Concerning the Marist Brothers’ schools in Port Elizabeth, I recently read in your publication the following paragraph: “In 1952 this school for junior and high school boys was transferred to Walmer as St Patrick’s Marist Brothers’ College. This school was closed and sold by the brothers in 1982.” – Alan Flowerday, North Norfolk, England
I wish to point out an error in that paragraph. I was a pupil at the Marist Brothers’ Junior School in Bird Street in 1955 and 1956. It was only from 1957, not 1952, that I and my other schoolmates were transferred to the High (“Senior”) School at 10th Avenue, Walmer.
When I commenced at the Junior (correctly known, then, as the “Preparatory”) School in Bird Street — a building, playground and facilities I remember well, despite the passage of years — my first class teacher was a Mrs Bella J Aspeling, a middle-aged to elderly lady with completely white hair and glasses. She oversaw Standard III (in which I began) and was very strict, but fair.
Mrs Aspeling and I got on well together, so much so that after I had been at the school some time she asked me if I would like to help her in the tuckshop, which she managed. I accepted and occupied the position until my later move to the Walmer school.
The tuckshop functioned from an otherwise disused room at the rear of the playground away from the main teaching block on the site (adjacent to Cuyler Street); I was allowed to choose sweets to the value of one penny each day.
The head at the Bird Street Preparatory School while I was there was Br Anthony, a young to middle-aged, dark haired and tall Brother with whom I also got on well.
In 1955 a photograph was taken of the entire class at the Preparatory School in Bird Street of which I was a member [The writer of this letter is in the 2nd row from the front, 5th from the right in the photo at left.] I still remember many of the names of the boys in this photo.
Although I left Marist Brothers’ School at Walmer at the end of 1957, I still remember my time at both the Preparatory and Senior schools with some affection — I received a very well-founded education.
I should be interested to read of or hear from any other former pupils of the Preparatory School who were in either Standard III (1955) or Standard IV (1956), or of the Senior School in 1957 and those who were in Standard V under the volcanic Br Philip.