St. Helen's Day by Mrs. Crehan

Posted on: 30/09/2022

Yesterday we celebrated St. Helen's Day - a time to remember our school history in our 98th year.

The children in Years 2 - 6 congregated in the Windsor Garden for an assembly in the afternoon. We had an ex-pupil, Ishil Mehta, reminiscing on the time Mr. Crehan pursued a burglar down Parkway to retrieve a cassette player that was stolen through an open window during the school day. He didn't tell us much about his own life but he is a very successful businessman who is a trustee of the St. Helen's College Trust.

The Year 5 pupils sang us a song which Mrs. Smith and I wrote specially for St. Helen's Day a few years ago about the life of St. Helen herself.

The Head Girl/Boy team gave us the whole history of the school referring to a wonderful display, created by Mrs. Pruce, of photographs of St. Helen's College from 1924 to the present day.

I then told the children a few anecdotes from when our family moved into Cambria when my mother, Mrs Evans, took over the school from the second Head, Mrs. Hempstead, when I was 11 years old. I was remembering that at that time there were no administrative staff and no office. If I or my brother or sister were off school through illness, we had to run down the stairs from our sickbeds, in view of the children who were in a class which is now the library, to answer the phone and take details of prospective pupils. It was very different in those days! The children then asked further questions about what it was like 50ish years ago.

We then had a wonderful event for the alumni and past teachers in the evening. Our present pupils were performing as background music and then leading tours around the school to show the alumni the changes since their day, and also what hasn't changed.

The alumni have all done so well! We had a female professional footballer, a female engineer working on HS2, Oxford and Cambridge university students and a graphic designer who told us that her sister who would have come but was still at work as a BBC climate-change journalist looking into some ecological disaster which has affected the health of people abroad and is being denied by the authorities. And there were many more amazing careers our alumni are now involved in. Hopefully St. Helen's College can claim their good starts which have led to where they are today. We were encouraging them to spread the word to other Old Helenians amongst their family and friends - and they still know many - that we will be having a big celebration for our centenary in two years.

We had many ex-staff who attended including the very first Deputy Head, who used to call Mr. Crehan 'The Boy' when he first started as Head, because he was the youngest member of staff. Mr. McLaughlin said to her, 'I have your room' and she responded, 'I didn't have a room!'

So a great day was had remembering our St. Helen's College family past and present, which is growing by the year and of whom we are so proud! 

Mrs. Crehan