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A patch of daffodils

Memories Evoked By Daffodils

It was a lovely sunny Sunday morning passing the back of the school on my way to Mass, the daffodils in the school yard were out in all their glory. I stopped to admire them and immediately visualised the same scene a lot of years ago. Would they have lasted as long then, remembering the rough and tumble of the playground - perhaps! The only places one saw flowers growing publicly then was in parks with big notices, “Keep Off The Grass”.

In Saint Joseph’s School each classroom had its own small altar with a statue that seemed to have flowers all the school week. If you were the monitor looking after the statue for the week you could, if you wished, take home any remaining fresh flowers on the Friday. One historic week when I was the lucky one I left school with a beautiful bunch of lilies.

My homeward route took me through the cemetary from Allensbank Road to Fairoak Road As I approached the gate, a tall man in uniform stepped out of a small wooden structure and quite nicely asked me where I had acquired my bouquet. Obviously he thought I had taken my pick from his domain.

After a small interrogation I was asked to step into his office where I had to sign a piece of paper with my name and address. I don’t remember being nervous. I was all of 10 years old, and that must have been my first encounter with officialdom.

In school we also had plants on the window-sills of the corridor. Sister Felicitas would periodically grab one of us to help her carry the water. Not that we minded, it got us out of class for half an hour!

Joyce Bird

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