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75th Anniversary Celebrations A Great Success!

22 Mar

Former pupils of St Joseph’s Convent School were welcomed back to St Joseph’s Park in Kenilworth on Saturday 19 March, some two years later than originally planned, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of a school on the site.

Now known as Crackley Hall School, a prep school of the Princethorpe Foundation, the current Headmaster, Rob Duigan, and staff and pupils from Years 5 and 6 were on hand to help celebrate the anniversary.

The Open House was well-attended with pupils and teachers from across the generations including former Headmistresses Sr Philomena Bowers and Lesley Cox, and teachers Maureen Hazelwood, Rachel Taylor and Brigitte Wood, whom old pupils were delighted to see. While many of the visitors were local, a number travelled from afar including Mary Taylor, née Darby, who had made the journey from Spain to attend.

On their arrival the guests were treated to a performance by Crackley Hall’s talented Chamber Choir in the new school hall. They sang a series of specially prepared pieces to an appreciative audience and provided a magnificent start to the morning. The visitors were able to admire the beautiful stained-glass window and ceiling boss relocated from the original school Chapel. Then, Mr Duigan welcomed them formally speaking of the long history of the school and its ethos that remains to today, nurtured by the latest generation of staff and pupils. Father Kevin Hooper then led the gathered guests in a celebratory St Joseph’s Day Mass to give thanks for the anniversary.

With the formalities over and the sun shining, visitors headed outside to the top lawn where a group photograph was taken. They were then invited to explore the site. Crackley Hall’s young pupils were on hand to guide the guests and throughout the school the classrooms were filled with displays, and there were whole school photos and honours boards displayed on the corridor walls to the delight of visitors. There was also a display of memorabilia from the Foundation’s archives and many were delighted to see old school magazines and other treasures from the past. Refreshments were laid on in the dining hall offering a perfect opportunity to sit and reminisce.

Feedback on the day has been extremely positive with visitors commenting:

“It was lovely to see the old haunts and also the new buildings. The schoolchildren were so polite and confident and delightfully enthusiastic when we went on our tour - a credit to the school. All the staff we met were so welcoming and any initial nerves I might have had about ‘going back to school’ were immediately dispelled.“

“Two young ladies and one young gentleman showed me round your warm and busy school and pointed out their favourite classrooms and best artwork.  I enjoyed my tour very much, and it was heartening to hear my guides enthusiasm and supportive comments. Thank you too, to you and Mr Duigan for taking the time to host and organise the event. 75 years is a splendid milestone.”

Our sincere thanks go to all the current staff, pupils and parents who contributed to the celebrations and also to all the past pupils and teachers who attended and made the event such a great success. We do hope they enjoyed their walk down memory lane and look forward to welcoming them in 2025 when the school will celebrate its 80th Anniversary!

75th Anniversary Open House