OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY AND ST THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX

 
Stained Glass Windows, Our Lady of the Rosary Church
 

 

FORMER PUPILS OF THE ROSARY SCHOOL SALTLEY BIRMINGHAM

SCHOOL LEAVING YEAR: 1960


If you are a former parishioner of the Rosary Parish or former pupil of the Rosary School
and wish to be included please visit this page. Inclusion is, of course, completely free of charge.
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Robert Walsh (former pupil) Class Photo Click Here

  • Left School: 1960
  • School friends I remember: William Brady; Seamus McDonnell (he used to live in 85 Heather Rd.), Patrick McGettigan, William Butler; William or Robert Wilkins; Jacqueline Cordoza; Dennis Price, (the spelling of some of the names might not be correct)
  • Teachers I remember: Infants/Junior School: Mrs Ellison and Miss Jennings (they were both teachers in my first class); Miss Moral; Br. Bede (Marist Brother); Br. Louis Andrew (Marist Brother); Br Nilus (Marist Brother Head Master); Miss Kelly (Mrs Ozanne English teacher); Mr Robinson (Woodwork teacher); Mr Harkin (Science teacher);
  • Memories of my teachers:

    -Br Bede: Indefatigable spirit, he involved everyone in the school activities making crucifixes for presents and for fund raising. The youth club was his work and it was here that all ex-pupils found a place to reunite whilst engaging in activities such as table tennis (the table tennis tables were made by Br. Bede as far as I can remember and we all gave him a hand). The youth club was important in raising funds for the school. We were encouraged to sell raffle tickets and we all went from house to house during the winter nights selling the tickets with a healthy competitive spirit. We also raised funds for "children of Africa", for Father Hudson's Homes and for children less fortunate than ourselves. Although we had very little ourselves and many of us had rags as clothes we were in the habit focussing on those less fortunate and helping them. It then became natural for us to consider ourselves fortunate and content with what we had. We were happy and this I believe we owned to those innocent fund raising activities which helped us to focus on those who needed from us what we could ill afford but did manage to obtain with great perseverance and tenacity. This was the precious teaching and example of Br. Bede. Perhaps it was this that made taking "six of the best" from him when we transgressed the school rules not only acceptable but also just and well deserved. It did make us reflect on what we had done. Caning was accepted and taking "six of the best" without showing any pain was a sign of heroism, although someone did flinch just before the cane was to make contact with the hand. Caning formed us, made us strong, made us proud when taken without flinching. How times have changed! Br Bede always spent his time in the playground talking and playing with us instead of withdrawing with the other teachers in the staff room and the watchful presence of Mons. Power was never far away. Br Bede also organised pilgrimages to Lourdes for ex-pupils.

    - I next remember Miss Kelly (later Mrs Ozanne) for her kindness. I specifically remember her offering to pay the fees for an examination that she knew one of my class mates, William Brady, would have passed if he had taken it. In those days few, if any, had the means to pay for a school uniform and that was an effective deterrent to sitting exams for Grammar school or technical college.
    I also remember my Essay on H.G. Wells' Mr Polly. She gave it as homework. I don't know whether it was because of a lack of attention on my part or whether I simply didn't understand her instructions but I used a different approach from the one she suggested. It turned out as a success and I received lavish praise. I have lived with this example clearly in my mind to this day.
    Now I teach English literature at the University of Parma. From her I have learnt to help others to make the best of themselves and not merely to make others become copies of ourselves.

  • - Other memories are more vague. I remember Mr Marsh who had the habit of pulling the pupils' hair to get them to pay more attention to what was being said
  • - Mr Robinson taught us woodwork. He was not a Catholic. He was also well liked. My interest in woodwork has still survived

    - Mr Harkin, the Science teacher is remembered for his experiments not always recalling the "perfumes of Arabia".

    - Br Nilus. Well, we didn't have him as a teacher he was Headmaster and, as far as I can remember, only the most recalcitrant of spirits were sent to his office when no other form of warning or punishment was deemed effective. His nickname was "Black Jack".

    - I started the Secondary Modern School in the "B" stream but in my second year was promoted to the "A" stream. The only position in the class I remember was having come eighth in Br Bede's class "3A"

    - I also remember having received a red star of merit for having spelt the word "consonant" correctly, unfortunately I don't remember the teacher. Needless to say I have never forgotten that word!

    - The earliest memory I have was at the age of five in my very first class with Mrs Ellison and Miss Jennings as my teachers. We were encourage to sleep with our arms crossed and head on the desk for a while and if we did not raise ours heads or give signs of being awake we were rewarded with a small cube of ice to suck afterwards. Those were the days when fridges were unknown to us and a cube of ice had the same value as a "gobstopper". This practice also helped us to become well disciplined as I had a very hard time pretending to be asleep and remaining perfectly still for the duration of a whole lesson! I do not remember if I ever won an ice cube!

  • Playground experiences: I remember having jumped on Denis Price who happened to have his penknife open. I still have the scar to remind me of that.
  • I was also involved in distributing the free milk. I probably ended up drinking as much as I distributed!

 

  • After school: After a year or two as a press toolmaker in Kenelm Tools Ltd (located in Dudeston but which later moved to Nechells) I decided to return to my studies. I spent some time in Belgium, and eventually got my MA Hons. Degree at Glasgow University. After graduating I left for Italy where I still live. I am now a Professor at the University of Parma in Italy.
  • My most recent involvement with the Rosary is the construction of these pages from my study here in Italy in the hope that many of us "Rosarians" may express their experiences as former pupils of the Rosary and perhaps one day meet again.
  • I have now set up the official Rosary website which will be updated as soon as I receive material: http://www.rosarychurch-saltley.co.uk/

If anyone remembers me please write

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SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE 1960

 



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