Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alumnae Anniversary

Memories, like birds—fleeting.  One must capture and hold in heart hands.

February, 1911

The following is from the Sisters of Notre Dame’s Annals.  These were written at the Fifth Street Convent and Academy (recall, all occupied the same building).

The month of February brought us another celebration. The proverb found its application, ‘What is lasting long, is good.’  For years, the Alumnae of the Academy had been trying to organize themselves as had been done in other institutions.  Finally it was done.  The idea of organization had been proposed to students of the first years, many of whom were now mothers and housewives.  They all showed much interest and a meeting was held during which a committee was elected and a president, vice-president, secretary, etc. were appointed.  Several meetings followed during which much love and promise of service prevailed.  The day of founding the organization was set for February 27, 1911….  It had been no easy task to track down former Alumnae members since many had moved far away.  Eighty former members came for the occasion.*  To enhance the festivities, the boarders had prepared many humorous and edifying recitations.  After the celebration, which took place in the auditorium, all went to the decorated dining room.  Several classrooms were draped in white and blue, the colors of the Academy, and old photographs and small banners with ND signs were displayed….  It was a wonderful get-together after so many years away from school and all felt at home again with the Sisters.  Many had to tell about the first teaches …Our Most Rev. Bishop delighted in eating with the young ladies and had perhaps an occasion to practice zeal for souls.  In is talk he mentioned that in a Christian family the mother can exert the greatest influence on the child and she is indeed the priest’s helper…  The ten or fifteen priests had a good time among themselves …
            As soon as the Bishop left, Father H. Tappert and Father Ahmann came to honor the Alumnae members…  Father Tappert said that he felt it an honor and joy to have for thirty-five years been in close contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame.  ‘You call yourselves Alumnae, and I will call myself Alumnus…’   The celebration ended with the song ’I love Thee, O Mary,’ and then ‘Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.’  The ladies decided to come together oftener during the year to entertain each other and also to help the Sisters in a material way.

*The writer was evidently including more than just the girls who had graduated after 1906, the formal beginning of the high school.  There had been from very early days, evidently, a commercial school.  Even considering that fact, the number seems high.  It may have included all of the grade school girl graduates also.


      The photo showing a typical celebratory event in the school cafeteria, is from a later date (no 1911 photos available--it would have shown gas lights, no doubt).