While sorting through old family history papers and such, I came across this photo of my entire school at St Francis Xavier's. The year would have been 1951 or '52. I don't think I was in the lowest class in the school by the look of it, but I may be wrong. I can identify some of the children in it - the Parish Priest's name escapes me, though it may be Father Bennett - but the rest of the names have long gone. Perhaps there are some people out there who recognise the ones I don't. And I remember more of the boys than the girls, by a long shot, though it has to be said that the boys only stayed at the school until the end of Standard Two. They then went onto Christian Brothers High School, starting there when they were still basically Primary School pupils.
As always, you can click on the photo to enlarge it still further.
In the second back row, the girl fourth from the right is Marie O'Malley. Next to her (working left) is one of the Parsons family girls. The next girl is unfamiliar, but the sixth from the right is Noeline French. Starting from the left, in the same row, the fourth from the end is Lorraine Shrimpton.
In the row in front of that are some of the girls who were in my class, I think. The third from the left is Diane ? The two either side of the priest are Patricia Chandler and Barbara. Otherwise...blank!
In the same row as the priest, the second and third boys from the left are Russell Bryant and Ian McCombe, both good friends of mine at this school. The next boy, I think, is Michael Parsons, who was the youngest in his family and the only boy after several girls. I can't remember the next boy's name, but then we have Gerard Sutherland and Melvin Shrimpton. The third boy on the other side of the priest is Michael King, who lived close by and with whom I still had a good deal to do after we left this school: he became an electrician (he'd always had an interest in electrical things), and at one point we tried to make movies together, with a small movie camera his family owned that took films only three minutes long. He had a wonderful basement to his house, in which was set up a working train set.
Next to Michael is one of the Harrison boys - I think it must be Anthony rather than John. Then there's Rory O'Malley, then a boy I don't remember, and then another Michael...if I remember rightly. Michael was the world's most popular name around this time - in Catholic circles.