Memories of Abbotsford Convent on an Ebay discussion forum

On an Ebay discussion forum, of all places, are to be found a series of uniformly adverse recollections by former residents of the Abbotsford Convent, and some other Catholic institutions. One woman’s story, pieced together by me from multiple posts, with a little editing, is:

‘It was indeed the Convent of the Good Shepherd, the Sacred Heart Class was where we kids worked our butts off to feed the nuns and the orphans (the orphans I don’t mind helping to feed …… ) and St Euphrasia was for schooling. So there were four sections in all. When my father placed me in the convent (I wasn’t in trouble by the way, at least not pregnant…), my father got rid of me as a plaything and the convent was as good as anywhere else.

We girls got up early, went to mass, came back, attended the refectory where we all had breakfast (such as it was) then we went to work. I was only a kid back then and didn’t know better, I just accepted their slavery as normal! Hubbys Bub [another poster on the disucssion board] the stories we could tell, your friend and I except my heart already feels as if it is breaking in two. As for my anger it’s getting like a great big ball. I don’t dare say too much else, as right now im not coping well at all.

This I want to say: breakfast was luke-warm porridge with a slice of STALE bread. Lunch on the other hand was soup, with the morning’s left over porridge added for volume! Please, I just need someone else to back me up as I know it sounds unbelievable!

We worked so hard. I usually worked in the ironing room, but did some time in the mangle room, which is a huge round press that one fed sheets and such into! Anyone who knows me will tell you I loathe ironing, hence most of my clothing is drip dry!

We had a huge bath and toilet area. We had a bath once a fortnight from memory and even so the water we used had been used several times before we got in Y…..UCKO! The crows, usually called auxiliaries, would drag us down there and beat the bejes-s out of us if some nun had a complaint against any of us. Never mind if it was true or not. Biff! Bash! And cop that! Until we grew older and now and then fought back.

There was also a method of complaint called standing on the slab. We would walk off work and stand in the middle of the room and that’s where we stayed until bedtime. We could eat the muck they gave us for breakfast, then the nun in charge of our workplace would ask us if we were prepared to work. I was too stubborn to comply and so went without many a meal. Some of the girls would try and smuggle us something, but it was usually at extreme risk to themselves, and many a child went down the toilet just for feeling pity for a fellow sufferer.

I make absolutely no apologies whatsoever for despising those cows called nuns if they were the gaurdian of our souls then god help us. I looked at my granddaughter and thought I wasn’t much older or bigger than that when I first went there! HANG your heads in shame, you women who were portrayed as the gaurdians of our bodies and souls. SHAME SHAME on you! The only time I have ever stepped inside a Catholic church since was to attend a funeral. I wandered around for some time after that eventually I realised I had a spiritual need so looked deeply into the Bible, and now I know what’s actually in the Bible, I despise them even more. Not only because they were nuns, but primarily because they were WOMEN!

Totally unforgiveable bvehaviour, however I can forgive (not easily ) but because the Bible directs us to! I DEFINITELY CANNOT FORGET THOUGH. I have deliberately wiped a lot of menories away, in order to survive and a survivor is exactly what I am and can take a little comfort in that.’

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524 Replies to “Memories of Abbotsford Convent on an Ebay discussion forum”

  1. Hi my name is Debra i to stayed at St Aidens BENDIGO Convent late 60s for 2 years .The memories of the place …. well where do i begin . I was a small child absolutely TERRIFIED ,was put in there for 2 years ,The first year was awful .a nun died . which was scary as we wher all made to look at her in the church,the meals the WORK IN THE LAUNDRY . i worked in the foalding room . Hot and hard work . when you are a child .My memories of 2 girls running away when we where at the back of the building doing sport., They never came back so i don't know what happened to them .There also was a small shop in the building that after the weeks work in the laundry we got like 25 cents to spend from memory.The dorms were we slept rows of beds .the cold nights .There 4 groups i was in St Euphrasia's group , From memorie the head nun was mother Rita i think ? Anyone else who was there at the same time i would love to hear from you ???

  2. Hi my name is Michelle ,I was in the convent from about 62 till it closed.I have just found this site, I am numb, scared, happy, bewildered just to hear others talk of the convent.Iwas in St. Josephs class More bad memories than good.I saw a photo of the convent and make heart just beat faster, I would like to put it all in writing one day but for now just take this all in. My one memory of the convent was that I would never grow up quick enough to be able to leave. When the convent closed and I was sent to another in Geelong it was like a miracle. So I dont know how I would handle going back There. I have recently had contact with several girls I grew up with there and the shock and reality of it all really overweld me I couldn't stop crying for a week. Will think about the next step I will take, feelling scared and sick in the stomach

    1. hi there i was in the other side but had a friend named robyn lewis or ryan that was in st josephs i am in contact with her and a margaret crocker i had a reunion in november last year at the convent

    2. It sent me mad ya can bet on that. I spent a lot of time in the garden. Do you remember the Penny Bridge concert? I really got it off Michelle. Good old times with Mother Xavier lol.

  3. Hi, my name is jennifer Knelange, and I was in the girls house at Abbortsford street abortsford. I was there in 1975, and have been searching for my fellow friends that where there at that time too. I can only find girls like your selves that where in the actual convent, till 1971. Only now can I put the pieces of my story together. We had a house in abbortsford street, opposite a milk bar, and it housed only 8 girls. I was one. I remember Mary, Vicki, and Corina, who shared a room with me. We some times went to the main convent, and I did notice that there where not many people there. But there where about 6 or 7 older people, and a couple of down syndrom elderly people too. We never asked why the place was not full of people, and very rarely saw nuns other than those that looked after us. Sister Bev, was like a second mum, and the other nun was a bithch, whos name I cant remember. We did not go through what the girls of the 60's and early 70's went through. But I do remember getting in huge trouble, one day. We would some times sneak out to the river that was behind the convent, but that was hard to do.

    1. i have a friend jane taso is her married name she was in that hostel your talking about i live in the street were the farm is i wasa there from 1975 till 1981 in the house at the bottom of the street i remember the milk bar maria used to run the shop she still does

    2. Jenny I think I remember you there in 1975, can’t be sure. I do remember the swimming pool incident. I was also at Richmond with Sr Mary, were you there too.

      contact me to share photos etc.

  4. I would so much like to get in contact with the girls that were in the house when I was there. I remember that when it was scorching hot one day, the 2 house nuns took us all to the pool. It was still hot when we had to go home. Mary and I made a plan to go back, and told the nuns that we had left our radio behind. But when we got back to the pool, we realized we had forgotten our bathers. so we went naked!! It was all good till Mother Superior turned the corner, with a group of people, (now I think it was a real estate agent and others) Oh myyyy we got in so much trouble!!!!

    1. Hello Jennifer, I also recall a hot day when we all went to the pool, I recall many girls walking and little ones begging the older ones to pick them up and carry them. I recall that once at the pool and having eczema that the contact with the water made my skin burn like acid. An older girl picked me up and threw me into the pool and was told off by other girls. I recall being motionless in pain. I recall how strict moments could be and can only imagine the trouble you were in.

  5. Hello, to all I'm a new comer to this blog, I find it very interesing in reading all the stories, and saddened I was there in 1961 to 1965 as a outside student, from an Italian family, I have found and kept in contact with some friends I had there. I remember the convent girls, yes I have been back to the convent in 2009 went though on a tour, I remember lining up in a corridor awaiting to be vacinated with the cold and the ether smell giving us the goose bumps, being terrified.
    I found it interesting, I was in search for a Emily Busutal she was Maltese dark in complexion. I remember learning to play the piano and getting wacked with the ruler if a wrong note was played I enjoyed the piano but not going to those dreaded lessons.
    love to hear more stories missed out on the last reunion I do hope someone organises another one would love to go, I lived in Nicholson st Abbostford. I now live in Sydney. Ciao Rosanna

  6. I just had to add, I too remember the cane ruler around the leg cuffs for talking which I hadn't it was the girl behind me, plus when I started school I had no English, so in kindy and first class started 1961 with Mother Magdeline and then I think it was a rather chubby nun I can still picture her face in 1st class ,I think it may have been mother Bede…. please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm diappointed I missed the reunion in 2008 I wander if there will be another one. Rosanna

    1. HI Rosanna my name is John Dell Aquila I went to primary school with you I lived in Hunter St my parents had a fruit shop on the corner of jJohnstone st and Nicholson St.
      Hope we find you well .I hope you remember me?
      I wonder did you ever get in touch with Emily as she had an older brother { name escapes me} I always wondered how they are as both were good friends at school.
      I don't know if your recall Lou Farrinotti who lived in Abbotsford St who also went to our primary school. He and I are very close friends ever since our primary school days
      You say that you are in contact with a few class mates Always wonder what's happen to some of them.
      Rosanna hope to hear from you your email prompted me to ask about Emily and say hello.
      I am shocked by the terrible stories >
      Regards John Dell Aquila
      Rosanna, nice email terrible stories on this site

      1. Hi John my name is Catherine a friend of Rosanna's and a student of St Euphrasia's School..I resided in Yarra Street. I will contact Rosanna for you and hopefully soon she will reply on here for you. If you are on facebook please go to our school's facebook group.

      2. Hi John I have been in touch with Rosanna for you..she asks if you are on facebook to join our St Euphrasia's School, Abbotsford, Victoria Group on there as we have many former students on there. Can you also tel Lou Farrinotti he same please

  7. my name is annette and was adopted out, i have been looking to find something on my mother sylvia vetra. Who was on the 22 1964 admission to sacred hearts class abbotsford convent mel. Her english was not probely very good. In 1952 she was in mt st canice convent hobart tas. Returned to st and park. I give up no one seems to know the name inta sylvia vetra she was from latvia. May be some one out there knows something. Thanking and hoping annette, my name before adoption was engrid

  8. Hello Girls,
    I went to school In Abbotsford about 1963-1964 at the secretarial school they had there run by the Good Shepherd nuns. Some of the girls from the home used to come over and they told us terrible stories so I believe every word you say. We as students had to go over and tend to the garden, we hated it but compared to what you had to put up with it was nothing. We were supposed to wear stockings being young ladies but my protest was that in all the time I was there I wore sox, wow did they get angry. We also had to polish the floor of the classroom. Mother Colletti was one of our teachers and nasty little piece she was. We never knew why they locked the gates once we were all in, was it to keep out strangers or to stop us from leaving. I think I must have been one of the rebel students, I bleached my hair over the Christmas break and boy did Mother C get angry, too bad though unlike yourselves I could go home every night. I am sorry for the treatment you had to put up with. Would love to keep in touch even though I did my time easy there.
    Lavinia

    1. Hello Lavinia
      I was in your class a St Euphrasias Good Shepherd convent. My name is Theresa Martin, I only went for one year. Most of the girls in our class lived local only a few were live-ins. Our teacher was Mother Maria Goretti, she was strict but ok. Lots of the girls were previously from Our Ladys at Heidelburg I can remembers some names – Helene Dale, Royn Martin, Kathy Cornel, Denise Howard, Geraldine Toohie, Colleen Shortis. I live on the Sunshine Coast Qld. now and have 5 grownup children and 9 grandchildren. I am often in Melbourne in fact i was there from June 9 – June17 2012 and I did visit the convent. Now it is very cold and miserable to be around but there are always plenty of people there. My memories are ok about the place although I do recall twin sisters Pat & I can't remember to other name I met up with them some time after I was married. They were wards of ther state. Keep in contact with me. theresa_martin@bigpond.com Cheers Tess Martin

  9. hello ladies,
    My grandmother attended the Abbotsford Convent around late 40,s-early 50's. Her name is Valda Mary Euphrasia Evorall. She is reluctant to talk about her time in the convent. Our entire family heritage has great gaps and questions surrounding her and how she came to be in the convent. My nan has never had contact with her mother who we have never been able to find. I am desperatley hoping someone out there may have heard of or known my nan? PLEASE contact me plag78@msn.com. I am desperate to find our heritage! And would LOVE to know more about my nan as a child/young woman. All of your stories are so heartfelt by me. You are all inspiring xox
    Thanks, Jodi

    1. Hi, my grandmother was an orphan residing at the convent from 1941-1951(aged 5-16 she lived there, she was in st Joseph’s prior to this for her infancy and toddler years)

      I’m wondering if anybody would have a photograph or family members or was living there the same time, I attended the 150th anniversary with her there today and took a beautiful photo under the Oak tree of my grandmother, my mother, myself and my daughter, four generations all together 🙂

  10. Hi everyone, especially girls at St Joseph's Class between 1953 & 1963. I have been reading all comments but there is very little mention of Mother Annunciata. To anyone who remembers her I would love to talk to you. Patricia Ann McLeod (nee Ryan).

    1. Hi Trish, I fell across this blog tonight (last night) as it now 3.41am on Sunday 22nd Jan 2012. I have to stop reading and go to bed. Holidays are great as you can do this. Lol I will call you during the week. Kathy

    2. trish,
      we are trying to trck down some information om margaret malloy 1958 sacred heart class. have made contact with kathy but hoping you might be able to help as well if you knew her.
      regards
      vincent

    3. Hi Trish I was there when mother annunciata was there she was cruel, and she taught us the piano,holy hell. my name was mcnamee then

  11. hi my name is shirley bartolo former shirley wigmore i attended the school st euphrasias primary and high school i cant remember a lot of names but one name comes to mind a student terri hedt she was a outstanding student from what i remember it was about 1972 that i left in year 9

    1. Hi Shirley I remember Terri she was in my class my name is Paula Grani (nee Leonardi) A few years ago a grade six pupil arranged a reunion of that class – our teacher was Ms O'Connors – were you in the same class? I remember your surname. A number of us still get together a few times a year; last time was only a week ago. Some of the girls that I have made contact with are Ellen, Debbie, Margaret, Belinda, Vicki – the boys, well there is my twin brother Charlie, then Dino, John, Billy, George, Giovanni, Ange, just to name some. Would love to reconnect. Email me on rick_paula@hotmail,com

  12. I would like to know if this page is still active as the dates seem quite old. I was at St Mary's as a border with my sister who was about 3 years old. I have memories of Mother Rita and the hen house and a few other things.

    1. Hi Jean Marin, I was in St. Mary’s Class in about ’52-’55. Do you remember mother Agnes (the old dear) who ran the poutry section, I uses to help gather eggs, I was 3 at the time, the piggery and the dairy section, and the huge hayshed.

      1. hi Ursula,

        i am trying to find information about my biological mother.according to the admission records she was there in 1951 – 1959, then 1962 – 1963, 64, 67 &68. her name was margaret ann molloy.

        regards

        vincent

  13. hi to Angela and all the other girls who were in abbotsford.I was there from 1969 to 1970 and Ihave often thought about all the friends that I made while I was there.I was in the mangle room with Mother Francis Xavier I remember Janet Stevenson as she was in my group. I have been reading all the comments and even though most of them are from people who were there before my time I can only remember two Janet and Angela who was in the granary with Mother Albert Iwould love to hear all your comments whether Iknow you or not .I am really surprised that there are'nt more people from the time that I was in there as there were a lot of girls there then. Iwould love to catch up bye now kathy merrett

    1. hi there kathy i was in the granary with mother albert do you remember me i have a reunion usually every 2 years i am also looking for people in those years as us i remember mother francis saviour and her dog honey and frances that was in the mangle room also maureen gaffeney i am in touch with a margaret crocker who was over the other side in st josephs her sister was mary crocker she was in the mangle room when you were there there is a site on facebook for the good shepherd convent

      1. Hi Angela! I'm so glad to hear from you Iwould love to come to your reunion so keep me posted Ionly kept in touch with one girl from the mangle room called Monica Brakensiek but she stopped writing to me so we dont keep in contact any more.I moved away from Geelong when I met my ex husband Ihave four children and four grandchildren so I,ve been very busy.But I,ve never forgotten my time in Abbotsford and I'd like to hear from some of my old friends so WHERE ARE YOU? As I,m I'd love to know how you are going after all this time.Will keep in touch Best wishes kathymerrett

      2. Hi Angela ! It's great to hear from you Iwould be very interested to come along to your reunion so keep me posted .I do remember you from the granary And I also remember Maureen Gaffeney and Mary Crocker.There
        were a lot of girls in the mangle room when I was there so I would love to know what happened to them .Ilost contact once I left the convent and only kept in touch with a couple of girls but lost contact once I moved away I married and he's now my exIhave four children and four grandchildren. I never forgot about my time in Abbotsford Convent even though Ididn't enjoy my time in there at all Idid make a lot of friends.Hope that you can read this ok as my eyes are starting to droop from lack of sleep Lots of love Kathy Merrett

      3. Hello to all those that attended The Good Shephard Convent in Abbotsford VIC. I was there from 1965-1969. My name was PRUDENCE (PRUE) MAC MILLAN. Love to hear from anyone from those days and of course a reunion if one is coming up. OMG I wonder what ever happened to us all. I clearly remember Sister Albert in the sewing room, the laundry, the monthly picture nights. Me losing most of my weekly pay because on one reason or another, the swimming competitions! The ironing room, the shop the meals, the school. The tool we used for scratching the floors….how heavy was that! The concerts…Sister Carmelina I think her name was. Cheers to you all.

        1. hi prudence i have been searching for so long [eople who were in abbots ford convent i knew you from in there i was with mother albert there was jenny jacobson and dianne gill and judy johnstone reply back angela

        2. Hi pure I attended the primary school and then the commercial during 67 – 69 i had mother Austin in primary school she was so mean I remember being belted with a coat hanger because my cooking uniform was creased. I also remember being hit because my girlfriend and I were holding hand in the playground, thing were tough then. Girls I remember pat humphreys, Rhonda curry, Noel,

        3. hi prue i was there with you in 1969 i came in i was with mother albert and imelda i remember all you were talking about i remember a jenny jacobson and judy johnstone and dianne gill do you remember them cheers angela

        4. Hi Prue,

          I remember you well….and Mildred….the resident Granary Nurses…..

          Hope that you’re well….have sent you a FaceBook friend request.

          Jennie ( Jacobson)

      1. Hello Angela,

        I used to go to the convent one day/week as a La Trobe Uni student back in the early 90’s. Since then, I have been curious about it’s history. I would like to write a book based on information obtained from women that have lived there. Let me know how you feel about this. kind regards Claire

    2. Hi Kathy not sure if you still are on this site but will give it a go. My name is Janet Stevenson and as you know I was at Abbotsford. What a shock to know someone actually remembered me. I can recall many bits and pieces of my time there. I hope you are well and not too damaged from your time in there. Hope to hear from you soon…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

      1. Hi Janet how the time has gone . My kids are grown and I have grown up grand children. I am not really damaged and I've managed to get on with my life.But I still think about the time that I spent in Abbotsford and wonder about all the friends that I made in there.Do you remember the time that Katie Diamond planned to run away during Sunday Mass but she got caught and she got into trouble for carving her name into one of the church seats, and we knew that she had planned it. Maybe you will remember me thankyou for your kind wishes love to you and your family from Kathy Merrett nee Laherty

  14. hello girls, I, like yourselves was traumatized so badly by that place that i wish the whole damn thing could be bombed.
    but then again it wouldnt eraze all the horrible memories, I will never forget the poor girl who got her whole hands burnt when the lid to the presser just came down on top of her hands. I wont go near a church,and as for nuns —-I thoathe them. mally.

    1. Hi, My name is Dianne Kohlman and have just discovered this group here. I was in the mangle room but also attended school upstairs with Mother Dominic 1963 – 1966. I remember when the presser came down on that woman’s hands – I think it was Eileen (not sure though)who was a mature lady and had been there for some time. She was in the ironing room with Mother Louis. I remember a Monika, Florence Rudd, Colleen Banks,Vicky Kirchner, Wendy quite a few others. I also remember when Margie Perry & Francis Connally used to bash up some girls who defied what the nuns wanted them to do. One was named ) and spent quiet a few days in the infirmary due to her injuries. It’s amazing to find this site, there are so many comments. Feel free to contact me if you remember me. My email is dianne_heard@hotmail.com

      1. Hi Dianne I was just reading your post and notice you mention Colleen Banks, sadly Colleen passed away some years ago. I Knew Colleen at Nazareth House just before she went on to the Good Shepherd Convent.

        1. hi Gabby,we were with Angela,Cathy,Lindaand Shirley in the sewing room.You might remember me as Inga I left to live in Iceland. I live in Denmark now.Take care all of you girls.

          1. hi there i remember you unreal after all this time my name is angela i was in the sewing room are you on facebook

  15. Hi there, Angela i think i remember you…..did you have an Aboriginal friend Desley ? I was there 1969 to 1970 + I am Melody and my mate was Sandy….i did tattoos, cut hair and made meds out of the pads for the girls lol …..i remember it all like yesterday.
    to be continued…

    1. Hi there Melody my name is Kathy Merrett and I was in the mangle room from 1969 to 1970 and I was friends with Desley until I left in 1970 .I am trying to place you as there were a lot of girls in the mangle room at that time and it was a long time ago. We also had a lot of girls from Winlaton as well.I do remember Sandy and filomena Mother Francis Xavier was ok and her collie honey and Frances and Elsie Ididn't like it in there at all. I was glad to get out of there.

    2. yes i remember desley she had a bad leg i was upstairs in the sewing room we were never allowed to talk do you remember maureen gaffeney she was in the mangle room i remember honey i was there 1969 till 1971

  16. page 4
    I was never hurt there but just found the nuns to be strict…….i got used to the cups of tea and some of the meals ended up being my favorites…..the old ladies did all the cooking the poor old souls but had it been left up to us to feed them it wouldn't have happened …….slaving over hot stoves at thier age was disgraceful…….I remember 1 died and was left in the oratory for 3 days with candles burning to stop the smell. Oh those were the days we learnt hard……the kids of today are weak because they didn't have the priveledge to stay at "The Good Shepherd Convent in Abbotsford" a reunion would be FANTASTIC !!! Hello everyone

      1. Dear Angela,

        I started at St Euphraisius in 1961 and only 3/4 of 1969 4th class. I have kept in contactsome of my friends. I was’t a live in student but would love to go to a reunion, I now live in Sydney and would need some warning to attend so I could get the others maybe to come. would love to hear from you.

        from an ex student Rosanna

        1. Hi Michelle, my name is Dianne and was friends with Colleen Banks who was in the convent at Abbotsford probably 63 or 64. Her and I were quite thick but they separated us (sent Colleen to Winlaton) after we pushed bars off the class room window and absconded with 5 others.

  17. page 2
    I was in the mangle room with Mother Francis and her dog honey and her mate Francis….a tall dark haired lady with a cock eye (sorry Francis) There was an older lady Denise and good old "Cathy Kinna" there was a young girl (forget name..maybe Sue) she had diebetis and was allocated to look after Kathy……Carol was RIGHT OFF and what about old Mary that would fold T towels all day and yell at you if you talked to her. I remember the chick that Knitted like no one ever (Chris?)……blonde bird with short skirts and muscley legs….
    to be continued…..

  18. page 3
    And the smoke room on the way to the reffertry (oh i loved the smell) Mother Louie was top dog and looked like a man……Mother Monica was my favorite, a young pretty novice that said she probably wouldn't make it all the way (too pretty)…….and the CLAPPING!!! ….i had a fight with a real tall chick named Carol and got a blood nose and blood sprayed all over the finished long as table-cloths…..i think i worked on the mangle with Filomina an over weight foreign looking girl. She was real nice.
    I got week-end leave and nicked off and caught and taken back there….so Sandy and i waited till Elaine was away and no one was on the Laundry Gate and we ESCAPED lol it was absolutely thrilling……….
    and there's more…..

    1. carol sanderson from the ironing room i remember her and mother monica she is still a nun i was with mother albert up stairs i remember elaine and killion

  19. I was in Mother Francis Xavier"s group, she was moved on and we got Mother Pierre who changed her name to Mother Geraldine. The old crow Rose was an auxiliary. I remember a couple of girls from then. There was Francis, Robin and (I think ) Rosemarie. There was also Patty the downs syndrome lady and Muriel. who we called Moo. I was in so many places I have a hard time remembering who I knew from where.

    1. hi there i was there in the granary the sewing room with mother albert rose was there in the packing room mother frances saviour was there in the mangle room and mother pierre was in the ironing room she is in perth now a friend of mine whio was in the ironing roomwent over to perth about 3 months ago and saw her i was there from 1969 till 1971

    2. To Greycat:

      Hi you mentioned a ‘Robin’ being there! What year were you there?

      I was there for one year in 1963 with Mother Euphrasia, Mother Paul & Mother Anne. The Auxiliaries I remember were Chookie in the Boiler Room & Goosey in the Bathroom. Of the girls I remember, Maria an athlethic German girl who gave me hell, Merrylyn Van-Warden a pretty skinny model, Darleen who wore a brown stretchy tight-fitting dress she’d pull down over her plump little knees -we teased her horribly & the two girls we were not to speak to at any time, who were given black wool to knit themselves sloppy-Jo Jumpers. I worked in the Mangle Room & was in Mother Paul’s group at nights. The 60s coconut hair-cut was popular & the nuns gave me permission to cut the girl’s hair in this style. I was The Sleeping Beauty in our play. I played a small Harp the nuns gave me & I taught some of the girls to dance. Mine was quite unlike any of the above experiences but why would I be unhappy they offered me creative outlets which I never had outside. And they were kind to me. The only negative experience for me was being forbidden to speak to the girls & make friends unless in the presence of a nun -which was only in a small group at nights. We were all great at mime!

  20. hi girls my former name was shirley wigmore i remembered getting up in the morning my job was to bath a little girl because she woke up wet every morning make my bed clean girls macintosh make her bed polish floors have my shower have breakfast then shcool i was all of about ten years old then one day coming home to convent from school i decided to buy loolies for our group that went out to shcool when we got back to st aidans one of the girls whom ate the loolies as well told on me i got about twelve rulers bouted across my legs i was in shock and wet my pants in front of everyone i was so humiliated

    1. Hello Shirley, I remember the dormitory being broken up into age groups, I was four when at the convent in 1970 and always wanting to go into the next dormitory as I saw myself as a big kid, I had eczema , I was not a bed wetter, recall having to be very independent at a young age. I was small, brown hair, monkey faced, brown eyes. I remember the church bells ringing, the priest who often stood at the end of my bed lecturing me about discipline.

  21. I WOULD LOVE TO SEND ALL THOSE ABBOTSFORD GIRLS BEST WISHES FOR A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR FOR 2012 FROM KATHY MERRETT AND FAMILY

    1. Hi Angela I have been very busy since you last heard from me.But I hope to keep in touch as i'm still trying to find my way around the computer without any mistakes.

  22. Hi angela, My name was Laura Scott back then. I was only at Abbotsford a few months, I think it was in 1971 ??? before being sent to St Aidans. I worked in the packing room.

  23. I am totally amazed by what I am reading here! I dont remember the food being that bad! Yeah sure there were some nuns that seemed a bit grumpy, Mother Francis Xavier was one, but she was an old softy on the inside. I remember her bday and we sang her fav song, Roy Orbisons Penny Arcade. I think some of the girls were the worst thing about the place, nasty and scary. Being invited to the bathroom for a bit of lesbian time, but when declined there was no nastiness, it was more like being asked if I wanted a cuppa or something! My own mum put me in the convent, it broke my heart, they couldnt "MAKE" me go to school so I ended up in the mangle room. I remember a riot one night, we were all watching a movie and a fight broke out, there uses to be a woman named Francis, she was one of the heavies but she wasnt a nun and there was an old woman named Nuncy who was a tough old bird, I complained about the telephone book toilet paper and was growled at, to be thankful etc. She was scary..
    But I was really encouraged by one nun because of my art and she even went to see if I could get into the uni, she thought I was that good, so my experience is not of it being the way you are describing it at all, and we had a few from my family go in for a period of time, my mothers sister, and neice and one of my sisters was put there by the courts.. I loved the nuns singing at mass, it was beautiful.. When I left there I even considered being a nun! So if they were that bad I dont think I would have wanted to be like them!
    Anyway, my life over the yrs has not been a bed of roses and I am now a born again Christian and it has all shaped me into the person I am today. I do not hold any malice towards my mum or anyone at the convent, I do remember being scared and feeling like you had to be on guard all the time, but not because of the nuns at all, because of the inmates.. God bless you al and I hope you will find healing in your hearts..

    1. Yippee !!! Hi Leeanna, i am Melody and i was there about 70's and i am so happy to read your comments. I think that bagging the convent is shocking. It wasn't that bad, we weren't sexually assaulted or anything. Most of us were brats and the old Nuns had to handle a lot of us. Also the challenged old ladies. What a job it would have been for them ! As for the phone book dunny paper well think about it if they used good stuff they would have gone threw heaps so i think it was a smart move really. I look in here now and then because i HATE the way the people are making the Nuns sound bad when they really weren't………thank you for the read.

      1. Melody. It may be your experience that the nuns weren't bad but to some of us they were extremely violent and cruel. So please don't assume that because it didn't happen to you that it didn't happen. There are still lots of people around today who deny that childhood sexual abuse takes place because they don't see it and it didn't happen to them.

        If you think that bagging the convent and the nuns is shocking, then I ask you to respect the fact that many of us were badly mistreated and have held the pain and anguish inside us for many many years.

        Your flippant attitude is what has kept us silent for most of our lives.

        1. totally agree with you Kelly, it was a rotten hole of a place and the nuns must all be in hell for what they did to us children, children I repeat…we were babies when we went there (aged 4)….

          1. hi there i was in the convent mid 50’s i was with bev briggs,and her cousins ,they were the sapphires ie.the movie the sapphires have you seen it …mother john bosco.mother terese,..mother eugene,.mother anuncearta she was cruel also the rogers sister,georgina speakman love to hear from anyone would love to have a reunion

        2. Hello Kelly I’m sorry you had a bad experience mine was not bad at all. I think perhaps in fairness to those nuns who were loved & appreciated for all the good they did we should give names! Nobody on this site would have bad words for Mother Euphrasia, Mother Anne & Mother Paul. Instead of ‘bagging the nuns’ in general, why not come out into the open & name the real villains! There are always the bad apples in every human endeavour, ruining the whole system for those who don’t deserve to live in shame.

    2. Hi Leeanna, I was at the convent aged four 1970 and recall one girl who had eczema as I did myself being forcfully and physically taken to Mother Superior for a regular beating as the eczema was viewed as a slight from the devil. Every now and then I would also be called up to see Mother Superior who would question how my skin was going and naturally I always said good as I did not want to be beaten. I also recall myself being on a medical stringent diet that was not adhered to and exacerbated my health issues, recently having a kidney transplant. A lot of the older girls were abusive to us younger ones and I had my nose broken and spent some time in the infirmary. I was force fed food eggs, which being pure protein my body overdosed on, led me to being on dialysis and had a kidney transplant a couple of years ago not to mention the damage to my throat from being force fed with a spoon rammed down my throat. Some nuns were good, some were bad and some hideous.

    3. Hi Leeanna I was so happy to read your story on the Abbotsford Blog -something positive at last! We are now three people with happy memories and some good stories to tell about our experiences. I was there in 1962 & was treated very kindly by the nuns & my creativity encouraged -I now work as a portrait artist. I loved singing at Mass in the mornings, loved the amazing quantities of food & loved the nuns & their stories. The only cruelty I experienced was from a small handful of scary girls. The worst bully was Maria who would stick her foot out & trip me over when I walked past her. I hid in the Box room one day & she was sent in to find me -I was in such a state when she finally found me that she promised not to hurt me again if I’d come out!

    4. Hi Leeanna I know you wrote this some time ago but I’ve just read your comments & am happy to find one person with good memories. I’ve been very upset all week thinking about all the shocking stories here & trying to understand how I could seemingly, be the only person who loved those nuns! The answer for me finally is that most girls resented being confined, hated being forced to do manual labour & deprived of education, they were given little to hope for with their futures. For me, compared to my home environment where art & beauty were considered a waste of time, it was heaven! Like you, my Art was encouraged, I adored singing the Mass, loved being taught dancing, sewing & grooming -was given the job of flower arrangements for the statues & made hairdresser for the girls. I loved the food -it was great in 1963 we all went home huge! And I loved Mothers Anne, Paul & Euphrasia. When my time came to go home I begged to stay longer & Mother Euphrasia allowed me to stay till Christmas. I’m very sorry for the girls who had bad experiences & I’m also very sorry for the nuns I mentioned, who dedicated their lives to helping people & who now must feel very depressed & unappreciated hearing about these stories.

  24. "Bells"
    The iced fingers of misery seeped through my too thin clothes
    Her witches shoes in time with the bell she rang for morning prayer.
    Bells to eat!
    Bells to talk!
    Bells for silence!
    Bells for madness!
    The painting of Jesus of the Sacred Heart still haunts me.
    Suffer the children who come unto me.

  25. Hi everyone, thank you so much for having the courage to share, and speak up. While I was not actually at the Good Shepherd Convents, I grew up being taught by the Sisters of Mercy, at both primary and secondary in the 60s and 70s. So I am not surprised by what you speak of.
    Also My grandmother spent some years at the Oakleigh convent of Good shep, in the early 1900s. When she married and had 3 girls, she would take my Mum, the youngest to visit the nuns. And my Nan would warn my Mum to only ever have one cake to eat. Mum remembered feeling torn as the Nuns would impress upon her to have more, Now I know this is nothing to what you have suffered. And for my Nana, they were probably the closest thing she had to a family.. what I have also just recently found out is that my gt aunt, Nan's half sister also spent time at Abbotsford in early 1900s. Both these girls were made wards of the state by my gt grandmother. And just today, I found out another large piece of the puzzle, that led my gt grandmother to fall pregnant several times and give all her kids up as wards. She too spent 3 years off and on at ABBOTTSFORD in the 1870s. So even if she originally was off the rails, certainly, the Nuns did not help her back on the rails. Now My Nana, from all accounts turned out to be an upstanding "God fearing" good woman, yet the more I look into it, the more I find she was a very sad woman allround.
    With 2 generations being influenced by these Good Shep nuns, and a 3rd generation begun ( my gt aunt had a boy out of wedlock who was put into the wards system. Though he died at age 4 of meningitis..
    In a nutshell, I totally believe what you girls went through, and please continue to speak up so that this abuse is ended, so that people, children everywhere, get to stand tall and say this treatment is NOT ON !!!!
    And interesting with the modern arts and craft development there, such volumes of flowery words expound of COMMUNITY always there. TELL YOUR STORIES ladies …. speak clearly and loudly !!!!!
    Thanks again Jacquie

    1. Hi jacquie I have just learnt that my great grandmother was at the oakleigh convent from April 1911 to December 1912. She was admitted for being “beyond control”. We understand she was in love with a man 5 years older than her and think this may have been the reason for her mother admitting her. She did end up marrying him 2 years after being discharged from the convent. She wrote him love letters apparently. Sadly she died 2 days after giving birth to my grandfather. I thought maybe your grandmother may have been in there at the same time and mentioned her. Her name is Amy Lillian wilkinson. Thank you. Sharon

    2. Hi Jacquie and everyone, I too am not surprised by the abuse that occurred under the care of the nuns. I also was not in an orphanage but was taught by the Sisters of Mercy at Primary and Secondary in the 60s and 70s. I still feel very sad at the thought of the treatment that was dished out by some teachers and nuns at primary school and the witnessing of cruelty has stayed with me forever.
      Does anyone know of an appropriate forum etc in which I would be able to share my experiences in regard to the St Fidelis Primary School in Moreland Victoria, where children were often strapped and locked in cupboards. Not all the teachers or nuns would do this, however they all would have known what took place as one particular child regularly was locked into a cupboard on the balcony with belts around the door so he couldn't get out. I can still hear his screams and crying and am sure other teachers and nuns would have heard. My first experience with the strap from the head nun started in grade prep for being late…I was four and a half years old when I started in grade prep!
      Thank-you for sharing your stories!
      June

  26. Hope some of you can relate to my poem. I was placed in care by my stepfather after my mother ran off with another man. My experience at Albert Park was horrendous. I was called a "stooge" by the older girls (I was thirteen)because I loved reading. They found my novels and tore them up. They took my food and swapped what they didn't want. When I retaliated, a bigger girl punched me so badly I was placed in the infirmary for several days. Mother Paul watched in silence as I was beaten.I had few friends and I hated most of the nuns. When the nuns realised that I loved to learn, I was sent out to school. I won the state award for essay writing. I have never kept in contact with any of the girls who were there. I did not trust anybody after being beaten and excluded. It was a life changing experience that made me fight against injustice. I later became a lawyer and then a teacher. My children and grandchildren will never know where I was for those three lost years.

    1. Hi Jules, If you remember Mother Paul then you would also remember Mother Anne. Of all the nuns she was the only one I ever related to. I am glad you are doing ok now though, not all of us were heartless girls, we too were just suffering in our own ways.

      1. Hello Maree, at age four I remember walking into the study room and asking several of the girls if they could teach me to read when one girl I asked became angry and pushed me into a chair, my nose was broken and I spent a time in the infirmary. Diane Pavuna

      2. I was in Albert Park from 1960 -62 I was Mother Anne’s first charge my nickname there was Beehive and have kept in touch with Mother Anne she was always a sweetheart… remember Chrissie and Martina the Auxiliaries…. I remember ironing a hundred shirts a day at fourteen years old… at least I learnt how to iron a mans shirt LOL

        1. Hi Marie I would love to write to Mother Anne if she is still alive! I’d love to tell her she was loved & appreciated & show her the Portrait I made of her. If I felt this way she would know there were many others. Perhaps this would help lift the shame & depression she must suffer reading these stories.

          Take care

          Robin Ayers

      3. Hi Maree I was so glad to finally read Mother Anne & Mother Paul being mentioned kindly. I loved them both, they were very kind to me & always helpful. I adored Mother Anne’s Spiritual Lessons -always thought-provoking & often very funny. I remember she used to say “little things mean a lot”

        Take care

        Robin Ayers

    2. I’m shocked Jules! How very different out experiences were! Mother Paul was a living saint to a lot of the girls as was Mother Anne & Mother Euphrasia. However, some of the girls I agree were terrifying & I was also bullied. In spite of this I have happy memories of Abbotsford & feel very grateful for such a creative & life changing event. I went on to Art School & University & for many years have worked as a Portrait Artist.

  27. The Convent Chapel was re–opened on Sunday 24th June, the date wil lbe known as Good Sheppard Day. The Chapel has been fully restored.
    Many prayers and thanks were given to the Wurungeri Aboriginal tribe, the orginal owners of the land.
    Prayers were given in Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Christina faiths.
    It was very strange walking around the grounds that now house four Art galleries and three restuarants and a private Jewish school.. Many local familes with children attend the Convent grounds as do many community groups.

    1. Great to hear the Chapel is open to the public,I’m from Sydney and everytime I have visited the place I could never see it… always disppointed, I remember going to confession there and Mass. The nuns when they started going to communion it took forever… I was at school 1061 to 1965

      Ciao Rosanna

  28. Hi everyone, I am a student at RMIT and am creating a short documentary about the stories of women who spent any amount of time at the abbotsford convent as children. I'm not sure if this board is still active, but if you happen to see this post and are interested in telling your story about your experiences with the convent and having them heard (they will become an artefact of the present site and will inform visitors of the unknown history) please contact me at carms_21@hotmail.com. thanks for your time 🙂

    1. Hi Carmen

      i was in the Abbotsford convent from 1958 to 1967 and then at the Oakleigh convent 1970 – 71. I went in to A’ford at 3 y.o. and hated pretty much every minute of it – it’s hard to feel happy when you feel abandoned and imprisoned! I later worked in the laundry at Oakleigh until I ran away. I’m not sure of how you want to collect stories but I find it easier to talk rather than write. Let me know if you’re still collecting stories, maybe I can add a few.

      Kath

      1. hi Kath,

        just wanting to know if you knew Margaret Ann Molloy, she was in the convent aged3 1951 – 1959, 1962- 1964, 1967 – 68

        regards

        vin

    2. hi carmen i think i was there the same time what was your last name my was pat mcnamee

  29. Hello everyone. My mother was Eileen (Lizzie) Riches and she was in the St Josephs section from 1921-30. She had siblings there also Mary Riches(older) and Jean (Jane)Riches who was younger. Love to hear from anyone with info on this 1921-35 era at the Abbotsford convent. Also my mother often spoke of studying for her ‘Merit’ Certificate. Does anyone know what level this was in education about 1925-30 in Victoria?

  30. Hello, I am a solicitor who is investigating asbestos at the Albert Part Laundry in 1969 and 1970. It would be great if anyone reading this who was at Albert Park Sisters of the Good Shepherd in 1969 or 1970 could contact me to discuss their recollections of their time in the Laundry.

    Many thanks Jane

  31. Hi,

    I’m doing a arts project at the Abbotsford Convent, and would very much like to talk to people who worked at the laundry about their experiences. I think it’s important that your voices be heard, and seeing that a website that is part of the project will be linked to the official Convent webiste, it’d be a good way to get a complex picture of the history of the convent out to the general public. Please email me at helenmaryaddisonsmith@gmail.com

    Thank you,

    Helen.

  32. Hello all,

    My Mother Patricia Ann Stobbie (Freeman) was in the Abbotsford and Sth Melbourne Convents back in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. I remember alot of bad stories about her time in there and one imparticular of a young girl receiving Shock Treatment. Mum’s best friend to the day she died was Margaret and they had names for each other.

    Mum was known as Bastima and Margaret was known as Rose of Lima. I am not sure what these names meant but think they were a code for each other so no one else could interpret what they were talking about. Unfortunatly both my Mum and Margaret have passed away but anyone who has any information it would be greatly appreciated.

    My mums experiance in the convents was not a pleasent one at all and I know from that her dislike of Religion as a whole expecially the Catholic Church grew.

      1. Most of were treated pretty good. It was the rebellious ones or ones without parents who hated it.

        I hated that mangel.

  33. How sad that you needed to go through this. I am unsure however I met a lady there when I fist arrived, her name in the convent was Imelda she was lovley kind and careing, however she did tell me years later that she needed to change her name whilst there, so my understanding was that before the 60’s you needed to change you name whilst there….hope this helps but I believe they reverted to their own name whislt on “the inside”, a common term we used on those that were allowed out to freedom. I can remember the senior Mother and I will think of her name, reading every single letter that came in and out, and the only way that you could receive a letter from friends was if there was money in it…no money to me meant that you did not receive your mail, hence I was broke !!!

  34. I resided at the Good Shepherd Convent in Abottsford Melbourne approximately from 1970 through to its closure. Afterwards I was placed at Marita House in 18 Orrong Grove, Caulfield also with other inmates of the convent. I would love to hear from anyone who may remember me, I and another were the only two girls that had severe eczema which was seen as the two of us being possessed by the devil, the older girl I recall received several beatings, which for myself terrified me at such a young age. When at age 7 I was returned to my mother she believed I had been spoiled by the convent. I did not have pleasant memories of this place and saw many things that should never have happened.

    1. I remember those nuns, Mother Austin taught me in 1973 (yr8), Mother Thomas was principal of the school. I did not live in the convent but attended the school as I lived close-by. A number of students from grade 6 class of 1971 have a reunion about twice a year now since we re-connected a few years ago, the boys are the ones that regularly attend. The nuns frightened me and I would try to do right so I would not be the subject of their abuse. I feel so sorry for what the convent girls had to endure. It is great that you can share your stories.

    2. I was there in about 1970 in form 1. Mother Thomas was Principal.

      Mother Austin taught in Form 2. She pushed me off the platform for not being able to find a hymn in the hymn book. She would also roll up your sleeve and hit you with her fist on your forearm. Not a nice woman. Form 3 Mother John, She was ok . Then Mother Jerome in Form 4. There were at least 2 Convent Girls I remember, Jana and Leilani. Also remember Elaine and Elise (twins) and I do remember your name Antoinette. Maria Benedetti live down the end of the road. Linda Gray

    3. Mother Bede was the principal (sweetheart) when I attended the school from 1959 to 1965. Sorry, my name is Gerard Stewart. My older siblings Rosemary and Adrian and little sister Susan all were schooled there. Mother Thomas was grade 7 Mother Austin was grade 8. I remember being hit a lot for being a boy basically, Mother Thomas in particular. We came to be there because our local school in Kew, Sacred Heart, had already had their quota of poor, white trash, catholic kids and the sweet Good Shepherd nuns always had room for one more. We traveled from home to school over the course of maybe two hours each way, even longer if you either lost your bus money or there was none to begin with. I became an altar boy in the later years, mainly because the altar boys picnic to Emerald Lake via puffing billy was so inviting.I remember swimming with priests and having soft drink and sandwiches. I pray there are no suppressed memories lurking from these times. I saw a lot of girls , older usually who would end up in our class rooms with us because they needed to put them somewhere I guess. The nuns would often get the girls to stand up and tell the class what they had to eat at their various meals at the convent. To prove to us they were well fed I guess. I remember thinking, Gee, I don't get any of that stuff at home.

    4. Yes I was taught by all of them at on time or an other the only one I enjoyed was mother Helen who is now de eased due to cancer Austin and Thomas. Were vicious

      1. I was there in 1964-1967. Mother Helen was my first teacher there, I sad to hear she has passed away, I always understood that she was Peter McKenna's sister. I also remember Mother Thomas and Austin, Austin was Netball or was it Basketball mad?)

  35. Hi Antionette

    Mother Helen, taught me in 6th Grade, Mother Thomas – 7th Grade and Mother Austin – 8th Grade. I attended both St Euphrasia’s & Lourdes Commercial School in the 60’s early 70’s. Did you have a sister named Concepta (Connie) please?

    1. I remember these nuns was started prep there in 1962 went right up to form three also mother Helen was lovely! I knew Antoinette gowie later to be known at Toni and Fernando Benedetti lived down the bottom of st Hellers st . Judy Evans and I started school together there and remain friends to this day:) mother Austin hit me in the head with a basketball for not paying attention whilst playing overhead .. Remember seeing stars lol!

  36. Today is the first time I have visited this site…Like many other girls my experience at Abbotsford was not a good one. I was there in 1966 and was not a state ward, an orphan, mentally challenged, Down’s syndrome or placed by the courts.

    My local parish priest in conjunction with my school teachers advised my parents they should place me there after some childhood pranks. (Absolutely nothing deserving of such treatment)

    Once in there I realised so many other girls had similar stories, a parenyt remarrying, parents working overseas, conflict at school and the list goes on.

    For whatever the reason we all found ourselves sharing and living along side mentally challenged females, Down’s syndrome, (I remember Moo, she was allocated to the same dining table as myself) girls from Winlaten, girls who approached me for a lesbian relationship, bullies and the very strong need to befriend one of the tough ones to ensure you were not the recipient of the next unprovoked attack, the points system as to the value you could spend at the end of the week ( you could lose your points if you were involved in any altercation)

    The memories of working in the laundry before and after school, the smell of all the dirty laundry that needed to be sorted, the different areas pitted against each other.

    I do have two good memories, the first was a girl I called “cuz” and Mother Martin de Porres who was the kindest of all the nuns I met during my time there.

    I always thought that Abbotsford had been demolished and now find it is considered an icon for Australian History…..Ha!! Ha!!

  37. hi to any one that went to the convent in the 1950s would like to talk or hsve a reunion

  38. Hi to the girls that were in the Good Shepherd Convent or so it was called the Sacred Heart Convent ,Oakliegh [ Chadstone now ] between 1964 to 1971 , My name is shirley weldon [ nee O’brien ] I had a sister named Kathy or Kathleen , I was made ward of the state until I was 21 years , It is a shame that we never had our photos taken , it seems that we were not mean’t to be seen or heard of , that is the way I felt during my time at Oakliegh , I am to ashamed to talk to my grown up children about what happened to me, I would like to make contact with any one that was there at that time , It is hard to remember the girls names , but I do remember Sister Fidalas , And Mother CLare ,Sister Juliann, and a few of the other Nuns , I was 15 when I went there , Finding some reports on my behaveir in a 50 page document was un believable , to be accessed , for what . I don’t know . Please let me know if any of you girl are looking to get together , Thankyou Shirley [ nee O’brien]

    I do wish we had a better life , but now I would not want anyone to go through what we endured ,

    1. To Shirley Weldon (nee O’Brien)

      Hi Shirley

      Reading your story with interest. I was at the Good Shepherd Convent Oakleigh in 1963-1964. I still remember certain names of girls and nuns at that time.

      My name is Barbara Lazer (nee Rowe) at that time.

      Interested in hearing from you.

      Barbara

  39. any girls that were there in the convent in the mid 50’s can you please make contact there are a few of us that would like another reunion my name is Tricia IT WAS PAT MCNAMEE

  40. Hi I’m wondering if anyone knew Susan Read who spent some time at Oakleigh Convent between October 1968 & June 1970?

    1. i know a suzanne knight not sure if her maiden name was read i am finding out for you she was in oakleigh

  41. My name is Kathy Merrett I was in Abbotsford convent from 1969 to 1970 and I would love to get in touch with any one who was in the mangle room at that time. So pleas use this blog to get in touch as I would love to hear from you soon

  42. We all have mixed memoreis of the Good Sheppard School days. My were a little painfull. I still remember I did soemthing wrong and being asked by the head nun Mother Thomas to go to the playgournd and find 2 rocks. Then I returned quickly and was made to knee on the rocks for 30 minutes. Or when we lost a football game against St Jospehs the boys were paraded out the front on the foot path and we had the back of our legs smacked with a leather strap. In the girls classes if you were caught talking you quickly recieved a wooden ruler across your fingers! Those day we Nun fearing days.

    A group of 10 -15 Primary school friends twice a year and we are all invloved with a footy tipping comp. Just a way to keep in touch with our fellow students. The Chapel has now re-opened and has Mass service every Sunday at 9.30am. I often go in and pray for all that suffered under the hands of the Good Sheppard. There is a 150 year celabration on Sat 22nd June 2013.

  43. Are any of the girls who were in Oakleigh, Abbotsford,

    and Richmond during 1973 – 1975 reading this? Would love to catch up. Names I remember are Angie, Caroline, Ginny (Virginia) Jeanette, Carol, Marianne, Helen, Aurora, Rose, Connie, Sr Barbra, Sr Bev, Sr Marcella, Sr Mary, Sr Dorothy, Sr Jan and Sr Lindsay. The best memory was summer holiday at Mandalay in Portsea.

    Regards,

    Kate

    Contact details:- marianne McKenna on facebook or

    :mariannemckenna2mcmedia.com.au (don’t forget to change the 2 for an @)

  44. does anyone know of a woman named maria holzmueller she was in abbotsford convent in the 1970s she would be 45 years of age

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