Last year on 15 May, immediately following the last COGA reunion, Angela Yates (née Chandler 1950-57), Mary Wheddon (née Murphy 1950-57) and Sheila Glasswell (née Botting 1958-65) attended a memorable day at the Royal Festival Hall where the University of Roehampton presented honorary degrees to nearly 2,000 alumni from its four colleges: Digby Stuart, Froebel, Southlands and Whitelands. The trio had all attended Digby Stuart for three years.
After Digby Stuart, Angela taught at the Ursuline Convent, Wimbledon for seven years before having a family. The rest of Angela’s teaching was part time in Adult Education (24 years) and Further Education (18 years) in the Borough of Croydon. Angela says: “I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career that I loved and to be able to work with some excellent colleagues who have been lifelong friends”.
Mary Wheddon went to teach at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Croydon for two years before leaving to get married and moving to Northamptonshire. Mary then taught for two terms at a Catholic school in Corby and left when she was expecting her first child. Following a gap of 14 years, whilst she brought up her children, Mary returned to teaching while living in Surrey and she taught part-time in many of the secondary schools around the Redhill area as well as teaching in Adult Education and a prison. After the ceremony Mary said: “It was a lovely ceremony and a chance to meet up with colleagues from many years earlier. We were told these degrees were being awarded to recognise our services to education. In my case it was a welcome recognition of time spent doing a job I greatly enjoyed”.
Sheila Glasswell spent two years teaching in Streatham after Digby Stuart. Sheila then travelled to Papua New Guinea where she became Head teacher of a very remote Catholic Primary School. On returning she taught at St. John’s in Shirley. Sheila met and married her husband Richard, moved to Yorkshire and has four children who are now all married with families of their own. Sheila and Richard have lived in Cambridge for the last 37 years, Sheila has been a catechist for 40 years and an auditor for the Catholic Marriage Tribunal. Sheila was surprised when she was offered an honorary degree: “It was a very joyful ceremony and afterwards I met up with friends I hadn’t seen in years, and those I have always kept in touch with. Imagine my delight when I met Angela again, who had been so helpful when I was compiling the history of Coloma for the book ‘140 Years of Coloma Memories’”.