A Reflection by the Family of Head Girl Betty Deery 1946/47

Centenary Reflection.
Head Girl of Dominican College 1946/47
This is a brief reflection on our Mum’s school days in the Dominican College [known then as The Convent], Portstewart by her brother Jim and her children Geraldine, Gloria, Christine, Charles and Manus O’ Doherty. April 2017.

Betty Deery.

Born 8/8/1928 Died 23/8/1993.

Betty was born in Strabane and educated in the local Convent of Mercy Primary School. She became a boarder in the Dominican Convent, Portstewart in 1943.
Betty’s Parents chose the Dominican for their only daughter after receiving excellent references from relatives who spent many years in Portstewart.
Listening to Betty reminiscing about her time as a Convent girl continued throughout her life.
Her younger brother Jim, now aged 85 years recalls her time in the Dominican
“Betty was a great community girl, everyone knew her. She always took the lead in organising games, school shows and social events. She made many lifelong friends there including Colette Curran, who was to be her bridesmaid. I remember her often mentioning Sr. Bede, who was a young nun at the time in charge of the Boarders and had a kindred spirit with Betty.
Both parents and myself religiously made a fortnightly visit to see Betty. The highlight was lunch in The Montague Hotel overlooking the Convent. For Betty to be able to enjoy a very tasty pudding, she had to endure the Main course! [Jim laughs].
Saying goodbye was always difficult for her Father, as Betty was an only daughter and they enjoyed a special bond. Her Dad wrote weekly letters to her without fail.”
Today Betty’s children enjoy reading through her beautifully hand written Domestic Science Exercise books from 1946 and use in particular her Christmas Pudding recipe down through the years. Unknown to us, she had a flair for painting as we later found one of her still-life watercolours, which is now framed and hangs proudly in her son’s home.
Down through the years, the Dominican Convent was referred to lovingly and with great happiness by Betty and especially her many Sunday afternoon strolls taken along The Nun’s Coastal Walk!

Attached are photos of Betty with her friends in school uniform at the convent and a wedding photo of her lifelong friend Colette Curran, her bridesmaid – a friendship made possible by attending Dominican College!
I have also attached her framed painting if interested for the Art Exhibition and a few pages from her hand written exercise book of 1946.