DOWN MEMORY LANE
In June 1964, Frances Jacob was with her daughter at the Job Centre in Leece Street, Liverpool. Here she happened to meet a friend who advised her that there was a position to be filled at Notre Dame Convent, Mount Pleasant. Her friend informed her that she should ask for Sister Joseph Ann Appleton.
Frances and Susan hurried there without delay, and Frances was surprised that she was to be interviewed on the spot. The position was offered to her immediately and she was told by Sister: "We'd like you to work with us for a month on a trial period - if, after that time, it doesn't suit you, or it doesn't suit us, we could part company". It was like putting a key in your own front door!
Together with Sister Joseph and Doreen, her duties included welcoming visitors at the front door; answering the telephone and carrying out domestic duties. Frances formed lasting relationships with all the sisters and their families. When Mount Pleasant closed in 1980, the sisters relocated to St Thomas' in Hope Street, where Frances continued similar duties until she retired when St Thomas' closed in 1997.
Frances continued her connections with Notre Dame throughout her retirement.
Susan McNamee (née Jacob)
As a schoolgirl aged 9, Frances' daughter, Susan, volunteered to help at Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, during the weekends and after school. She helped at the front door, answered the telephone and served afternoon tea to sisters' families. She assisted on many special occasions, including the opening of the Metropolitan Cathedral. In the summer holidays Sister Monica Howes arranged day trips to the seaside for elderly sisters, and Susan went along with her to assist.
At the age of sixteen, Susan joined the catering staff at Notre Dame College in the charge of Sister Mary Hilda, and worked for ten years in Maryland Hall. Here she helped looking after students and 'waited on' on special occasions.
Whilst working there, Susan married Tony McNamee on 28 July 1979 at St Patrick's Church, Liverpool 8, and afterwards their wedding photographs were taken in the convent and gardens at Mount Pleasant. The statue of the Sacred Heart was nearby - it was relocated to St Thomas' garden and is still there at the present time. the garden is now the car park of the Free State restaurant and is accessible from Maryland Street. Also in this garden is a plaque dedicated to Sister Mary Glover from the Chinese community - this can be found near the steps at the back of the building that used to be St Thomas'.
Susan and Tony with the sisters in the gardens of
Mount Pleasant on their wedding day 1979
On the grand staircase in Mount Pleasant
On leaving Maryland Hall, Susan and Tony had a son Philip on July 19th 1984. When Philip was two, Susan rejoined her mum in St Thomas', where they spent ten happy years working together looking after the sisters, their families and visitors. The sisters also enjoyed looking after Philip on many occasions.
The community at St Thomas' Hall, Liverpool
The closure of St Thomas' community
After the closure of St Thomas', Susan's mum, Frances, retired and Susan later relocated to the Sisters of Notre Dame, 285 Woolton Road, Childwall, working with Delia Wilkes under the charge of Sister Anne McGinlay. Their duties included answering the door, general domestic, and looking after the welfare of the sisters.
Here Susan spent twenty years, forming lasting relationships which continue to this day. Susan says that she learnt a lot from Sister Anne McGinlay about general maintenance and how to organise house closures. This came to the fore when Susan and Delia had to oversee the sad closure of the house in 2017.
After over fifty years of association with Notre Dame, forming lifelong friendships, Susan continues in the role she began as a volunteer, visiting the Notre Dame Sisters - at 266 Woolton Road, Childwall, and Birkdale. Here she enjoys catching up on news about their families and reminiscing about memories of Notre Dame.
Sr Joseph Ann with Philip
Frances with Doreen
The convent and college staff of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, on the convent steps. Day trip to North Wales to celebrate the canonisation of St Julie, Foundress of Sisters of Notre Dame.
Francis Jacob is on back row, to the right.
Sr Mary Hilda with the staff of Maryland Hall
St Thomas' Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool
Sr Anne Marie McGinlay with Susan and Delia
The closure of the convent at 266 Woolton Road, Liverpool
Susan and Tony recently celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary, and on 18 March 2019, Harry Noah McNamee was born to their son, Philip and partner Julia. The sisters always look forward to hearing news and viewing the latest photographs of Harry.
Susan and Tony with son, Philip and partner, Julia and their son, Harry -
Susan and Tony's first grandchild, at their recent 40th wedding anniversary celebration