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Greetings from München, Germany to St. George’s in Montreux


What a surprise!! Just on the day of my 85th birthday the St. George's Georgentians Alumni Newsletter reached me – very unexpected! I read it with great interest and am happy to have news of my old school after so many years! I was astonished that you still have my contact details.

saint Georges alumni

I suppose I am now one of the older alumni of St. George’s, so as you suggested, I will send you some of my thoughts and memories in connection with my days in St. George’s.
I arrived at the school in 1952 at the age of 17. At that time this was a school for girls only – but with girls of many different nationalities – and hardly any other Germans. Germany was still suffering after World War II. I had recently come from a very different communist school in the former East Germany – so St. George’s was a completely new experience for me that for the first time really opened my mind to the world!
Almost immediately, I had a friend in school from Persia – and when I came to meet her, I first had to look at a map – where in the world is this country of Persia?  I had no idea! I very much enjoyed having friends from so many different countries and getting to know their backgrounds – some of these friendships lasted lifelong – for example Vera Schmidheiny in Switzerland (who has now sadly passed away) and Isabel Braga in Portugal, who I last had contact with two years ago.  We never lost our connections and always had a very close contact to each other. We visited each other so many times in our different countries and I very much enjoyed these friendships, including latterly with our husbands and children. 
Internet and mobile phones were inventions far into the future.  If I wanted to speak to my parents by telephone in Germany - which was only allowed in most urgent situations – the school had to call an operator who made the connection - and that sometimes took hours - only then I could speak to my parents. I still have a telegram from my father in one of my memory-books telling me on which day he would be arriving to meet me for the half-term holiday! This was a common way for fast communication.
For me St. George’s was not just about attending lessons, but going to chapel in the morning, skiing in Caux and playing tennis on the school courts. We also had to speak English one week and French the next week, all this helped to get a “feeling” for a language.  We were also encouraged and allowed to visit certain events taking place in the region. For me, the fondest memory was seeing the impressive “Louis Armstrong live in Lausanne”, as I look back this was all part of learning for life!
At that time, very few girls had the idea, intention or the allowance of their parents to go to University – it was uncommon for girls to study further!  After leaving school many went on to complete their knowledge of languages or attend cooking schools and getting married sooner or later, as I did!
I had two children, and in addition, I now have four grown-up grandchildren. In the years after my marriage, I was not just caring for the family, but I worked alongside my husband in the administration of his factory, and later on I founded my own company for Real Estate, We had the opportunity to travel often and I was fortunate to learn computer studies which has enabled me to keep up with the modern day.  Now I am happy to enjoy life with my big family.
Greetings from München, Germany to St.George’s in Montreux and other Alumni wherever you are.
Ursula Fendt – Uli Richter in St.Georges