Madeleine McKeown, class of 1962

Next in our #HumansOfMuckross series is

Madeleine McKeown (née Doran), class of 1962

"The nuns were wonderful"
‘’We were all so proud to attend Muckross’’
‘’what fun we had!’’

‘’I loved Muckross, starting at just 4 years old. The nuns were fabulous; Sr Bertranda, Sr Polycarp, Mother Hilary, Sr Barnabas (Barney to us all). I recall the nuns sitting under the tree having their break after school. We were never allowed to go too close but it seemed to me from a distance that they were either knitting or sewing - but the chatter was happy & cheerful with plenty of laughter. I played hockey every day after school on the "back field" & remember it was bitterly cold. I lived on Belmont Avenue so my mother used to wave to me from the back garden"

"I was in charge of "the Bell" which hung from the top of the stairs. I used to stand on the 1st floor & ring it to start the classes each day. This was hilarious as my friends who were late for class would pant up the stairs, 2 flights to go.. & shout at me to keep pulling the rope - what fun we had!! The Bell was also used to call any nun to the Convent. Each nun had a specific number of bell tolls - this must sound very strange now in a World of technology!"

"I fondly remember Veritas - we were so proud of that. We wore blazers in those days that were black with white braiding all around the edges. I studied "Domestic Science" which involved cooking & icing Christmas cakes & also making clothing. The girls made such lovely cakes with very professional-looking icing We were all so proud to attend Muckross. Did you know that in those days the nuns were not allowed outside the grounds? Not even a foot .. interesting times!‘’

What are you doing now?
‘’I lived in the UK and worked in the Tax Department of a large London Law Firm for almost 20 years. I have now retired and I am living in beautiful breezy West Cork, I love the Wild Atlantic Way!‘’

Advice to 18 year old self:
"Be honest & true to yourself & to what you believe in. Work hard, but not too hard - there should always be time for fun! Above everything else be kind - remember "it is better to be kind than right". Don't take what life throws at you at 18 too seriously - there is a wonderful journey ahead - just enjoy it - make the most of every opportunity and love and laugh a lot"

What gorgeous stories! Thank you so much for your lovely entry, Madeleine. It's so wonderful to read about Muckross through the decades 💚

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