Pictured above are the eleven refined young ladies who composed the entire graduating class of St. Mary’s Academy in 1937.They are:
Standing (left to right): Regina Foster, Henrietta Delpit, Leonor Douroux, Julia Fulton, Natalie Duffel
Seated (left to right): Leora Palao, Bertha Dugue, Katherine Allen, Elsie Knox, Myrtle Mason, Iona Parker
In their yearbook, these young ladies tell of the journey they made to get to this day. As they proudly poise in their caps and gowns, diplomas in hand, they recall that bright day four years ago when thirty-one happy, carefree girls knocked at the doors of St. Mary’s and sought admission to high school. They as freshmen were considered “green” by the older girls but they didn’t mind it for they intended to become “ripe” so they chose the motto, “Forward Ever, Backward Never”, and tried to live up to it. By the end of 1933-34, they all said good-by and looked forward to their sophomore reunion year.
Unfortunately, only twenty-four answered the summons of the bell that fall day of the 1934-35 sophomore session, but by the spring of 1935 almost another one-third of this number had fallen by the wayside. This was also the year when their freshman homeroom teacher and assistant librarian, Miss Alice Leger, suddenly became ill and passed away.
As their junior year arrived,1935-36, sickness claimed two more members before Christmas, leaving only these eleven to reach their final destination.
On September 2, 1936 they answered the roll call of their senior year and all eleven, through determination, loyalty, and hard work, experienced the joy of receiving their high school diplomas.
Note…. Four graduates were probably boarding students during their years at St. Mary’s since they were from other cities. They were: Katherine Allen (Greenville, Miss.), Henrietta Delpit (Madisonville, LA), Natalie Duffel (Donaldsonville, LA), and Leora Palao (Madisonville, LA). All the others were residents of New Orleans.
Sources: Maris Stella Yearbooks (1936 and 1937) personal copies
Lolita V. Cherrie