On 11 August 1911, the Old Girls’ Association was launched by the first boarder to attend Genazzano FCJ College, Ellen Corry, who was duly elected as President.
She brought together a group of past students who determined the aims of the Association, which remain the same today:
In 1914, the College celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The statue of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which still stands in the chapel today, was presented by the OGA to commemorate the occasion.
In 1919, Marie DeBavay, who was President, donated pearls and diamonds to be included in a delicate brooch depicting the OGA crest. This was to be worn by the President at all official functions during her year in office, and this timeless piece is still adorned by the current President, but only on special occasions.
Reunions on Genazzano Day were a highlight of the social calendar, always well attended, and continue to this day to be a wonderful opportunity to renew friendships.
The first Genazzano Ball was held in 1912, and apart from the war years continued until the 1990s. Girls wore formal white dresses, carried Victorian posies and attendance figures regularly exceeded 1,000. The purpose of these events was to raise funds in support of education, music and sport in the form of book bursaries and various scholarships.
During this period, there were 30 members on the Committee and in addition to the Ball, yearly events included Genazzano Day, Mass for the Deceased, an OGA Dinner and Lunch as well as the 8 December procession.
In 1971, the Old Girls’ Association celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. A large number of past students were present at the reunion, including Sr Gerda Prytz fcJ, who had been at that very first meeting in 1911 and who was still a willing participant of the association 60 years later.
The early 1980s were not only a significant time in the history of the OGA, but for women in general. It was during this time that more and more women entered the workforce, and the annual Ball presented debutantes for the final time in the mid-1980s.
Reflecting the changing times, the name of the Association was changed to the Genazzano Alumni Inc. in the late 1990s. In 2006, the spelling was changed to ‘alumnae’ to acknowledge that the majority of past pupils were, and still are, women.
Traditionally, the OGA and the College were seen as two very separate groups. Today, the College maintains a full-time Alumnae Relations Manager who works very closely with the Alumnae Association, a relationship that has grown from strength to strength.
Reunions provide an important means for the Alumnae Association to maintain connections and friendships among past students. In recognition milestone years, reunions for these levels are scheduled and we encourage alumnae to get involved. Visit reunions for more information.
The Alumnae Playgroup was established by a group of past students in 2008 and reinstated in late 2015. For more information or to register, visit Alumnae & Friends Playgroup.
Genazzano girls are still special to each other; the legacies of the past are special and we treasure our motto, fidelis. Our hearts still go out in greeting to the well-loved school upon the hill.
Visit the Alumnae Events page for this year’s calendar.
The Old Girls' Association in 1917.