Mary Surtees

Mary Surtees

As I conclude my fortieth year here on staff at St Margaret’s, it is not hard to look back with fondness on what has happened over those years.

I completed my large block prac. with Miss Dyason and Mrs Clarke as my supervisors. They were hard task masters! In my next year, I was appointed as one of the secondary Physical Education teachers. One of my first lessons was to take a class on the ant bed courts near Community House. The Angelus bell rang and when I asked the girls what I needed to do, I was told to drop to my knees and pray!! I had the whole class dutifully do that, much to the amusement of staff walking past!

There were no outside coaches for any sport so the life of the PE staff was a constant training schedule. The gym tunic, gym belt and of course, the ubiquitous bloomers constituted the PE uniform. Lifesaving was, and still is, a sport that the St. Margaret’s girls excelled in. Netball was a closely fought battle on the four courts where the Arts Centre and Eunice building now stand. Any Athletic training was conducted down at Crosby Park – the walk up and down Lapraik Street was a true test!!

The Thredbo trip was always a highlight but travelling on the bus for that long haul was a test of our stamina. We were always very well looked after with our ski instructors being hand-picked for us.

I spent five years in the secondary school before moving to the Primary school. Initially, a true culture shock!! But having been here now for 35 years, I could not imagine going anywhere else. I have taught so many girls and I am now teaching their daughters. I may need to re-think my position when a grand-daughter of one of those students is enrolled!