If you have any news (including reports, photographs, personal experiences, celebrations, awards, or recollections) that you would like to share with other Seniors, please email email@example.com and we will be in touch.
120th Hockey Anniversary
St Leonards has a rich sporting heritage. Perhaps most famously, the school is known as the 'cradle of lacrosse' - the first game of ladies' lacrosse was played on St Leonards Grass in 1890. However, pupils, past and present, have represented the school nationally and internationally in a range of other sports including small-bore rifle shooting, rugby, and hockey.
St Leonards Seniors were instrumental in the founding of the Scottish Women's Hockey Association in 1901, and were also key players in the first Scottish ladies' hockey international, which took place on Irish soil on 13 April 1901. Ten members of the Scottish team were current or former pupils of St Leonards.
St Leonards produced a number of other formidable hockey players around this time, including Edith Clapham (SLH 1895-97), Helen Carver (BE & SRE 1894-1898) both of whom played for England.
Pictured are a team badge and scarf are in the SLSS Museum and, interestingly, there is another St Leonards connection in these artefacts: the embroidered badge was designed by a fellow Senior, Mabel Seeboam.
Sport witness: Mary raine
At the end of last year, St Leonards Senior Mary Vavra née Raine (1952-57, SRE), featured on BBC Sporting Witness, which covers the inside and personal stories behind key moments from sporting history.
Mary Raine was the first female journalist to report on football for the BBC, in 1969. Mary had been a football fan and avid Sunderland supporter since childhood, and accordingly, her enjoyment and knowledge of the game was extensive. Her passion for the sport never diminished, despite never being allowed to play with the boys and being ordered to take down her football paraphernalia by the Housekeeper ('HS') in St Rule East.
After she left St Leonards, Mary went on to work briefly as a teacher before becoming a political journalist for the BBC. Although she specialised in politics, her knowledge and passion for football meant that she was asked to cover a first division match between Chelsea and Sunderland on BBC Sports Report. She received positive feedback from football fans who recognised her fantastic knowledge of the game and. Whilst Mary never professionally moved into sports journalism, she still retains a love of football.
If you would like to listen to the full Sporting Witness interview on the BBC website, please click here
Commemoration of Louisa Lumsden
Dame Louisa Lumsden has had a plaque unveiled in her honour in Aberdeen. She was a pioneer of women's education, a suffragist and also the first Headmistress of St Leonards.
Louisa Lumsden was born in Aberdeen in 1840. She was one of the first five students to be educated at Hitchin Women’s College, later Girton College, Cambridge. She then taught at Cheltenham Ladies' College before moving to St Andrews to become the first Headmistress of St Leonards, in 1877.
In 1895, she became the first Warden of University Hall at the University of St Andrews and, in 1908, became President of the Aberdeen Suffrage Association.
The plaque is located on 214 Union Street, the former branch of the local Suffrage Association, and was unveiled on Wednesday, 18 January 2020. Councillor Lesley Dunbar commented that it was "good to honour Louisa Lumsden as a well-respected and well-known local suffragist in the city who also campaigned peacefully with local women for women to win the vote."
Statue of Lady Rhondda
The Monumental Welsh Women's campaign group is raising funds to erect a statue of political activist and St Leonards Senior, Margaret Haig Thomas, Lady Rhondda.
Lady Rhondda was a political activist and business owner. She grew up at her family home, Llanwern, outside Newport, and then attended boarding school - first at Notting Hill High School, and then St Leonards.
Early in her life, she joined the suffragette cause and became secretary of the Newport Branch of the Women's Social and Political Union. She was director of 33 companies, founded the Six Point Group (which pressed for changes to laws regarding child assault, unmarried mothers, equal pay, and widowed mothers), and founded the political and feminist magazine Time and Tide, the first editor of which was fellow Senior, Helen Archdale.
At present, there are no statues of historical, influential women in Wales. The Monumental Welsh Women Campaign is seeking to change that by raising funds for five statues of prominent women to be erected across the country. Last year, the Welsh people voted on which women should be commemorated as part of this project. Lady Rhondda was one of the influential figures chosen. The proposed statue will be situated in the city of Newport, Gwent.
The Monumental Welsh Women campaign are seeking to raise £80,000 to gain planning consent, commission an artist, produce and install Lady Rhondda’s statue.If you would like to contribute to Lady Rhondda's statue, please click here
The St Leonards Gazette, 2019-2020
After the highly successful relaunch of the St Leonards Gazette in 2018, we are pleased to announce the publication of the new edition, covering the 2019-20 academic year.
Going forward, the Gazette will continue to be produced annually by the School. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact the Seniors Office at firstname.lastname@example.org