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Welcome to the St. Francis’ College Old Girls’ Association (SFOGA) website.
St. Francis' College in the 1970s
For much of the 1970s Sister Frances McHugh was headmistress (1973-1981). She was a former pupil, but was remembered as being very strict by many pupils. Sister Margaret Sheehy was head of the Prep School from 1970-1983. It is difficult to be accurate about how many pupils were at the school as there are no school magazines or records for this decade. However there were so many boarders that the college purchased 3 houses on West View and two on Spring Road for groups of boarders to live in.

The 1970s was a turbulent decade at St. Francis’ College. There were a large number of boarders many from military families as well as boarders from overseas. It soon became clear that there was a need for a more structured and varied activity programme for boarders outside school hours. Colonel Neville and his wife Daisy Blair were therefore appointed in the summer of 1970 to deliver a programme of weekend activities for boarders. A boarders’ council was set up and they tried to respond to any reasonable and practical requests from the pupils. It wasn’t long before ballroom dancing, riding, cooking, swimming, gym, first aid, debating, self defence, tennis, theatre visits, badminton, drama and careers lectures were taking place. Not everyone liked every activity but there was a variety which had not been present before.

For many students the strict rules of the Sisters were too much to cope with and there were a number of expulsions over the decade. In the 1970s the Sisters changed their habits for navy blue skirts and blue veils. Sister Mary Anna took over the running of the boarding house from Sister Doreen ward who had been very strict. ( Previously known as Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart )

It is important to note that Mrs Blair set up the St John Cadet division on 14th October 1971. This was hugely popular and by 1976 there were 58 girls taking part. She also set up the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1973 which is still running in 2018. By 1983 50 Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards had been given to St. Francis’ girls which is an amazing achievement in 10 years.

In 1974 the College finally got its own swimming pool after years of fundraising. It was opened in 1974 by Lady Constance Taylor and guests were treated to a display of synchronised swimming and lifesaving. The pool cost £34,000 – some money was given by the Sisters and other sums raised by parents and pupils over a number of years. Fundraising began in the 1950s I believe. Sport played a big part in school life and St. Francis’ College had very successful hockey and swimming teams. The present day drama room was opened in the 1970s and was first used as a dining room for day girls and function room for school events.

The other big event of the 1970s was the School Pageant in 1973 which was a project which traced the life of St Francis de Sales. The event was organised by Miss Young, Head of History. The whole school was involved and the play was performed on the loggia gardens. Mrs Moss Ecchardt, Mrs Haney and Mr McAllister were all involved. Sister Elizabeth returned to the College in 1975 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her religious profession. St. Francis’ College continued to hold a special place in her heart until her death in 1991.
Gallery Photos
Aerial shot of St. Francis' College
Aerial shot of St. Francis' College
Transition 1970
Transition 1970
Boarders 1971
Boarders 1971
Colonel and Mrs Blair
Colonel and Mrs Blair
Infants 1970
Infants 1970
Hockey 1971
Hockey 1971
Sister Anne with students 1972
Sister Anne with students 1972
1972 St. Johns Ambulance with Mrs Blair
1972 St. Johns Ambulance with Mrs Blair
Duke of Edinburgh with SFC pupils 1974
Duke of Edinburgh with SFC pupils 1974
Fifth Form 1976
Fifth Form 1976
First XI 1976 with Mrs Turner
First XI 1976 with Mrs Turner
Hockey 1974
Hockey 1974
Infants 1977
Infants 1977
Infants 1973
Infants 1973
Insect play 1979
Insect play 1979
Joseph prep 4 1972/3
Joseph prep 4 1972/3
Miss St. Francis' 1976
Miss St. Francis' 1976
Music 1975
Music 1975
Netball 1974
Netball 1974
Pageant 1973
Pageant 1973
Pageant 1973
Pageant 1973
Pageant 1973
Pageant 1973
Pets Corner
Pets Corner
Prep 2 1972
Prep 2 1972
prep 3 1973
prep 3 1973
Prep Nativity 1973
Prep Nativity 1973
Prep Sports Day 1979
Prep Sports Day 1979
Rhineland 1972
Rhineland 1972
Rhineland 1978
Rhineland 1978
Rock Nativity 1978
Rock Nativity 1978
Sister Elizabeth  and Sixth Form 1975
Sister Elizabeth and Sixth Form 1975
Sister Elizabeth and Sisiters 1975
Sister Elizabeth and Sisiters 1975
Science
Science
Sister Elizabeth - Golden Jubilee 1975
Sister Elizabeth - Golden Jubilee 1975
Sisiter Elizabeth with students
Sisiter Elizabeth with students
Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary 1975
Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary 1975
Staff in 1971/2
Staff in 1971/2
Opening of Swimming Pool 1974
Opening of Swimming Pool 1974
Lifesaving Trophy
Lifesaving Trophy
West View House
West View House
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