|24 May 2023
Dozens of Old Cornelians from as far away as Perth, Western Australia, Hong Kong and Seattle, Washington, came back to Mayfield School last Saturday (20th May) for the annual OC Reunion. The Chapel Lawn filled with laughter and reminiscences as the old girls and some former members of staff rekindled their connections to each other and to the greater School community in the glorious Spring sunshine.
The alumnae included thriteen members of the Class of 1973, celebrating fifty years since leaving St Leonards-Mayfield School. For a few of them, it was their first visit back to Mayfield and one OC remarked that it still felt 'like home' to her. They were joined by OCs from the Class of 2018, other years celebrating milestone anniversaries and OCs from other year groups in joyful celebration of being an Old Cornelian. One OC who deserves special mention is Gretta Hudson, Class of 1951, who only recently returned to the UK after living for more than sixty years in Zambia. Gretta's warmth, energy and good humour (not to mention her impressive social media skills!) made the day extra special for everyone.
Lunch was served in the Sixth Form dining room, which a few OCs had only known as the nuns' domain, so it was a new experience for them to enter it for the first time! Over dessert, Chantal Davies, Chair of Governors, shared the good news from the School, highlighting its resilience through the challenges of COVID and the accomplishments of the current students, which include national prizes in physics, mathematics and civil engineering. She also mentioned that, despite the challenges for independent education in the current environment, the outlook for Mayfield School is still very bright.
Tours of the school grounds followed, led by current Cornelians. Memories flooded back as some groups covered the entire campus from the equestrian centre at the bottom of the school grounds to the top of the Richards Sixth Form Centre! Back on Chapel Lawn, the OCs and their tour guides were treated to al fresco performances by current drama students over tea and cake. The old girls shared with the current girls happy memories of living in Aylwins House and various 'extra-curricular activities' (such as attempting to catch bats in a darkened chapel!) and the Mayfield girls of all ages found common threads when talking about favourite teachers, sporting successes, singing in the chapel and making friends for life.
The day ended with a mass to celebrate the life of Sr Anne (Nancy) Murphy, who had been a teacher (1959-65), headmistress (1971-80) and governor (1983-2003) at St Leonards-Mayfield. Sr Anne died on Christmas Day, 2022.
Photo albums have been created on OC Connect for the reunion weekend at School and for the Class of 1973 reunion - please feel free to upload your own photos, which will be shared with logged-in OC Connect members only.
Plans are already in the works for next year's all-years reunion at School as well as a special 50th reunion for the Class of 1974. If you would like information about organising your year group for an event either at Mayfield or elsewhere, please feel free to contact Narelle at any time on email@example.com or 01435 874674 and she'll be happy to help. News about reunions and other events is always posted on OC Connect and in the OC newsletter - watch for updates throughout the year.
See you again soon!
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