Found in our Archives recently were some lovely postcards to Rev. Mother from Alma.
While not giving a year, they are dated for July 29th ‘Lourdes’ and August 4th ‘London’. They describe a visit to Lourdes with a party of “forty five and seven priests from England’, as well as a visit to the Spanish Frontier, where they were prevented from crossing the border by French soldiers.
The identity of Alma, was unknown but there were some tantalizing clues. In Mercedes for 1939, there is a section titled ‘S.H.C. Abroard” with a collection of extracts from letters and reports by students, teachers and Sisters while overseas. On page 52 there is a report of a visit to Devon by Alma O’Brien, a past student and ‘tireless’ worker for the Past Pupils Association. On page 48 of Mercedes of the same year, there is a description of a visit to Lourdes by R.C. Preece, who had three daughters at SHC at the time.
In 1939, Mother Antonia Nolan was Superior of the convent and community at Newtown, and given the description of the visit to the Spanish Frontier and known historical events at the time, it is reasonable to believe that R.C Preece and Alma O’Brien were on an arranged tour of Europe at the same time. We may have found our Rev. Mother and Alma!