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From the Archives

Occasionally an archivist comes across a simple sentence and on reflection realises it is much more than that. The last comments in Miss Bakhap’s letter of December 1940 read: It was just a Speech Night perhaps; but, a Speech Night with a difference! – A cameo in my memory.' The program for that first speech night and Miss Bakhap’s congratulatory letter highlight how Siena’s curriculum and cultural activities have evolved over the intervening seventy to eighty years.

Art of Speech was included in the advertisement for Siena Convent in 1942 and our records show that a number of our students sat for Elocution and Art of Speech Examinations with The London Trinity College of Music until the late 1950s. We have treasured donations of exam cards, results, certificates and medals. Photos show the joy and pride of our students who achieved great results in this area of their studies.

We are very grateful to our Siena alumnae who, by their donations, have helped shape our understanding of life at Siena in the early days.

Maria Ang and Maureen McAuley
College Archivists

Photo captions: First Speech Night Program, Convent with ad for first day, 1950 Verse Speaking Choir,1951 mark and comments, 1940 First Speech Night, 1949 Art of Speech medallists

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