Stella Maris Reunions have been held for many years and the first one was held in Saint Mary’s Hall at the College with the legendary Esme Hayward and a band of workers including her daughter, Kerry, Jeanette Day, and many others preparing  a banquet as in those days there wasn’t the luxury of catering companies, so in true Esme style, she rolled up her sleeves, gathered the ex-students and produced delicious food; they were able to make some money from these memorable events and eventually these funds were donated to the Cathedral’s organ program.

How wonderful it was when Stella Maris celebrated the 100-year anniversary. This was so well attended we had the Mass at the Geraldton Basketball Centre and then all enjoyed a delicious dinner, once again prepared by Esme and her wonderful team.

Songs-Thanks-Joy-Laughter and more! 

The refrain of our old school Anthem: “Stella Maris, starry name of the sea and the wayfarer’s star” rang through the Geraldton Catholic Centre building on Sunday 16 July. Sung with gusto and excitement at the beginning of the Stella Maris Reunion, a very well-choreographed event, the refrain asks Mary, Our Lady, Star of the Sea: “Guide thou my feet, my prayer hear. O Mother dear, we thee acclaim! Stella Maris, Stella Maris, Stella Maris!”. It was as though we sing it every day. Perhaps some or many do, in fact!

Accompanying the Anthem was Julie (Sweetser) Hart. Jen Crothers and Kerry (Hayward) Hood then read the names of former Students and Sisters of Stella Maris who have died since the previous Reunion. Sr Christine Clarke led us in praying the Grace and the delicious three-course luncheon was on the way, catered by Angie Fondacaro and her team.

In between courses we savoured the singing and music of Jenny Normington and Monica Harrington. Their voices and expertise helped us to relax contentedly among our companions as we joined in with Jenny’s singing. Throughout the afternoon, the atmosphere was a-buzz with the joy of being together, a tangible sense of “good to be here”, fun, laughter and reminiscence.

Before the 12 noon Luncheon, Marie (Evans) Masotto had led a walk through Nagle College for the utter enjoyment of “girls” who hadn’t seen the College since leaving school. Most who attended live elsewhere, and the two highways from Perth saw much additional traffic, thanks to our Reunion!

Between them, Gail, Jen, Kerry, Anita efficiently, and with much work involved, started the ball rolling by creating a lovely hospitality and ensured it all ran smoothly. Jen’s naming of the many tables ensured we knew which one to head for! Many other girls also wholeheartedly assisted with setting up and later with cleaning up. The cost was significantly reduced, thanks to the venue chosen and all the work that went on behind the scenes. The special atmosphere these girls created with Gail at the helm left us with a renewed motivation – (thank you, each one of you!!) They have whetted our appetites for the next reunion while giving us an occasion to recall with love, loyalty and pride. Not surprisingly, Gail quickly received this message: “The spirit of Stella Maris College … its home is in Geraldton.” Yet more music for our ears!

There were two Hovell girls and two Gummerys; and Robin Rayner with her daughters. All four Batten girls were with us; Wendy, the raffle ticket-seller extraordinaire quietly sold many, many tickets, resulting in good funds for Sr Cecilia’s mission in Thailand. (submitted by Sr Flora Recuperio pbvm)