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Overseas.....

Many ex-St Elphin's pupils (and probably teachers and staff as well!) are now living overseas. We hear from a number of them via the various groups on Facebook but thought it would be nice to share the news with a wider audience.

In addition to groups of girls living in countries outside the UK, there are also some who have met up with another whilst on holiday – please click on the countries below:

Dubai – Caroline Wareham welcomes Catherine Sutton-Lewis to Dubai

Greece – Sarah Dodd welcomes Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe to Greece

Malta – Lee Garner-Doherty welcomes Anne Marie Robinson-Reeve to Malta

There is quite a strong contingent in Australia and so we thought it would be appropriate to start this page by bringing news of some of the St Elphin's girls who are now fortunate to be living there.

News from Australia.....

March 2015
When Christine Tew (Selwyn 1960 - 64) long-standing Secretary and Treasurer of the SEOGG (St Elphin's Old Girls' Guild), contacted me some months ago to let me know she was coming to Perth, Australia in February I was more than happy to organise a get together to welcome her here. We ended up having not one but two fabulous meet ups.

The first one was with Pam Scott-Gale and Fiona Cooper Smyth and myself. We met Chris in the city and had a lovely chat over lunch at The Greenhouse. Fiona already knew Chris from her association with SEOGG, and her sister Rachel Cooper (who unfortunately couldn't make it) was at school with Christine's daughter Katrina Codling.

Below: LtoR: Jenny Gray-Winkless, Chris Tew, Pam Scott-Gale, Fiona Cooper Smyth



The second one was arranged to include Jennifer Kerr nee Walker (Junior School and Gresford 1961- 63), who had been in the same class with Christine in the 1960's and Ali Gracie who had been away for the first meet up. We met in Kings Park Botanical Café and shared lots of stories and laughter. Jennifer brought along a list of names of girls from school that she remembered and she and Chris enjoyed reminiscing about their school days, over 50 years ago! Jennifer had left school to move to Australia with her family in December 1963.

Below: LtoR: Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Chris Tew & Jennifer Walker-Kerr



Jennifer discovered that Fiona, who sang at her friend's 70th recently, was an ex St Elphin's girl and Christine bought a lovely photo of recently visited Margaret River from the gift shop, taken by Fiona's photographer husband, Richard Smyth.

Maybe a few more friendships will be rekindled from this reunion?

Click on the image below to see a few more images of this fantastic reunion.....

  • Jenny Gray-Winkless, Chris Tew, Pam Scott-Gale and Fiona Cooper-Smyth
  • Jenny Gray-Winkless, Fiona Cooper-Smyth, Chris Tew and Pam Scott-Gale
  • Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Chris Tew and Jennifer Walker-Kerr
  • Jenny Gray-Winkless, Chris Tew, Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe and Jennifer Walker-Kerr
  • Chris Tew and Jennifer Walker-Kerr
  • Chris Tew and Jennifer Walker-Kerr
  • Jenny Gray-Winkless, Chris Tew and Jennifer Walker-Kerr

 

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February 2014
LtoR: Sue Green-Aylmer, Jenny Gray-Winkless (1971-1975, Wilson) and Paula Evans-Terry-Lancaster (1968-1973, Selwyn [3 years], then Pigot [2 years]).

February 2014
Three Little Maids From School
LtoR: Jenny Gray-Winkless, Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe and Fiona Smyth in Ali's garden

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June 2013

A chance meeting and another St Elphin's girl is located in Western Australia!
The Australian/New Zealand contingency of former St Elphin’s girls continues to grow and the Western Australians would like to introduce member 18 and welcome Jennifer Kerr (nee Walker) who was at St Elphin’s from approximately 1960 to 1963 (Gresford House) and now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Jennifer was attending a workshop on social media at Murdoch University in April with friends in a community group. Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe is a lecturer there and had been asked to help run the workshop that day. During the session on Facebook Ali decided, on the spur of the moment, to tell the story of why she joined Facebook for the 2008 reunion. She told the group about school friends she had been reunited with linking Western Australia to a small village in Derbyshire, bridging a gap of over 35 years and what a wonderful part Facebook had played in these reunions. At the end of the session Jennifer came up and the conversation went something like … ‘you know that small village in Derbyshire you mentioned? Was the school St Elphin’s?’ Ali and Jennifer spent the next few minutes going through the website and Jennifer is learning to use her Facebook page too! Jennifer was sad to hear the school had closed and said she is keen to locate other girls who were at school in the early 1960’s.

Last month Jenny met Jennifer for lunch and last night (June 9th 2013) by sheer coincidence we knew that four of us would be attending a very special Evensong with music by Jenny and Pam’s choir leader to honour locals with Order of Australia Medal – one of whom is Jennifer’s husband! So there we were all together afterwards and the occasion was duly photographed as we shared stories and some time together.  It was only the second time Ali had met Jennifer since the workshop and the first time Jennifer had met Pam. Jennifer and Ali were chatting and both agreed that their own experiences of chapel and singing there (Jennifer was an alto in the choir) had been a good part of school and fostered a love of choral music.


Above: Left to Right: Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Pam Scott-Gale, Jennifer Walker-Kerr and Jenny Gray-Winkless after a very special Evensong at St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia. June 9th 2013. [Please click on photo for larger version]

January 2013
Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe and Jen Gray-Winkless decided it was time to make another visit to the east coast. Imagine their surprise when they found out they had booked on Liz Herridge's 50th birthday weekend. Liz was so excited she invited them to her holiday house in Maaroom to party! Seven Old Elphinians arrived including Sandra Carter-Winkworth from Mt Coolum QLD, Sarah Renshaw-Smith from the Gold Coast QLD, Sue Green-Aylmer from Sydney NSW, Sally Edeson-Campbell from Byron Bay NSW and or course the birthday girl Liz Herridge-Burmeister who drove most of them up there from Brisbane. Jen says, "We had a fabulous time and all got on famously – it was as though we had all been best buddies at school! We certainly are now!"

Above: Back row LtoR: Sarah Renshaw-Smith, Liz Herridge-Burmeister / Sally Edeson-Campbell, Sue Green-Aylmer. Front row LtoR: Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Sam Carter-Winkworth and Jen Gray-Winkless


Above: Back row LtoR: Sarah Renshaw-Smith, Liz Herridge-Burmeister / Sally Edeson-Campbell, Sue Green-Aylmer. Front row LtoR: Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Sam Carter-Winkworth and Jen Gray-Winkless

Above: Back row LtoR: Jen Gray-Winkless, Sam Carter-Winkworth, Liz Herridge-Burmeister, Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe, Sarah-Renshaw Smith, Sally Edeson-Campbell. Front: Sue Alymer-Green
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The West Australian and New South Wales Branch of the St Elphin's Sisterhood Reunion!

June 2012: Left to right: Sue Fell (Orme), Paula Terry-Lancaster (Evans), Sue Alymer (Green), Jenny Winkless (Gray) and Ali Biddiscombe (Gracie)

Paula married Martin in Canada earlier in the month and then went to Sydney where Martin lives and works to celebrate. Jenny and Ali flew over for a weekend to be part of their Aussie Wedding Dinner and celebrations on the Saturday and stayed with Paula and Martin - Reunion Number 1!

Reunion Number 2: The next day they caught up with the two Sue's who they knew lived in Sydney. It was 39 years since they were all together at St Elphin's (Paula, Ali and Sue Green had a mini Pigot reunion too, of course, with tales of Rotherwood a plenty!). It was such a wonderful celebratory day and they met at The Rocks in Sydney for lunch, then had a yummy afternoon cuppa/wine at the Park Hyatt Hotel.

They are now planning a trip to Queensland to meet up with the girls over there!


The West Australian Branch of the St Elphin's Sisterhood and a Queensland WA Reunion!
St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

December 2010
Pam Scott-Gale makes it 7 ex-St Elphin's girls in West Australia!

Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe), Jenny Gray (now Winkless) and Pam celebrate Pam's arrival in West Australia and Jen's birthday.


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

June 1010 – West Australia Reunion
LtoR: Seated: Suzanne Keyer, Janis McLaren. Standing: Fiona Smyth, Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe), Jenny Gray (now Winkless), Rachel Parnaby.


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

June 2010
Everyone with St Elphin's 'T' shirts ('T' shirts from the November 2008 reunion)


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

2010
Rachel Cooper (now Parnaby), Fiona Cooper (now Smyth), Jenny Gray (now Winkless) and Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe).

This was the first time Jenny and Ali met Rachel.



St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

June 2009
Queensland VP tour and Reunion - Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe) and Sandra Carter (now Winkworth) of St Elphin's.


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

June 2009
Pam Scott-Gale & Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe) at Perth Airport


St Elphin's School girls in Australia newspaper article

St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

November 2008
Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe), Janis McLaren and Jenny Gray (now Winkless) in Perth, Western Australia, 'Skypeing' with Pam Scott-Gale in Blenheim, New Zealand and Sandra Carter (Winkworth) in Brisbane. They also chatted on-line to Kay Bibby in the USA and some of the 50 girls who gathered for the UK 2008 Reunion


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

October 2008
Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe) and Jenny Gray (now Winkless) were the first two ex-St Elphin's girls to meet up in Australia – two weeks before the November UK/Australia reunion!


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

October 2008
Sandra Carter (now Winkworth) and Jenny Gray (now Winkless) in Brisbane.


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

Jenny Gray (now Winkless) in St Elphin's tennis gear! Jen took the tennis whites with her to Australia when she emigrated in 1980!

It is to be used by Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe) for the making of a memorial quilt in Australia and will be displayed at the next big UK Reunion in 2013.


St Elphin's School girls in Australia photo

Ali Gracie (now Biddiscombe) in Carrie Wareham's Sunday Silk! Carrie sent the silk from Dubai to Ali in Australia.

It is to be used by Ali for the making of a memorial quilt in Australia and will be displayed in the next big UK Reunion in 2013.

 

As far as we are aware there are currently (May 2011) 15 St Elphin's girls living in Australia/New Zealand:

7 in Perth, Western Australia [(Ali Gracie (Biddiscombe), Jenny Gray (Winkless), Janis Mitchell (McLaren), Fiona Cooper (Smyth), Rachel Cooper (Parnaby), Suzanne Hope (Keyer), Pam Scott-Gale]

4 in Brisbane, Queensland [Sandra Carter (Winkworth), Beverly Whelpton (Neate), Liz Herridge (Burmeister), Sarah Renshaw-Smith]

2 in Sydney, New South Wales [Sue Orme (Fell), Sue Green (Aylmer)]

1 in Byron Bay, New South Wales ([Sally Edeson (Campbell)]

1 in Auckland, New Zealand [Ruth Davys (Aubrey)]

 

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