By Jimmy Rhatigan
MRS MURPHY has fond memories of her school days in the Presentation Convent which was then in James’s Street, near enough to opposite the Christian Brothers Secondary School.
As it turned out the latter part of the last par is the key to why her student years were so happy.
“We had good and bad times in the Pres,” said Murph as she sipped a Flat White coffee.
“I was content enough in class but the homework was a bit of a drag.
“Still most of us did what we had to do as going in with a blank copy to some of our nuns would not have been a good idea.
“Mostly we had very nice nuns. There were others who were somewhat serious and not always friendly.
“The Pres was a good school and I know it is still excellent today as one of my grandchildren loves going to the school now in Parnell Street.
A real bonus
“As for the nuns that we didn’t hit it off with, it is good that we should say rest in peace as they have long gone to their eternal reward.
“Some of the Sisters were tough and perhaps they had to be as some of us were no angels.”
Murph said that being a student had its advantages and many of them were outside the classroom.
“Having the boys’ school next door to us across James’s Street was a real bonus.
“We would have been most inquisitive at lunch time, after school and on occasions when both schools would have attended ceremonies in the nearby St Mary’s Cathedral.
“We all fancied someone in the CBS and we always hoped that the boys would have noticed us. Eye candy we called them.
“In fairness the boys were always good mannered and treated us with respect.
“Chatting to the boys was not always easy. The Christian Brothers and Presentation Nuns were always quite vigilant and did their best to ensure that we concentrated on Mass or whatever Church ceremonies.
“I think that was the time that some of us developed eyes in the back of our heads as if we fancied a bloke we could spot him the length of the cathedral away from us.
“And will you look what I found there,” Murph joked as she pointed at her other half.
“He was a gorgeous young fellow, lovely fair hair and with impeccable manners and a charming personality.
Fell in love
“I fell in love with the good man, then a boy, who I now fondly call His Nibs.
“We fell out from time to time. It would be off, on again. That went on for a time and we went our separate ways as I got work in the Boot Factory in Wolfe Tone Street and he joined Smithwick’s Brewery.
“It looked to be all over as we went for nearly eight months without a date. We didn’t fall out; life just took us in different directions.
“Then one night we happened to meet in The Savoy Cinema. It was pure luck that we met. The film was a love story and that is exactly the direction our lives took.
Light of love
“From then on we were as close as could be, went everywhere together, eventually got married and the rest is history.
“I have always said that I was delighted I went to the cinema that night. The chance meeting was to be the flame that re-ignited the light of love.”
Murph smiled at His Nibs.
“Will you look at him, he is still gorgeous,” she said of her husband.
His Nibs blushed, took a sip of his tea and carried on reading The Kilkenny Observer.