History of the Londonderry High School Old Girls' Association

THE LHSOGA was the brainchild of our headmistress Miss Mary French McIlroy who was President of the Association for the first 10 years of its existence.

Thursday, 4th November 2010, 9:31 am

In June 1934, it was decided by Miss McIlroy and a representative group of Former Pupils to form the Londonderry High School Old Girls' Association.

A meeting was held in Duncreggan, when a President and Vice-Presidents were elected and a Committee formed.

A Constitution was set up and the Subscription was fixed at 2/6 annually or 3 Guineas for Life-Membership. The 'Constitution' stated that the Association consisted of former pupils of the L.H.S and the foundation schools, St Lurach's and Victoria High School.

The first General Meeting was held in the Northern Counties Hotel on Saturday 12th January 1935 and the first edition of our magazine was published in Easter 1935.

Today there are four branches in existence, Londonderry, Belfast, Coleraine and London. Old Girls also meet informally in Edinburgh/Glasgow.

There is even mention of a branch in Dublin in the 1946 and 1951 magazines.

The Association has a President and an official chain, the office and chain are rotated annually among the branches, this occurs at the AGM lunch held at the mother branch in Londonderry.

Dr Kanchu McAllister told the Sentinel:"It should also be mentioned that many Old Girls, both from the original LHS and those after the amalgamation, plus those girls at the present school are unaware of the girl's school history becuase it has never been brought to the forefront by the amalgamated school. All emphasis is placed on the boy's part of the amalgamation and in fact they are trying to revert back to calling it 'Foyle College'-the orginal boy's school name. All celebrations and centenaries are focussed around 'Foyle College'.

"The legal name of the school still remains 'Foyle and Londonderry College'.

"Our article on the history of LHS will have brought the importance of the girls history to the forefront and since its publication, many Old Girls and those attending the school at present are beginning to sit up, take note and support us in the fight for recognition.

"At the time of the amalgamation (1976), our Headmistress, Miss Mina Christie fought to keep some part of the LHS name in the title, the compromise was the current school name. At that time, the compromised name was deplored amd loathed by many and they feared this was the first step to misrepresenting and removing the girls school name. The second and final step is now in progress."

"Loyality and affection are not created by physical environment, but by standards set and the traditions acquired over the years"

"In the pleasure of meeting one another again we shall find new ways of furthering the greatness of the school."

(Information taken from the LHSOGA and former pupils' magazines.)

Molly Sutton (nee Price-Owen) Chairperson and Kanchu McAllister (nee Chada) Secretary of LHSOGA London Branch