Holy Cross Open Air School Port Regis

A Memory of Broadstairs

I was at Port Regis for approximately 2 years during 1950-1952 from age 9-11. My memories are snapshots only as these memories have been blanked out and have only resurfaced after seeing the comments on this site.
Firstly Port Regis was for girls only and was run by Catholic Nuns, St Mary's was a different home run for both boys and girls and was Anglican and not RC.
It is true the a lot of the nuns were cruel and I was one of those girls who cried myself to sleep and was beaten and and humiliated for wetting the bed, or some other misdemeanour.
I suffered from asthma and used to have to sit up in the organ loft whilst Sister Mary Audrey, who was a also one of our teachers, played the organ at daily mass. I was put up there because I was always disrupting mass because of my constant fainting. I remember wearing light straw boaters in the summer and dark ones in the winter whenever we had to go out, the church processions where we all got to wear different coloured dresses and carried flower petals. I also remember a young girl (Judith, ginger hair?) who sang beautifully, and a girl (Yvonne?) who had bad eczema, two sisters who had lovely long plaits and a very kind friend named Rita Bowles.
I remember Sister Mary Audrey and the name Sister Mary Bonaventure, I also remember a cruel sister who was from Belgium and two children's nurses, one who had ginger hair.
I do not know why but one of the sisters died and I was terrified of death for years!
I recall going into isolation in a hospital in Ramsgate for some type of illness, tapioca or something else hateful for breakfast, dinner and tea until I finally consumed it or was sick, the rest periods outside on loungers in the summer and on our beds in the dorm in winter, the sweet ration once a week for us poor girls of the parish, attempting to run away only to fail, and the Sister Superior who I was in awe of.
Hope something in the above helps others to remember or not as suits them.
My name then was Maureen O'Shaughnessy

A memory shared by Maureen Kenny , on Jan 20th, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Sun Jan 17th 2016, at 8:06 am

Sandra Popple commented:

I was also there berwtten 1950 and 1953, twice, remember all of the sisters mentioned, i was not abused myself, but did see it in others,two of the sisters were kind,but my parents did visit,and as i said before dad would leave a big tip, infact the nuns came round, and asked if they could take a donation from my pocket money, and as i did not have control of it at the time, i of course said yes, at the time it was2shillings.I always wondered what they had to confess to, to the priest who came round.Obviously more than we understood at the time best regards sandra Popple,

Fri Sep 23rd 2016, at 8:57 pm

Frances Pekszyc commented:

I remember the sisters always asking for money for the budgies

Sat Sep 24th 2016, at 7:33 am

Maureen Kenny commented:

What budgies, sounds like a con

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