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The Old Ref (ca. 1940)
In its place, we have a system akin to self-service. An orderly queue is formed (“an orderly queue” is the theory anyway but in a small area with over 150 hungry teenagers, an orderly anything is rather difficult to achieve) on your way to the counter you collect a tray. You then pass down along the counter, choosing what you want to eat (though not the quantity). This one of the areas in which the system could be improved. Your choice usually consists of “take it, or don’t”. There is no second options. Food in hand, you collect your cutlery and proceed to a table. The whole operation, from the first person in to the last usually takes about 15 minutes.
The food still leaves something to be desired, but to give credit where it’s due, it has vastly improved over last year’s. If the suppers could be improved, then I am sure that very few people would have any cause for complaint.
Taking a bird’s eye view then, I think congratulations are in order for both the authorities, headed up by the now departed Fr. Scallan, and for the new staff headed up by Mrs. Dowling. Whatever complaints we may have, let us not forget that not so many years ago, boarders had to commandeer and pay day-boys, to ferry in food for them!!!
John Maguire 1988