverside Golf Club on 17 June.

It was one of a number of special events that took place to coincide with the sesquicentenary of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Launceston, including a school Mass, parish Mass and civic reception. The school was founded by the Presentation Sisters.

Association president Hetty Binns said the reunion lunch was a day to remember.

“The members of the committee feel that they are no longer able to continue to organise whole-of-school reunions and believe that the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school seemed like a good time to call it a day,” she said.

“We wanted to go out with a bang, and we believe that we achieved that because we’ve heard many positive comments and expressions of gratitude for such an absolutely wonderful day.”

Doreen Radin, 98, of Prospect, the oldest person at the reunion, cut the cake.

Among attendees was Mary Freeman, whose mother also attended Sacred Heart College, with her daughters Sue Forward, Carolyn Ryan and Jenny Mansfield, and granddaughter Sarah Ryan.

Happy days: Doreen Radin, 98, of Prospect, prepares to cut the cake at the final gathering of the Sacred Heart Old Collegians’ Association at Riverside Golf Club. With her is association president Hetty Binns (left). Photo: Wendy Shaw.

“The highlights of the day were connections and reconnections, and the wonderful conversations and reminiscences with former classmates as well as meeting and getting to know others,” Hetty added.

Despite the end of the whole-of-school reunion, various class groups have met regularly over the years and will continue to do so.

Sr Elizabeth Vagg, of the Presentation Sisters, explained that the reunion – a happy, friendly occasion – has traditionally been held near the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

“It is always great to hear how people’s lives have unfolded, their appreciation for the education they received, the lifelong friendships that developed and the values that still influence their lives,” Sr Elizabeth said.

Five Presentation Sisters (Sr Elizabeth, Sr Majella Kelly, Sr Marie Connelly, Sr Marilyn Fryett and Sr Monica Shelverton) were among about 50 people at a civic reception to mark the school’s 150th anniversary at the Launceston Town Hall on 16 June.

Sr Elizabeth said: “It was a fitting celebration to acknowledge 150 years of Catholic Education in Launceston and the contribution of the school to the development of the city.

“From the early days, the school had the practical support of the Catholic community as well as that of the wider community.”

Tags: Launceston, News