This edition of “The Convent” history proudly includes student stories from each of the decades that the Daylesford Convent operated as a school. It is an informative and delightful read of a bygone era which involved the lives of many Victorian families. You will laugh and cry at the memories and be touched by the fond memories many ex students have of their life and education there.
One particularly celebrated past student was actress Deborra-lee Furnace – 1970 – “I have a clear image of myself in a school uniform that was too large for me sitting in a train with a bar of Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate in my lap. This was my mother’s acknowledgement of a big occasion. Before she left the compartment she delved in her bag and handed over a few photographs. She stood on the platform smiling and crying, her face close to the window …”
Joanne-Potter 1972-73 – “We were allowed makeup and were free to wear what we wished out of school hours within reason. We were taught to dance in preparation for a ‘dance’ with the borders from St Pat’s in Ballarat … My time at Daylesford gave me an appreciation of the countryside, as the nuns believed that to appreciate life you need to explore and enjoy it. They also taught me to be independent and self-sufficient, and I am, to this day, grateful to them for this.”
Betty McLean OAM – 1920s – “It was 79 or 80 years ago that I was incarcerated in the Daylesford Convent. Sister Mary Magdalene was lovely. I called her mummy. She died of TB. They took me to see her in her cell. She still wore a wimple headdress. Her hair was cut off … One girl Nancy, returned from holidays with pyjamas. We all had to kneel before a photo of Jesus’s photo and pray for her. They put a nightdress on her.”
Merlyn (Dudt) de Van der Schueren 1931-1941 – “The Presentation Sisters were the true biblical holy women. They were holy, prayful, hard-working, caring, happy and Human. If any of the students have bad memories they should look to themselves…”
Cover art by Michael Morgan