Having lived both in Australia and overseas, I believe we are truly fortunate that our school year ties in with the calendar year, concluding in December just before the Christmas break. This allows one time to ponder, put purpose into New Year’s resolutions, and allow time to reset and plan for the busy year ahead.
For most, this year has not been what you envisioned, and for many the reality of trying to navigate and plan for what next year may bring can be, at times, overwhelming. Change in our daily lives has been required, often with little notice, whether that be how you conduct your university lectures, educate your children, do your weekly grocery shop, or take a family member to a medical appointment. Even simple social rituals like meeting friends for dinner, or for the case of the Class of 2020, graduating from secondary school, has required everyone to be more agile, adaptive, and responsive.
No matter where you live, what has not changed this year is the importance of connection.
In this edition of Bishbar Blue, we acknowledge not only the importance of building a meaningful connection within your own community, but also the global network of Grammar Women. Prior to COVID-19, an increasing number of businesses were operating globally, and this created opportunities for Grammar Women to make their mark around the world. Many have travelled and relocated for study, career opportunities, or even retirement, and it has been wonderful to hear about groups of Grammar Women supporting others via phone calls and Zoom meetings.
The calendar of events that we had optimistically planned to celebrate the 145th year of the School this year seems like an eternity ago. However, while we may not have been able to celebrate the School’s milestone birthday in a traditional manner, there are four exceptional Grammar women who were able to celebrate theirs:
- Joyce Dempsey (Chandler, 1938) attended 1935 to 1937
- Marjorie Spencer (Grice, 1937) attended in 1936 to 1937
- Valma Hunter (Lock, 1938) attended in 1935 to 1936
- Maida White (Furness, 1937) attended in 1934 to 1935.
These centenarians, whose life experience includes serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during World War II, have all survived misfortunes and turmoil in the past. To stand still and hope that all will be better is not realistic. And as one reflected, ‘We are all responsible for improving the world around us, and it is education—above all other activities—that holds the key’.
It is humbling to think we all have so much more to learn. May we all be more agile, adaptive, and responsive in 2021.
Ms Antonia Swindells
Alumnae Relations Manager