Melinda Twyford started at St Patrick’s Primary School in year 3.
Growing up, my family and I regularly went to Mass on the weekend. My children are students at St Pat’s - Hugo is in in year 6 and the school’s vice captain while Lexi in year 4 is part of Mini Vinnies.
It is a very special feeling knowing that my children are going to the same school, classrooms and some teachers, making their sacraments in the same church that I did.
The nuns and teachers taught us many things and how to be respectful and thoughtful. My faith grew deeper during my time at St Pat’s. I always remember feeling very proud to be a student at the school.
St Pat’s is a wonderful school. I have a great support network with the parents and parishioners.
There were plenty of happy memories for Bob Rixon, a past student of St Patrick’s who started school in 1941.
His mother was one of the first students to be taught by the Josephite Sisters. Also his sister and brother, followed by his daughters and sons - and now two grandsons.
“The nuns were lovely and very kind,” Bob said. “It cost about two shillings and sixpence to go to school every week but times were hard so farmers would bring wood and vegetables.
Bob also remembered that Sister Declan, who cooked at the Convent, would look for boys to chop the wood for the fire. Everyone would run away except one boy Pat who would do it to get out of school.
“Once a month we would go to Tathra Beach."
There were seven of us Zieglers attending school in the 1930s and early 1940s.
As it was during and after the Depression, families brought crops but there was no shortage of milk, cream and butter as most had cows.
We made our own fun during playtime, playing hopscotch, marbles, skipping and cubby houses made of pine needles.
The highlight and most fun was the concert at the end of the year. A ball was held once a year in the show pavilion.
The junior debutante ball was held with the girls in their long white dresses and the boys in their tuxedos. Then a special dance around the hall in perfect time.
After we had our first Communion, we always had a celebration and Communion breakfast at the Convent.
One priest decided to teach the boys boxing with stools arranged to make the ring. All went well until a boy was hit and fell backwards over the stools - that was the end of boxing lessons.
To raise money for the missions, we held penny concerts.
A rod of iron
Together with my elder brother Colin and my younger sister Nora, we had the privilege of being educated by the Sisters of St Joseph from 1933 until 1940.
Sister Benmore was an Irish lass about five foot nothing with an Irish temper to match. I can still see her black lace-up boots leave the floor when she lathered you with the cane (always richly deserved). However, I know that she loved us all and was a remarkable tutor.
Sister Teresa ruled all and sundry in sixth class with a rod of iron. This remarkable woman scared the pants off the lot of us. However, under all that facade, she had a heart of gold.
A big day was the First Communion Day - all the girls in white with veils and the boys in black short pants and white shirts.
It was held at the Convent and there were huge plates of sandwiches, sponges with whipped cream and thousands of patty cakes. The lot washed down with raspberry cordial.