It may come as a surprise to some people, especially as I am definitely not a religious person, that I went to an all girls Catholic College for most of my High School Years. I would travel by bus Monday to Friday from Sunbury to Essendon to attend this private College. It was an interesting experience, even that bus ride morning and afternoon for all those years had some good and bad times. Those Niddrie Tech Boys sure gave us “Ave” girls a hard time. Reflecting back on the years spent there, I can say that girls schools have their pro’s and con’s. Pros as there is less pressure due to the lack of the male presence there. Cons as there was a hell of a lotta bitchiness lol. A school full of hormonal woman, what else would you expect. I gotta say though, I did have some strong values instilled into me. Some might not agree, especially since I had a baby at 19. Definitely the no sex before marriage was shunned by the Catholic Church lol. However the pride I had to go back today filled my heart. I appreciate that my parents struggled to pay for me to go to Ave, I am the confident well spoken woman I am today because of it.
Anyway today I attended a “Back to Ave” Day. I have to say a big “Thank you” to my Science teacher Alan Dunlop. He drove me into the event and he also thoroughly enjoyed the visit back down Memory Lane. We still catch up for coffee regularly and talk about the Ave Days. He started as a Teacher there when I was in year 9. I was grateful enough to have him help my mum out with travel a few times when we were both in the College production of “Cinderella, Rockafella!” It meant I could be highly involved and not have to bother mum so much with the back and forth drive for Rehearsals etc. Thats how Alan and I became friends and still are today. The college welcomed back all women that attended the college from back in 1963 when it first opened.
During her Welcome Speech the current Principal explained that some previous Students had spent Hours preparing Photo Boards to display the College at its various stages of Construction. They had meticulously catalogued every school photo taken since the College opened and sorted them into years, so we could find ourselves. They had also collated uniforms and displayed them showing how it changed/evolved over the years. The amount of work to set this up was clearly obvious and everyone who attended would agree it was much appreciated. It made visiting the college a delight after all these years.
I loved meeting up with my year 9 teacher, Mr Pappadimitriou and some classmates.
Mr Pappa definitely had less hair than when I last saw him, You can see in the Pic below he had a huge mop of Hair back then. I am in the top row, second from the right. With the face that hadn’t grown into my teeth yet.. lol
The College put on a lovely afternoon afternoon Tea Of scones and Hot Drinks, I was surprised at how different everything looks now. No more portable buildings and everything is finished in High quality finishings and not at all where it was when I attended.
I loved the art wing and reminisced around the textiles area. I spend many a lunch time helping Miss Younes, my favourite Art Teacher and dragging my toes out the door after Art Class desperate to continue creating my Masterpieces.
One of my aims for returning to Ave was to meet up with two particular Girlfriends that kept me very entertained in my time at Ave and have meant a lot to me. I have remembered them fondly over the years. Liz and I had an unhealthy infatuation with “Dougie Howser” (remember that show about the teenage doctor) for a few years. This started in year 7 and we would go to each others houses as much as we could on weekends Slightly difficult as she lived in Avondale Heights and I was in Sunbury. We had our own weird language too, which I remember always with a grin on my face, trying to remember some of the words. My other friend was Narelle lived in Essendon. We became friends in year 9 I think, we used to talk about a soap opera every day called “Santa Barbara” that was on while we were at school, we would tape it (yes a VCR) and watch it after school, then debrief about it the next day.. so funny. We would always be laughing and joking at lunch time, well that’s what comes to mind, when I search my brain for events that happened. Unfortunately Liz couldn’t make the reunion, but right at the end of the day I finally got to meet my friend Narelle again. I was so pleased to swap numbers and reconnect again after all these years, 22 to be exact.. We still have a lot in common and heaps to catch up on.
So pleased I attended the Return to Ave Day and appreciate the effort the college put into hosting the Event!