Early Days of the Alumni Association 1924 -1945

The Alumni Association began in 1924 officially under the name of the Sacred Heart Past Pupils Association. This coincided with the first official reunion at Sacred Heart College in the same year. Prior to this there had been formal get-togethers of past students at the convent including a large gathering of up to 300 for the 1910 silver jubilee of the College.

The first president of the association was Mrs Mary McCabe Doyle (nee Ryan). She remained in office for many years, and in the 1930s, Mrs Margaret McNamara, Mrs McCabe Doyle and Mrs Teresa Kerley (nee Munday) alternated the role of president. In 1932, the Association changed its name to the Sacred Heart Old Collegians Association.

The Association quickly became very active once it was formalised – arranging annual sports days, deb balls, fundraisers and by the 1930s had not only a Geelong committee but a Melbourne president and committee who arranged ‘at homes’ and dinner dances at the Menzies and Wentworth Hotels, and also frequently held card games at chic places like the Green Door in Collins Street, and the Piccadilly Café.

The Old Collegians went on to begin the Mercedes club - between 1935 and 1942, it had rooms in the Block Buildings, on the ground floor, Lt Malop St (now market square shopping centre).

The club rooms had a piano, tables and chairs, a stove, heating, crockery a table tennis table (on loan from the Commonwealth Bank) and a library of 100 of the most up to date books. The club rooms are mentioned in the pages of the College Annual Mercedes between the years 1936 and 1942, with descriptions of improvements, such as stippled paint decoration on the walls, bookcase installation and carpeting to beautify and increase comfort for members (sadly there are no pictures of the rooms).

Other activities run from the club was a birthday fund, where a member marked her birthday by making a donation to the association and a thrift club, where a bank account was opened, encouraging members to make deposits, helping members begin saving. ‘Jam Days’ were held annually, where members would make and sell jam to raise funds for the children in St Catherine’s and St Augustine’s Orphanages.

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