Mary Ward (1585 - 1645)

Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Farewell Address
A Farewell Address for SR. PHYLLIS

It seems only yesterday that sister phyllis walked into her office and took charge as principal of loreto house. since then, the time has flown and all too soon, we have to bid her farewell.

The first thing that strikes us about sister is how eminently approachable she is. no matter whether it is in the five minutes before assembly or when she is already speaking to someone in her office, sister was always ready to lend a listening ear to someone in trouble,assess the situation and give a courteous and considered reply. her courtesy, acumen and accessibility made her an ideal principal to work with.

I think my students and colleagues will agree when i say that sister is more active and energetic than many of us. she has that magic ability to be in five different places at once. this we noticed during our annual concert and sport’s day drill when she would pop up with disconcerting suddenness at our practices with accurate observations and often helpful suggestions. once, when i remarked on this ability, she replied with a smile that it was the children who kept her young.

Indeed, sister is a person who is truly young at heart. we all remember her dancing with the students at the end of the campaign against hunger and disease when the rest of us sought the shade of the classrooms. it was her spirit of fun and fellowship which led her to initiate the secret santa game among the teachers and we remember her dancing with santa to the music of the christmas carols. the lights of the christmas tree and the colourful gifts we had brought for each other at its base, together with the merriment and jollity of the occasion lit a warm glow in our hearts.

Sister had boundless faith in her staff and in her students. with her encouragement, we undertook the impossible and made it a reality. whether it was the rainbow home christmas party for 600 girls or whether it was organising an annual concert completely on our own, sister was the driving force with her cheerful faith in mary ward’s maxim ‘do your best and god will help’. and whatever we did, she was always ready with her words of warm appreciation to cheer us on.

Sister, i hope we can continue to do our best in our humble way and uphold your legacy in the school.

With gratitude and respect,

Mrs. Raka das
English teacher (ISC)
Loreto house school
7 middleton row
Calcutta 700071