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News > Alumni Events and News > Online reunion held for Polished Corners

Online reunion held for Polished Corners

FHS alumni born between 1952-1954 recently held a virtual reunion

Reunion of form of girls born in 1952/53/54

By Susanne Nedas

It is always so daunting to organise a reunion when a group of people become separated not only by time but also by continents.  The planning has to start at least a year ahead with fixing a date and then, knowing many have travelled many miles, everything must be perfect. 

Here was an opportunity, when many of our age group have emptier diaries than usual, to plan a virtual reunion in a matter of weeks. 

I started Francis Holland, Clarence Gate (as it was then known) when I was four or five (1957 or 8) in the Kindergarten Form which was situated in the classroom by the second doorway to the current library.  This form room was divided by folding doors with the Transition, entered by the first door to the current library.  

I have kept in touch with Jane Harris (now Grabine) and Elaine Gastman (now Doran) so had their email addresses, as well as Anne Bowyer (now Paterson), who was a fount of email addresses. Claire Brazer, the School’s Alumni Relations Officer, added two or three more.  There were many bounce backs from the first-round robin email suggesting a Virtual Reunion, but after many conversations we became fifteen.  Some had attended only the Junior School, some only the Sixth Form, so there were some who had never met before. Nevertheless, we, bound together by our memories (good and bad) of FHS, stayed on line chatting for an amazing two and a half hours.  

We spoke in alphabetical order of our maiden names each giving a brief resume of the last fifty years and interjected with a few stories of our school years – with hindsight maybe we should have just introduced ourselves and gone down memory lane chatting about various friends and teachers.  I circulated some school photos before the reunion to jog everyone’s memory.  It is strange when you look at forty to fifty-year-old group photos.  Images prompt the memory to come up with names long since forgotten.   

I hope, judging from the lovely emails I have received, that everyone had a good time and really encourage anyone with a little time to spare to create this experience.   

“Thank you for such a lovely evening, Susanne.  I am so looking forward to the next instalments.” 
“I can’t possibly retain in detail all the itineraries of all the participants but what came over was a lot of travelling abroad, a lot of interesting professional paths and which were not often in a straight line!” 
“Such varied lives emerged, but also a spirit and energy which I am sure come from the experience of having been such Polished Corners at FH.  
“How rewarding, and reassuring, the visit with you all was. As several of you have said already, it was good to hear about your lives and the many paths we have taken. It was personally reassuring to me to learn that I am not the only one amongst us who has changed path several times and tried my hand at a number of things.” 
“I’m very happy I participated yesterday and was fascinated to see the way we’d all turned out.  Different, but not that different, from each other.” 
“As each one spoke many memories of our school days came back and I realised how formative those years were for us all.  Some of us had happier memories of FHS but certainly the human connections were strong.” 
“Though I was only at FHS for two years for A Levels - it was great hearing about the interesting paths each person has taken leading to where everyone is today.” 
“The reunion was good for me in esoteric ways; it took me back to my former self as a teenager.”
“It was really fun and interesting seeing everyone again.” 
“It was good to see you all again and hear some interesting stories” “I hope that we will be able to get together again virtually”

Photograph - using maiden names only: 
Top Row left to right: Lesley Powell (Canada), Susanne Quastel (UK), Jane Harris (UK), Naomi Halsted (Israel) 
Second Row left to right: Atalanti Hadjipateras (Switzerland), Despina Fafalios (Greece), Elaine Gastman (USA), Nancy Hawley (USA) 
Third Row left to right: Melanie Franklin (USA), Julia Hodges (France), Vicky Veal (Canada). Caroline Ede (UK) 
Fourth Row left to right: Anne Bantin (UK), Anne Bowyer(UK),  Jane Seymour (UK)

 

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