Lochinvar Girls on Greek Island
Kate Harvey writes about a wonderful gathering of Lochinvar ex-students on the Greek Island of Samos for the celebration of her sister, Jane’s 50th birthday.
"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget."
In 1975, back when St Joseph’s Primary School was located within the grounds of St Joseph’s College, a group of fresh faced girls started kindergarten together at Lochinvar. These girls formed a lasting group that would span from Kindergarten through to Year 10 and Year 12, which expanded as new girls arrived at Lochinvar over the thirteen years.
The original girls were Jane Peters, Trish Enright, Robyn Hickey and Narelle Jurd. In fact, Trish and Jane lived across the road from each other all of their school life and even now work for the same company.
They say that friendships that last over seven years will last a lifetime, but somehow, I think these girls had something very special from the beginning.
A lifetime of memories, laughter and tears have been collected over their time at Lochinvar forming long-lasting friendships that have stood the test of time. I doubt these young girls would have believed it, if they were told in forty-five years they would be celebrating a 50th birthday on a Greek Island for one of their class buddies.
Jane Peters-Angelakis left Australia in 1994 to embark on a year of travel in Europe and soon settled on a Greek island, embracing the beauty of Greece and consequently meeting the man she would marry. Living between Greece and Australia since that time, long letters, phone calls, trips home, emails and visits from friends have kept the bond of Lochinvar friendships intact over the years and in 2016, a seed was planted to bring the Lochinvar girls to Greece to celebrate her 50th birthday!
So in September this year, eleven Lochinvar Ex-Students travelled to the Greek Island of Samos to celebrate Jane’s 50th birthday. The girls honoured their friendship formed at Lochinvar and had special t-shirts made with the slogan Jane's 50th on the front and LOCHIE GIRLS on the back. Jane’s sister Kate Harvey (nee Peters) also flew in for the party as well as other friends from around the world.
Jane and Kate, who grew up at Lambs Creek (just ten minutes from Lochinvar) have a strong connection to St Joseph’s. Their mother, Anne Peters (Leehy) boarded at Lochinvar from 1945 to 1950. Their great-great aunt was Mother Mary Aquin Leehy. They are also related to Sisters Ruth Long, Ursula Kauter, Patricia Egan, Mary Jackson and Bridgette Davoren and their first cousin is Sr Jan Tranter with whom they hold a special bond.
Kate and Jane also took the opportunity to visit the neighbouring island of Patmos. They visited the Monastery of St John and the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St John received his visions and recorded the Book of Revelation. They also cherished being able to light a candle in the Church of St Anne for their mother, who wasn’t able to join them on this occasion but, in true Lochinvar spirit - girls can do anything – she was able to follow the events via Facebook and FaceTime, along with the other Lochinvar girls’ families and friends.
The Lochinvar Ex-Students included:
Jane Angelakis (Peters), Kate Harvey (Peters), Narelle Smith (Jurd), Trish Petersen (Enright), Natalie Gogarty (Wilson), Lisa McGuigan, Jenni Walsh (Leake), Jenny Lantry (O’Hearn), Louise Brown (Chapman), Karen Leonard (Duggan), Tina Racunica (Wright), Helen Rawsthorne (Moore), Robyn Beattie (Hickey)