It is a Loreto Kirribilli tradition to honour Mary, Mother of God, during the month of May. Mother Gonzaga Barry wrote about this tradition in her homeland, Ireland, where children gathered flowers from the fields to decorate shrines dedicated to Mary.
This year, our May Day was especially joyful, with the school celebrating a return to normality after two years of restrictions.
The day began with the customary Procession of Flowers, where every student in the school placed a flower in front of the Statue of Our Lady. This was followed by a song-filled Liturgy for the whole school, which included the traditional crowning of Our Lady by our youngest student, assisted by our Senior School Captain.
The Senior School then heard from keynote speakers, Fiza Khosla, from Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA) and Annie (Year 12). Fiza spoke about the needs of the Kolkata community in India and the work of MWIA to address these needs. Annie engaged the students by outlining her Design and Technology project – a campaign focused on women and girls’ empowerment. She described the issues people face being labelled by their gender, instead of looking more deeply into their character traits, personality, gifts and talents.
May Day activities across the school continued with a range of fun activities, performances and fundraising efforts. The Junior School stalls and raffles, prepared by Year 6 students, were outstanding, the result of months of imagination, collaboration, and hard work. After lunch the whole Junior School enjoyed a May Day Disco which brought the house down!
As we have in past years, the bouquets of flowers placed around the statue of Mary during the May Day Liturgy were taken to James Milson Village and distributed to the residents in their care.
The Principal, Mrs Dickinson, paid tribute to the leadership, planning, creativity and effort behind this event. “I thank all staff and students for their contributions in making this a very special day in our Loreto Kirribilli calendar. All funds raised are for Mary Ward International, to support and sustain the communities in Kolkata and Timor-Leste.”