February 14, 2006
By MELISSA PIONZIO, Courant Staff Writer
When members of the Class of 1956 recall
their days at the former St. Anne's School in Hartford, they remember
strict nuns in starched habits, and separate lunches, and recess
times that kept boys and girls from fraternizing.
But the former students, now in their
60s, say their best memories are of the friendships they made: meeting
at the Frog Hollow Restaurant for soda and grinders, catching a
movie at the Lyric Theater or ice-skating at Pope Park.
"I don't know if it was in spite
of or because of the sternness, but it seems like we were all friends,"
said St. Anne's graduate Lorraine (Boucher) Marcello of the Unionville
section of Farmington. "Most of us were in school together
for about eight years and we grew up together. These were special,
The classmates will rekindle those
relationships during a reunion planned for the Manchester Grill
in Manchester on June 17 - the same date they graduated from the
Catholic grammar school 50 years ago.
Responses from classmates have been
good so far, said reunion committee members, who are still trying
to locate about 23 of the 75 students that made up the class.
"The reunion is so we can get
back that feeling of being together again," said Leila (Lussier)
DiMauro of East Hartford. "So we can see what everyone has
done with their lives, how many children and grandchildren."
Located on Babcock and Lawrence streets,
where the Maria Sanchez School now stands, St. Anne's was run by
the Daughters of the Holy Spirit from 1936 until it closed in the
In school, Louise (Primeau) Conran
said, her dream was to become a nun, which put her in good standing
with her teachers. "But then I discovered boys and changed
my mind," she said. "I met my husband and fell in love
and have been married for 45 years."
One Sunday this past November, Conran
and a group of classmates returned to St. Anne's Church, where they
heard the Mass in French. The neighborhood may have changed, she
said, but being in the church made it feel as if she were back home
"I lost it, I started crying,"
she said. "My parents were married in that church. I was baptized
in that church, made my first communion and graduation there. It
brought back a lot of memories."
For information on the reunion, call
Daniel Desmarais, 860-644-4224; Lorraine Marcello, 860-673-8399;
Louise Conran, 860-569-4470 or Leila DiMauro, 860-568-1317.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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