By Collette Bonnar
When I see the Valentine cards appearing in the shops it takes me back to a dark January night in 1967. The wind was howling through the ancient building and the torrential rain was beating against the old sash windows. That particular building was known as LGC…Lady of Good Counsel. It was a two story dormitory which formed part of the Mercy Convent boarding school.
The Christmas holidays were over and a gaggle of us had congregated around a bed in the far corner of the dormitory. Sister Pascal had done her rounds and the lights were out at 9.30 pm.
The others girls were sleeping, or trying to as we whispered excitedly and munched contraband Lincoln cream biscuits. With the aid of a torch we studied the bunch of Valentine cards that were spread out on the white candlewick bedspread. The day girls had purchased the cards for us in Boland’s card shop and smuggled them in with the packets of biscuits and Perry crisps.
We were trying to decide who we’d send the cards to at home. The boys we fancied wouldn’t have given us a second glance so it was a non-runner to sign our names on them. The postmark on the envelope in those days bore the name of the town where it was posted. The young men in question wouldn’t be long in figuring out who their admirers were.
No, we decided to keep our dignity intact and send a card to ourselves! That would soon have all the other girls talking. We’d be the envy of the school. Since our return after the holidays we’d been flashing photographs of our handsome boyfriends. Some of the more naïve girls were very impressed indeed!