Saint Hugh

Our patron saint, Saint Hugh, was born in France at Avalon in Burgundy. His mother died when he was very young and he went with his father to live in a priory.

In 1160 Hugh became a priest, and planned to live all his life as a prior in the quiet priory; but his holy life came to the attention of King Henry of England who asked him to come to England to help the people there.

Saint Hugh was very tactful and energetic. His loyalty to God and his church were unfailing, and he never allowed either royal or ecclesiastical influence to interfere with his conduct, fearlessly resisting any infringement of the rights of his church or diocese. After working in England for a number of years, he was elected Bishop of Lincoln in 1186. In Lincoln he was noted for his kindness to people and animals. The swan depicted on our emblem represents his pet swan which lived in the grounds of the Bishop’s house and followed him wherever he went.

The School’s emblem reminds us of the loyalty and goodness of our patron saint and holds before us an ideal for which we should strive throughout our lives.

Our patron saint, Saint Hugh, was born in France at Avalon in Burgundy. His mother died when he was very young and he went with his father to live in a priory.

School Daze
By Merelene Warner

We weren’t allowed to even run at St. Hugh’s. Walking fast but gracefully was all that was permitted, since it was “unladylike” and undignified to run like the mortals at those other schools. Mrs. Inez Carnegie, our Principal and Five-Star General was the epitome of dignity and decorum, and ensured that her charges walked in her firm, bow-legged footsteps as closely as possible.

I remember the visits of Bishop Swaby to our morning devotions (our patron saint was Anglican), and the solemn warnings issued from our principal for us to be attentive and to behave like ladies, regardless of how uncomfortable or bored we may feel. Yawning and fidgeting could land you in serious trouble on a Friday morning, when it was not uncommon to have a guest speaker or performer to add spice to the proceedings. Well, the visits of the good Bishop were always arranged for that day, when we were seated (instead of standing) in the gymnasium, and when we had the time (though sometimes not the inclination) to endure his lengthy homilies. There was one story we knew by heart, all because Bishop Swaby (bless his soul) would forget he told it on his last visit, so he would tell it all over again. We would sigh and roll our eyes inwardly, outward expressions inscrutable. By the time he got to what he thought was the punch line, we would all belt it out with him: “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!”

We knew a stern lecture would be on the menu after he left, since Mrs. Carnegie would throw the guilty ones “the look”, that blistering, penetrating glare which spoke volumes and had the power to make us hang our heads in shame later on. Our Friday morning devotions were legendary. There was the time an up-and coming singer performed during one of those prayerful sessions. His first name was Jackie (last name withheld to protect his identity), and his golden premolar sparkled at us from where we were sitting. Then the snickering began. In those days at St. Hugh’s we frowned on such vulgarities as gold teeth.

So there was this Jackie, singing his heart out (could have been a number called Send Me the Pillow, can’t be too sure), when in the middle of the act, he suddenly stopped mid-bar and placed his hand over his mouth. We held our breath. At the same moment a student in the third row shrieked and jumped up, for something had fallen into her lap! Pandemonium reigned in the gym for what seemed like an eternity, as the rest of her classmates in the vicinity followed suit, thinking that it was a rodent or an insect that had startled her. Chairs were overturned as the girls scattered, all decorum forsaken. Alas, not even firm directives from our horrified Principal could still the cacophonous din, nor calm the storm of activity.

Then, suddenly a first former was seen waving aloft a wad of tissue, and at last the gathering began to settle, the chattering subside. We watched her hand over with a flourish the wad (containing a shiny metallic bicuspid, no doubt) to the grateful performer…

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