By Patricia Roche

It was July 1972 and we had just finished our Inter-Cert, summer holidays were about to start, albeit this would be a working holiday for most of us students.

Summer jobs would be secured by our parents at very short notice and we had no choice but to work. We didn’t mind, it was a great time to be young, all kinds of great songs in the charts, great bands in the dancehalls, for us as 16-year-olds the world was new and exciting.

There was still one final event to mark the school year ending, a sports day in the convent grounds, this was to be held on Sunday and as well as games of basket-ball, volley-ball, tennis, various races and God knows what other torture – some outdoor activities, a fancy dress competition which was far more appealing to myself and Eileen and Frances, sisters and my two best friends.

In fact, in our teenage wisdom, we decided to side-line all the other irksome stuff altogether. None of us was particularly sporty, we knew the nuns would not be happy but hoped they’d have forgotten about it when school reopened. Our aim was to present the best possible disguises and win this one.

It would take an awful lot of plotting and planning, late nights working on our images and costumes and the humour we would project to ensure victory.  My two friends lived in the town but I was from the country so this meant me spending many nights as a guest in their home.

After endless hours of deliberation and consultation and getting a lot of help from their lovely Mum, who was always full of great ideas, we were certain it was all in the bag. We would go as a group of three eccentric professors, blended with plenty of hippy and protest connotations thrown in for good measure.

Our costumes would be cloaks made from sheets and blankets and attached to the backs would be stuck bits of paper with various algebra equations, quotations and radical statements about anything and everything that a student might relate to.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own (issue 5552)