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Babington House School Letters to Sally

Mrs Freda Higgins - Former Staff Member

I was recently searching for info regarding Cannock House School which I attended 1957 - 1961, when I came across the link to Babington House. My mother, Mrs Freda Higgins, taught at Babington during that same period. It was this teaching position that allowed me to attend Cannock and for my sister, Kathleen Paterson (nee Higgins), to attend Babington House. Our very young brother Ian Patrick Higgins was born in January 1959 and occasionally 'attended' Babington and apparently was frequently the subject of babycare classes!

For reasons I will not go into, I have almost no photographs of my mother, so it was with great interest and not without some trepidation that I looked at the year photos for 1959 & 1960. In the 1959 photo she is seated seven to the left of Miss Wiliams, wearing a dark dress, with her hair up. This is how I like to remember her. Kathleen is sitting on the ground, three places to the left of the dog! Miss Williams, incidentally was the Godmother for Ian. Mum was diagnosed with cancer very soon after and it is so evident in the 1960 photograph how unwell she was. Here, she is seated immediately to the right of Miss Williams and in this photo Kathleen is two to the left of the pupil sitting in front of Miss Williams. It pains me to see her so unwell, but I am comforted by all the love and attention she received from those she worked with and those she taught.

It is so long since those days when Cannock & Babington were seemingly inextricably linked - not just by their proximity on North Park & Footscray Road, but by the ties between pupils and staff. I seem to recollect Miss Williams & Mr Schofield at Cannock later married. So much has since happened. Kathleen enjoyed a long career in nursing - initially as a psychiatric nurse, then later as a midwife, I enjoyed a long teaching career and Ian, known to all just as Pat, has been very prominent in the field of industrial security systems. It would be fabulous if anyone has a copy of June 1958's year photo. Sadly she died in May of 1961, a blessed release.

Should anyone have any reminiscences of our mother, I would be delighted to hear from them.

Thank you, Michael Higgins.
(October 2014)

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