Anne-Marie Rice graduated from St Aidan’s with a social conscience.
“When I think about my St Aidan’s experience (both as a student, and as a member of the School Council from 2002 to 2009) I become acutely aware of how fortunate I have been in my life. I didn’t have any comprehension at the time that what St Aidan’s, in conjunction with my parents, was giving me was a deep sense of the importance of human kindness. But it is a touchstone that has served me well,” Anne-Marie said.
The Collaborative Lawyer and Family Law Specialist said the importance of having a focus on others as much as on herself was ingrained into her psyche during those formative years.
“We were expected to respect ourselves and each other. We were expected to try hard regardless of whether or not we were victorious and to be gracious in defeat. We were expected to be ambassadors of St Aidan’s whenever we were in uniform and we were, collectively, admonished whenever someone (frequently an Old Girl) called the headmistress to say she had seen some girls failing to stand up on the train when adults were without seats, or some other such indiscretion,” Anne-Marie said.
“But it could never be said that the School, and the staff and the Sisters who ran it, were anything other than fiercely supportive and protective of the girls. That pervading sense of peace and security (which is present still) is a rare thing in the busy, modern world.
“I am so much the better person for having experienced it. It never occurred to me that I could not do anything I set my mind to (though some stronger prodding towards the things I wasn’t prepared to set my mind to probably wouldn’t have gone astray!).”
The working mum of two “fondly” remembers the humble things that also made St Aidan’s special – the unattractive sports uniform, the cold unpainted grey cement of Le Fanu and the small pond of horrid white water you had to wade through to get out of the swimming pool change room. But, she also acknowledged that the education she received – and the lessons learned outside of the classroom – were invaluable.